Steele’s Wine Cellar in the Montgomery Center Celebrates Grand Reopening After Remodel
FAMILY TRADITION: “We completely remodeled the store recently. It’s been expanded to include more items, and more convenient product arrangement and accessibility. We are proud to continue our tradition of a family business, and we always want to be Montgomery’s neighborhood liquor store.” Alana and Justin Steele, owners of Steele’s Wine Cellar, are shown in the store’s cordials section, featuring a variety of top choices.
By Jean Stratton
Once a staple on the shopping scene, family businesses are becoming a vanishing breed in today’s high-tech world.
All the more reason to celebrate Steele’s Wine Cellar, located in the Montgomery Center, 1325 Route 206 North, and owned by brother and sister Justin and Alana Steele.
Having grown up in another family business in Bloomfield, they purchased the existing liquor store in 2010, adding special offerings including craft beers, local wines and spirits, and a monthly wine club.
They also established high standards with a focus on an outstanding selection in all categories within a broad range of prices, and with a priority on personal service.
“We pride ourselves on our customer service, making sure that we are always fully staffed and ready to give you our personal attention,” explain the brother and sister team. “Our experience, combined with deep community roots and a friendly staff, assure you of a great shopping experience every time.
“We provide the professionalism of an established wine store with the personalized service of your neighborhood wine shop. We listen to our customers and what they want. We do special orders for them, and sometimes, when they have had new items on their travels, they’ll ask us if we can get a particular favorite for them.”
Popular choices at the store include whiskey — Scotch and bourbon, especially — craft beers, and wine, both red and white. Rosé is popular in the spring, and in the summer, alcoholic flavored seltzers have become a real favorite, enjoyed for their light and refreshing taste.
Flavored gins are also sought after, and Champagne is always a big seller, particularly — but not only — during the holidays. Prosecco has now become an in-demand, less-costly alternative.
In addition, Steele’s has a wide assortment of cordials, which are always in favor as an after-dinner specialty. Kahlua, Bailey’s Irish Cream, Grand Marnier, and Drambuie are only some of the many choices available. And, of course, brandy and cognac are time-honored choices for many customers.
“Our overall selection includes items from around the world, but we also have a lot of local beers, wines, and spirits, including from Sourland Mountain Spirits, a distillery in Hopewell, and also River Horse craft brewery from Ewing,” reports Alana.
“Cocktails are popular today,” she continues, “and sometimes, people have one at a bar or restaurant, and then they want to replicate it at home. We can help with that, and we also can help people plan the number of bottles of wine, beer, or spirits to have for their parties, and also what wines to serve with Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s dinner or parties. In addition, we often create customized holiday gift baskets.”
The Steeles make an effort to stay on top of all the latest developments, trends, wineries, distilleries, etc., points out Justin. “I like to try different things — different wines, spirits, and beers — for the first time. We always want to offer customers a great selection. We keep up with the trends and new products. We definitely know what’s new.”
Both the store’s configuration and atmosphere are very customer-friendly. Items are arranged in a convenient setting, easily available by category, region, and country. A refrigerator contains a selection of ready-to-go cold beer and wine.
In addition, the wide range of prices includes a “value” section of $10 and under wines, with half-bottles also available. Box wines are another popular choice.
Mixers, accessories, wine bags, and snacks are also offered.
The Monthly Wine Club is a highlight of Steele’s Wine Cellar, and “is appreciated in a number of ways,” says Alana Steele. “It is a wonderful gift, and it is also a great way to introduce someone to different kinds of wine. It can be a real learning experience. We have a different kind of wine for all different palates.
“It includes either three bottles for $35 or four for $55, along with a newsletter describing the different wines, and also featuring recipes for dinners or different cocktails, such as Apple Cider Margaritas.”
The Wine Club has become an important hallmark at Steele’s, and wines can either be picked up or delivered in the area.
Now that the store has completed its remodel, a Grand Reopening is planned for Friday, November 8 from 4 to 9 p.m. Tastings, special prices, raffles and prizes, and a Tito’s Photo Booth will all be featured.
In addition, it will include a fundraiser for the Rolling Thunder Charities’ Seventh Wreaths Across America Project.
“Their goal is to place 1,500 holiday wreaths on veterans’ graves at Somerset Hills Memorial Park in Basking Ridge on December 14. The price of each wreath is $10,” explains Justin.
Wide Price Range
“We are excited about our Grand Reopening, and we want people to know that we are completely renovated — all with the customers in mind. Expanded space, more product selection, and a very wide price range.”
“We hope the community likes what we have done,” he continues. “We make a point to be part of the community. We sponsor and support different groups in the area, including the Montgomery Schools sports teams. It’s very important to give back to the community. We are part of the Montgomery Business Association, and it is so vital to support local stores.”
Alana and Justin Steele are proud of their loyal customer base, including clientele from Princeton, Hopewell, Montgomery, and the area, as well as Bucks County, Pa.
“We thank them all for their support, and now we hope we can serve them even better with our new remodel. We want everyone to come and see us and experience our special service.”
Steele’s Wine Cellar is open seven days: Monday through Thursday 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (609) 924-0900. Website: steeleswinecellar.com.