Waterside Wine Club
Here’s what you get turning a passion into a business―a success story known as Waterside Wine Club. You’ll find Waterside Wine Club in a second-floor suite of Cape Harbour, overlooking the marina. It’s a club that requires no membership fees or commitment, just a desire to learn about and to drink wine. Founder MaryJane Vu gave up corporate life in Manhattan nine years ago and moved to Cape Coral with her husband for what she calls “a slower, happier, more easygoing pace of life.” The couple had also owned a restaurant in New York. “We were tired,” Vu adds. The young duo didn’t exactly retire, forming Power Yachts International, a successful boat dealership and brokerage at Cape Harbour. It didn’t take long for Vu to miss one of the most inviting pieces of the restaurant world―wine. She says, “It [wine] is my passion. I decided I couldn’t own a restaurant, I didn’t have time; the boat business took too much.” So she rented a nearby space with the idea of holding monthly tastings for friends, clients and the public. It’s been two years and her start-up wine business has taken on a life of its own. The tastings have grown to standingroom only and she has added more services to her roster. The oenophile also uses her space to host formal wine presentations and private events. Say, for instance, you wanted to offer an incentive for some of your best clients or managers; Vu to the rescue with a more intimate tasting and interactive experience surrounding wine. Catering is also provided for both private and public events, thanks to a partnership with downstairs neighbors Fathoms Restaurant & Bar.
Vu has been known to take her tastings and presentations on the road, to everything from charity events and grand openings, to country clubs and boardrooms. She will even consult with and sell to those planning dinner parties but don’t know what wines to serve. Vu’s husband, Jonathan, says, “I was very happy she wanted to do this because this is her passion … lots of times passion never equates to something big, but this has become something big,” adding that the boat business is work and the wine business is play. Vu doesn’t just drink wine; she studies it and has become a Certified Specialist of Wine with the prestigious Society of Wine Educators. Lauren Bright, wine sales representative with Masciarelli, says of Vu, “Her passion shows through in every way possible. We both like to study so we can go for hours talking about climate, soil and terroir and stuff like that.”
No fees, Cape's fun place, have wine will travel
MaryJane Vu (left) carefully selects wine for her monthly tastings and private events. Tastings are popular for greeting old friends and making new ones.