Culinary no-no #494

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In 1991 Morley Safer of “60 Minutes” on CBS became an American hero.

His 12-minute segment, “The French Paradox” reported what we’ve known forever. The French diet devours rich and fatty foods on a regular basis (see above). However the French as a people collectively avoid high levels of heart disease.

Here’s an excerpt.

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Reaction to Safer’s piece was instant and huge. Sales of red wine skyrocketed. Twenty-five years later Safer’s story is credited with the widely -held notion that red wine isn’t just good, it’s good for you.

The website masslive.com this past week reported that according to the Wine Institute more Americans are drinking more wine than ever before, with wine columnist Ken Ross offering 5 reasons why the grape is popular.

With so many consumers in an absolute love affair with wine it’s no wonder these mega stores have popped up all around the country.

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The Total Wine and More website proudly proclaims:

We’re passionate about wine, and know many of our customers feel the same way. So we are committed to offering the nation’s best wine selection, with an emphasis on fine wines. Our typical store carries more than 8,000 different wines from every wine-producing region in the world, including more than 2,000 wines not available in any other store. The typical Total Wine & More also carries more than 2,500 beers, from America‘s most popular brands to hard-to-find microbrews and imports, and more than 3,000 different spirits in every style and price range.

We’re also committed to having the lowest prices on wine, spirits and beer every day. Our tremendous buying power and special relationships with producers, importers and wholesalers bring us considerable savings, which we pass on to our customers.

When Total Wine & More opened in Long Beach, CA in June of 2015…

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Local Councilwoman Stacy Mungo was happy and supportive.

“Please tell at least five friends, because the more people that shop here, the more roads I can repair and the more sidewalks I can fix, so spend your money in Long Beach, thank you for opening up this business and go beach!” said Mungo during the ribbon-cutting.

My wife, Jennifer, isn’t exactly an oenophile, but she’s close.  Jennifer mentioned on her blog last week she’d loved Total Wine & More to expand into Franklin.

I must interject that Franklin has a well-deserved reputation of being hostile and difficult when it comes to potential incoming new businesses. As a result we can’t get a buzzard to land here.

The thought of Total Wine and More coming to Franklin (the superstore is looking to set up shop in sites in SE WI) led my good friend, Franklin Mayor Steve Olson to post the following question on social media:

“Been to Three Cellar’s lately?”

When someone requested clarification the mayor replied:

“We HAVE a locally owned business identical to the ‘we want’ one above.”

Disappointing response.

Given that logic Franklin shouldn’t have allowed Oscar’s to open on S. 27th Street because we already had the Milwaukee Burger Company.

Didn’t think the mayor had to be reminded about competition, or being open to a new business model. Not a good message to send to folks thinking about coming here.

Forget Franklin. There have been many news reports that Total Wine and More was looking at Brookfield, a municipality bursting at the seams with all kinds of businesses.

And Brookfield certainly was interested.

However it’s turned into a total mess.

In order for Total Wine & More to operate as successfully as it has elsewhere in America it needed a certain license from Brookfield. A high ranking official says he was led to belive the license was forthcoming.

The city says it only has one of those licenses left. There’s a limit on the licenses and Brookfield doesn’t want to relinquish it to a wine superstore in case a restaurant wants to open and would need the required liquor license.

The Town of Brookfield has offered to turn over one of their licenses to the superstore. That could be a solution but for the fact the city of Brookfield is hemming and hawing.

Last week the city Brookfield approved a lesser license and Total Wine & More is ticked.

From the Small Biz Times:

The city voted 8-5 against the store’s request for a Class B liquor license, instead granting Total Wine a Class A license. By doing so, Total Wine will not be able to conduct its weekly wine tastings and classes, which make up roughly 20 percent of the store’s revenue and is part of the overall customer experience, said David Trone, Total Wine & More’s co-founder and president.

“We really love Brookfield, and think we will do great there,” Trone said. “But we were led to believe when we first met with the city, that we would be given a Class B license. I’m in 21 states and will have 150 stores open by the end of the year. They said build the store first, and we’ll give you the license – I’ve never done it that way. And somehow, 30 days before we open, we don’t get the license.

In an interview with WTMJ’s Jeff Wagner Trone called Brookfield’s attitude and approach “arrogant.”

Taking a page out of my mayor’s playbook the mayor of Brookfield is blaming the state.

Wisconsin’s business climate is improving but there’s a lot of progress to be made. The Brookfield episode with Total Wine & More isn’t helping.

CULINARY NO-NO BONUS

Too much pumpkin spice?

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