MCF Rare Wine
Ten years and, oh, five and a half hours ago, the culmination of over 2 years of stress, sleepless nights, long hours of research, phone calls with lawyers, negotiations with landlords, waiting for the NY State Liquor Authority, or the NY State Dept of Taxation, a crash course in DIY retail remodeling, waiting for computers and equipment, etc etc., culminated in the Emily and I opening the doors of MCF Rare Wine, on a bright, cool Saturday morning in October.
So began a long crazy journey that has included such other 'minor' life moments as marriage and two kids.
That tiny original space, with its laser-printer 'open' sign in the door, that, given my shoestring budget, was so sparsely stocked with wine, that we scrambled to get open that morning has given way to a LOT more wine, a bigger, more visible space, and thousands of new people in my life.
As much as I'd love to be popping the cork right now on the first bottle of an all day party/tasting here at the shop, that I would have hoped most of you would have come by to partake in, the times we live in have dictated something else.
Plus, to be perfectly honest with you, the feeling is heavier today than I ever thought it would be for all of the hundreds of times over the last decade that I thought about what my 10th anniversary celebration would look like.
The reason I say that is not because I'm feeling sorry for myself because of some lost party, but it's for quite another reason.
I was texting with my best old high school friends the other day, discussing (for the millionth time) all that's going on in the world, and, at one point, I said -
i was just walking home from dropping the kids at school and i walked past empty space after empty space (not the ones that had been empty for a long time, but the ones that had recently housed businesses that seemed to be doing just fine) and all i could think about was this - Friday will be the 10th anniversary of my store. that’s 10 years (plus 2 years leading up to it) of sleepless nights, stress beyond stress, so much so that it manifests itself physically, makes it very difficult to enjoy days off, constant worry about making payroll, constant worry about my family and how the stress affects my relationship with them, meaning that the first 6 days of your 7 day vacation are spent unwinding so that you get to be 'on vacation' for the flight home, knowing that most people, through no fault of their own, have basically zero understanding of what it feels like, and constant anxiety over whether all of this work is even worth it...in other words ten years of ‘it’s all in your hands and you are the only one you can rely on’. if i was a restaurant or bar owner or the owner of any other business, who had dedicated the same 10 years or more and all of their soul and the same level of near-thankless perseverance, only to have it all taken away by forces beyond their control...well, i can’t imagine...
Don't get me wrong, I certainly wouldn't trade all of the stress for anything, but the point is this - while I feel lucky and grateful beyond belief to still be open, and supporting my family, and paying my employees, and selling great wines, and, in turn, helping my suppliers by selling their wines (and paying my bills), and, most importantly, seeing, emailing or speaking to all of you on a daily basis, so many people out there have lost their ability to do the same...
...and that's what's heavy on my mind today.
While it's fun to look back on the old pictures, and reflect on everything that's happened since 2010, today's not feeling like as much of a 'me' day as it may have.
So, if you have local places you love, please keep showing that love as much as you can, and let's all stay positive in our minds and towards each other.
We're not each other's enemies...we are actually all we have.
Finally, and most importantly, I want to say THANK YOU to all of you for all of your support and friendship over the years, and I hope that I can repay it with ever better wine, service, and, of course, my mug in your inbox.
Becoming a part of such a historic neighborhood in such a historic city, having so many friends and neighbors that I see every day, living two blocks away from my business, sending our kids to the neighborhood public school...it's all so very special, and, without you, it wouldn't be possible.
Special thanks to Emily, my daughter Marley, my son Resh, my parents, my brother and sister (and of course my brother in law and sister in law), my Uncles Rick and Carl, who taught me a love of wine and how to run a shop, everyone else in my extended family for all of the wisdom over the years and to all of my friends, both 'in the business' and not...
...from the bottom of my heart...
...thank you again. --matt