After she graduated college, Kristina Percy worked at the Wine Store in Minden as an “in-between” job for a few months.

“When I left, I said ‘one day I want to own that business’,” she recalled.

Sixteen years later, Percy heard owner Colleen O’Byrne was looking to sell.

“I was on their doorstep the next day,” she said.

Now, Percy has taken the reins of the wine-making locale, helping hundreds of Highlanders ferment various types of wines.

Those customers and O’Byrne’s leadership made Percy fall in love with the job 16 years ago.

“They’re all wonderful, and everyone’s happy. I like the work in here, and Colleen made it an enjoyable experience,” she said.

Percy’s partner, Logan Percy, will be helping out in the shop when his work schedule permits. “What I’ve seen is that customer service is the most important part of this,” said Logan.

When customers come in, Percy and her staff guide them through the entire winemaking process, starting with the flavour they hope to achieve at the end.

“If they’re not ready to make the [flavour] decision when they come to see us, they can take a brochure home and do their own research,” Percy said.

After the wine ferments, it’s packaged into sterilized bottles in the front of the shop.

While Percy said they would like to expand the store’s retail area, she’ll focus on continuing the store’s traditions for the time being. O’Byrne will stay on until the spring to help with the transition.

“Christina has worked for us before and knows the business,” O’Byrne said. “She’s very bright and she’s the one I would choose to buy my business.”

O’Byrne said the friendships she’s made with the clients have been the best part of the store’s 25-year history, and she’s confident Kristina and Logan will keep that tradition alive.

“They are the right people to have this business and grow it,” she said.