Someone once said, "Just because you like to drink, does not mean you should buy the bar." As a loyal Manny's customer for the past 3 years, we did just that.

I have been enamored with the idea of shopkeeping, perhaps since I was a young lad. The ring of the bell, the smack of the door, the greeting of guest, customer, client with a proprietor who offers a cornucopia, a bounty, a treasure trove, a haven of delights. Mercantile dreams that were suffused with pride, love and good will.

My grandmother owned a tavern. Next door was a general store-grocer. That was the town. Those two. Both had screen doors that squeaked and slammed in a similar comforting ear worm for me. The door, the swing and the greeting were touch points for me. The fluid voices of welcome and comfort met me in a wave. The tinkle of a shop door bell is a sound that signals, that announces an experience is about to unfold.

My remembrance of French shopkeepers sweeping and hosing down sidewalks in front of their establishments in that early dawn in preparation for their customers had encircled my heart. The knowing, short form banter of old customers enfolded with the lighter polite breeze of new customer inquiry became a song for me. A commerce of connection and relationship that was short and familiar and consistent became a shore I longed to be a part of.

A number of years ago, I discovered Bon Vin, Rick Ceriny and the late Mark Dressler. And likewise; their wine, their love of wine, entertaining and life- discovered me. Over time I felt that Bon Vin was "my wine shop" and they were my wine guys and that everyone I knew should go there and catch up on all that I was getting excited about.

They in turn, shared their excitement of this wine, this olive oil and then this particular new cheese shop by the name of Manny's.

That was, what? 3 years ago?

Swing by, won't you? And if you must, drive out on purpose. I'll do I my best to make it worth your trip out.