Lighthouse is chosen Best Wine & Liquor Store
Published 10:53 am Monday, September 28, 2015
When one local man saw what he felt was an opportunity to bring more tax revenue into the city coffers, he decided to put his efforts into making it happen.
Billy Chappell has been in business in Elizabethton for more than a decade and he began to notice something that bothered him – local residents who wanted to purchase wine or liquor had to drive to Johnson City to do so. That means tax revenue that could benefit Elizabethton was being collected by another town.
So Chappell decided to do something about it and he hit the pavement to talk to people.
“I started the petition to get it here,” he said. “It was a lot of work, but we had a lot of community support.”
When the referendum was held, Elizabethton voters gave the OK to allow package stores to open inside the city.
That led Chappell to start a new business here in town, Lighthouse Wine and Liquor, which is now in its third year of operation.
“It’s been great,” he said. “The tax dollars that were previously going to Johnson City are now staying here in Elizabethton.”
Chappell enjoys a good wine or a craft beer and decided to share that love with others.
Lighthouse Wine and Liquor carries a wide selection of wines, craft beers and liquors.
“It’s hard sometimes because there are so many brands and different products out there that you just don’t have room for all of them,” he said.
Every week, Chappell looks through sales lists to see what his customers like. Then he looks through distributor lists to find the best prices. He also checks new product guides to see what latest trend or new flavor he might be able to feature in his store. It becomes a balancing act between space and inventory, Chappell said.
In addition to looking through product lists, Chappell also relies on his customers to see what items to add to the selection.
“If a customer comes in and they’ve tried a wine they like somewhere else, say in Asheville, I will try to get it for them if I can,” he said.
The customer service and wide selection is what sets Lighthouse Wine and Liquor apart from its competitors, Chappell said.
While many of the customers are like Chappell and enjoy a drink now and again, there are others who come in the store for different reasons.
“We sell a lot of alcohol for cooking,” he said. “We’ve got customers who don’t even drink who come in to get wine or bourbon to cook with.”
There are even some customers who come to the store under doctor’s orders, Chappell said. “We’ve had customers tell us their doctor sent them there to get some wine,” he said. “There are a lot of health benefits to having a glass of wine a day.”
This year, Lighthouse Wine and Liquor was named Best Wine and Liquor Store in the Elizabethton Star Readers Choice Awards.
Lighthouse Wine and Liquor is located at 1933 W. Elk Avenue, in Elizabethton. Find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lighthousewineandliquor.