Nearly a year after its fall 2016 opening, a change in ownership is sparking some evolution for Libations, downtown Sanford’s wine and craft beer shop.
Ryan Elliott, Chas Post and Kevin Foushee founded the store in September, offering wine and craft beer in the front, and tasting area with rotating taps and bottles in the back. Elliott said that while the concept has been successful, the trio recognized that broadening their scope could be beneficial.
“Within a few months of opening, we recognized that our customers wanted the option to have food with their drinks,” said Elliott. “And we didn’t want to be stubborn and say ‘well we’re never going to serve food.'”
And while the owners mulled how to go about adding food to the repertoire, an opportunity to spark the process presented itself when local businessman Richard Porter offered to buy Post and Foushee’s portion of the business. The sale was official this week.
“It all happened really fast,” Elliott said “Richard came in here and liked what he saw and wanted to be a part of it.”
With the change in ownership official, Porter and Elliott are “taking baby steps” as far as specifics on offering food – space in the storefront is limited, so they’ll have to be creative. Currently, the idea is to bring in limited offerings prepared off-site and see how customers respond. If that goes well, Elliott said customers might see food options expand further.
Elliott said they’re also exploring ways to offer a limited selection of liquor, for those who don’t drink beer or wine.
“I’m not looking to compete with anyone on Steele Street as far as liquor goes, but we’re looking at what we can serve that might be unique or different,” he said.
Elliott also said that despite the store’s evolution, customers shouldn’t expect a change in atmosphere or environment.
“Chas and Kevin and I built this place together, and I know they’ll always be able to come in here and look at it with pride,” he said. “This is the same place today as it has always been.”