The name Passion Vines is extremely appropriate for the stores in Somers Point and Egg Harbor Township, founded by Michael Bray. The passion for educating consumers and providing top-notch customer service has been the driving force since the first location opened in 2004. With a full-service bar in the Somers Point location, customers have the opportunity to sample up to 16 craft beers, 18 different wines, or enjoy “Whiskey Wednesdays.”
Heady Times had the opportunity to sit down with Michael and learn more about their incredible customer service and passion for education.
Heady Times (HT): What is important to know about Passion Vines?
Michael Bray (MB): First and foremost, we’re a service company. It’s not what we sell but why we sell it. For Passion Vines, education matters most. When you’re learning, you’re growing, and when you’re growing, you’re at your best. It is a simple formula of interaction over a transaction. It’s similar to how we approach those two quick minutes when a customer is in the store. We want to think about what is most meaningful during their experience and allow them to learn something new on that visit. The highest level of service is at the community level. We start internally as a team, learning, growing, and doing. Ultimately, we’re connecting on a purposeful level and then take what we do in-store and impact the community.
HT: You were recognized as one of New Jersey’s most philanthropic companies by New Jersey Monthly. Tell us more about your social impact efforts.
MB: Every October, we’ve held an annual fundraiser called “The Right Notes,” with over 400 guests in attendance. This year will be our eighth production. By the end of 2019, we helped raise, along with our community, neighbors, and partners, a half-million dollars for Multiple Sclerosis. This charity is personal to me, as my mom was diagnosed in 1990.
HT: Can you expand on the services you offer?
MB: There is nothing we won’t do. We are a liquor store, but, ultimately, we are a service company. We are a delivery and wedding service, catering company, and wine cellar management service, to name a few. For our wine cellar management service, we connect with customers who are just starting a cellar or have an established collection. We do everything from taking an inventory of the cellar, digitizing and uploading the collection on an app where the customer can manage their inventory, or providing insights to help round out the cellar.
HT: What are you and the team at Passion Vines most excited about for this year?
MB: Our team has been in place for a long time. I’m most excited to work with a group of individuals that are at a point now where they anticipate the needs and exceed the expectations of each other and our customers. We are all aligned with the same mission, and that’s when the good stuff happens. We want to leverage everything we’ve done since opening in 2004 and make more meaningful connections with the community. I look forward to continue working with our team to share our love of the products that we sell with as many people as possible.
3013 Ocean Heights Ave, Egg Harbor Township, NJ 08234 • https://www.passionvines.com/
About Kramer Beverage
Kramer Beverage is South Jersey’s largest beer wholesaler, owned and operated by four generations of the Kramer family since 1924. Kramer Beverage is based out of Hammonton, Atlantic County, and services eight counties in southern New Jersey with top brands from MillerCoors, Constellation, Yuengling, Boston Beer, Heineken USA, Pabst, Diageo, FIFCO, and more. Kramer Beverage also distributes a wide variety of craft beers, from suppliers such as New Belgium and Sierra Nevada, to local favorites including Flying Fish, Double Nickel, Evil Genius, Glasstown, Sly Fox, 2SP, and Dogfish Head. For more information on Kramer Beverage, please visit www.kramerbev.com.