Toast Wine and Spirits, located in Vineland, is known to its loyal customers for its inviting environment. Toast isn’t your typical grab-and-go liquor store, rather an establishment that prides itself on its reputation for customer service and industry knowledge, not just price or selection. In 2018, Owner Gary Singh started the business from the ground up, a scenario very different from many who have operated such a highly successful liquor store for less than two short years. In addition to the retail establishment, Singh also owns The Brass Tap, a high-end craft beer bar and restaurant located just next door. Both locations offer consumers a wide variety of seasonal craft beers, wine, and, liquor and have earned many loyal customers. Heady Times recently sat down with Singh to discuss his industry experience and plans for the future.
Heady Times (HT): Opening a brand-new liquor store must have been difficult. Did the business turn out to be everything that you envisioned?
Gary Singh (GS): When we opened in 2018, we planned to create an inviting establishment that could become an accepted and frequently visited part of the community, and I think we achieved that. Our customers love our prices, and the selection we offer can compete with any store in the area. While we have had other stores in the past, this was the first time we had ever started something from scratch, so it was nice to use our experience to build something lucrative for us and valuable for our customers, as well.
HT: Tell us about your beer selection.
GS: Our beer selection is very diverse. Ultimately, our customers dictate what beers we bring in, but keeping up with the popular trends and styles gives us a good idea of what will sell well. If our customers ask for something, we research it and ensure that it is on the shelf the next time they visit the store. Seltzers have grown rapidly over the course of the last few months, so we have expanded our selection in the store, as well as in our cooler doors.
HT: What do you enjoy most about your business?
GS: Interacting with my customers is always the best part of my day. Providing excellent customer service is critical to our success as a business, so I enjoy knowing that my recommendations could make someone’s day, or even more. I have helped customers select the best bottle of wine for a proposal, families planning graduation celebrations, and many more memorable moments.
HT: What changes have you made to your business due to COVID-19?
GS: We have added a variety of services to help keep our customers safe, such as curbside pickup and same-day delivery. When it safe enough for restrictions to loosen and the economy improves, we will look for expansion opportunities for The Brass Tap.
HT: Tell us more about your other business venture, The Brass Tap.
GS: The Brass Tap is our high-end craft beer bar and restaurant located just next door. Previously, we boasted an outdoor seating area and garage doors that can be opened when the weather permits the unique and comfortable atmosphere it provides our guests. We still pride ourselves on the atmosphere but have improved and expanded the space since the onset of COVID-19 to give additional comfort to our guests during this uncertain and unprecedented time. We offer seasonally rotating craft on tap, as well as delicious food that is also available for takeout.
2738 S Delsea Dr, Vineland, NJ 08360 • https://toastnj.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, and 2SP. For more information on Kramer Beverage, please visit www.kramerbev.com.