LANSING – Justin King, a wine specialist and former partner of Bridge Street Social in DeWitt, will open a wine store in a century-old building on the city’s east side this spring.
Voyages Wine Shop will occupy a 1,500-square-foot storefront at 2024 E. Michigan Ave., previously home to Wild Strawberry & More, a flower shop. The space has been vacant since last year.
King, 41, an advanced sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers, who’s been working in the wine industry for over 20 years, plans to turn the space into a “neighborhood wine shop.”
When it opens this May the store will carry about 400 wines, including varieties from Michigan wineries and from small producers around the world. King also plans to stock craft beers, and a variety of pre-packaged meats, cheeses, bread, jams and jellies.
Customers will be able to shop the shelves themselves but Voyages Wine Shop will also deliver locally, King said.
A wine shop on Lansing’s east side
King resigned from Bottleneck Hospitality, the company that owns Bridge Street Social, in 2020.
Making the jump to retail wine sales felt “comfortable,” and it will allow him to be part of Greater Lansing’s wine community well into the future, he said.
“I really felt by the summer of 2020 that wine delivery was going to be the future and I wanted to make sure that I had ample opportunity to be a part of it because I just really love the industry,” King said.
The building he’s leasing for Voyages Wine Shop was built in the 1920s, said Scott Gillespie of The Gillespie Co., which owns it.
King said he wanted a location on the east side of Lansing.
“Moving to the east side was kind of my number one priority,” he said. “I had looked at other buildings and there were some other opportunities but this one certainly felt the best.”
Very little needs to be done to prepare the space, King said.
The store’s inventory will expand over time, he said. Most wine selections will range in price from $15 to $25, a bottle, he said.
Voyages Wine Shop will offer same-day wine and beer delivery, 7 days a week, starting in zip codes closest to the store and expanding outward over time, King said.
“The idea behind Voyages Wine Shop is to unlock the romanticism and, frankly, the wanderlust that I think a lot of us have experienced in the last year or two for obvious reasons,” King said. “My goal is to sink everything I can back into the business for the first few years. I’m really trying to be the best I can be at service and selection and pricing.”
The store will be an asset to the east side of Lansing, Gillespie said.
“It’s going to be such a great addition to the community,” he said. “His knowledge and skills are beyond reproach.”
King said he also plans to offer travel packages to wine regions primarily in Europe to small groups of customers, starting with Greece and Spain in summer 2023.
“After that, we’ll do two to three holidays a year,” King said.