A few weeks ago, St. Louis Cardinal’s baseball fans were devastated at the news that Albert Pujols had accepted an offer of 254 million dollars for ten years from the Los Angeles Angels. The three-time National League MVP was the heart and soul of the Cardinal team and they won’t be the same without him.
Canal’s Bottle Stop in Marlton has just suffered a similar loss.
Yesterday, I learned that Charlie Beatty, the 18 year veteran wine guru of Canal’s Bottle Stop in Marlton, NJ is no longer Wine Manager at the store. The news was shocking and to make matters worse, no one at the store would say where he went. If each of the employees of the Bottle Stop were soldiers being held prisoner by the enemy, there would be little chance that any of them would break and reveal secrets even under the most extreme torture. Despite zero help from Canal’s staff, I had a hunch. I went back to my car, headed east on Route 70, just a few hundred yards, and pulled into the shopping center that serves as location for Wine Works. Charlie was not there at the time but this IS his new home. Max & Filippo, owners of Wine Works (former owners of Hops n Grapes in Glassboro, NJ) have pulled off a major coup in adding Charlie Beatty to their employee line-up.
Charlie Beatty WAS Canal’s Bottle Stop. He was to that store what Pujols was to the Cardinals, Brady to the Patriots, Labron to the Heat. When I named that outlet my #1 wine store in South Jersey two years ago, I gave Charlie Beatty as not just the number #1 reason but also the 2nd and 3rd reason. His personality, knowledge, expertise and customer service skills are top-notch and have endeared him to his multitude of loyal customers. His ability to stock the shelves with hard to find wines that the true oenophiles appreciate is unmatched in the area.
Wine Works, pre-Charlie, was an excellent wine store. For me, the only problem was that it was located just a stones throw from Canal’s Bottle Stop. That problem no longer exists. Wine Works will now be my go-to destination for adult beverages.
Max and Filippo are to be credited for having the foresight to make Charlie an integral part of their team. He has a dedicated following that will find him quickly and help him build sales at Wine Works. I really think it won’t be long before I have to re-do my Top Five Wine Stores in New Jersey. Any guesses as to the new Numero Uno???
Best of luck to Charlie and Wine Works. If you would like to leave a message for Charlie click on the “comments” link below.