Owner and operator of South Liquors Jason Lee has been serving the Wrentham and Plainville area for over a decade, but before that he worked for IBM.
“My parents bought the property and the liquor store with no experience,” he said. “When they asked me to help sell the business and the property, I looked at it from an outside consultant’s perspective and I was thinking to myself ‘how could this business not be making money?’”
Lee said the key to his success was not to run the store as a conventional store. He said the buying power of big box stores like BJs, Wal Mart and Liquor World really puts small businesses at a disadvantage, as the more boxes you can buy, the lower the price can be.
“The larger box stores can purchase 50 cases of Captain Morgan, for example,” he said. “When we can’t afford 50 cases, we get a smaller case purchase and there can be a $10 to $100 price difference per case. It can be $10 a bottle at times.”
He said his experience working for IBM as a technology worker helped him to overcome that adversity.
He now deals a lot in wine, and works with technology to get his business out to areas a normal liquor store would not be able to.
“We’ve been able to break away from the traditional store,” he said. “We take advantage of the online shipping, thus creating a whole new market for us. Now our target audience is not five to 10 miles from the store, now it’s the entire Commonwealth. We’ve extended our borders as far as exit 1 on the Mass Pike all the way to Boston. We’re the single biggest already in the commonwealth.”
Lee said the store ships wine all over Massachusetts and also donates a substantial portion of its income to charitable causes.
“In any given month, there are three to six different events in which we’re sponsoring or donating,” he said. “They have a gala or a golf tournament.”
Lee added the store is also partnered with many other local businesses, such as Luciano’s, Uno’s, and the Julia Cekala Foundation. He said the store is also partnered with a local chiropractor at Regenerations Massage.
“With the sheer amount of boxes and cases, we work with chiropractors and massage therapists,” he said. “Bascially my staff and I take regular massage therapy team as a partnership with them to kind of take care of us. We like to keep business local.”
South Liquors is located at 431 South St. in Plainville, near the Wrentham Outlet Mall.