BY Claudio E. Cabrera
Photography by Paul Lomax
Earlier this week, I passed by the newly opened Heights Wine & Spirits located at 4474 Broadway (between 192nd and 193rd Street). I sat down, had a glass of wine and we spoke about the opening of the store, their knowledge of the liquor industry, and how the neighborhood has reacted to them.
When did you guys open?
4 months ago.
How long did it take you guys to build this establishment?
It took us about 2 to 3 months.
What did you do before this?
Alexis De Rosario: I am still working as an Air Craft Technician and come to the store at night to help out.
Busy isn’t the word.
What about you Yency?
Yency Perez: My parents owned a few liquor stores in the Heights and the Bronx. I learned through my parents and took a long journey of learning across the world to get here.
What qualifies you to be experts in the liquor business?
Yency: I have a certificate as a sommelier. I learned from the bottom all the way to the top in Miami. I went to school in Montreal, Mexico, and locally at Pace University. In Montreal, I learned from an Italian friend for five years. In Miami, I was in the importing wine business for 10 years.
What is your role within the store Alexis?
I work mostly on the operational side of the business, though my knowledge of wine has steadily increased throughout the years.
What makes you unique in comparison to other liquor stores in the area?
We have a very unique look. Its not your typical liquor store with the owners behind glass. It’s a neighborhood liquor store where people can actually touch us and talk to us.
At our store, we understand that many people can’t afford all the great wines. But we have such a huge selection and extensive knowledge of the industry, that we have various alternatives we can offer them. We don’t only think profit. We know that in business money comes and goes. Professionalism doesn’t. It dies with you.