After six months in business, manna provisions is finding its footing as a purveyor of gourmet experiences.
The storefront at 129 Princess St. opened in September as a brick-and-mortar offshoot of manna’s pandemic-era wine club, which began meeting virtually in the spring of 2020. The wine club still gathers online, with manna provisions serving as a headquarters, but the shop is evolving beyond those parameters into an operation that manager Jeremy Malanka described as connecting people in the community to culinary resources.
“We broker fine things,” Malanka said.
The store stocks a selection of about 250 wines, and Malanka said he enjoys chatting with customers and making recommendations based on their plans for each bottle.
“I want to paint a whole picture of how you’re going to enjoy the wine,” Malanka said.
The store’s inventory is fluid, Malanka noted, as new products arrive regularly for virtual wine club meetups. Many of the wines hail from esteemed areas like northern Italy and France’s Rhone Valley and Beaujolais regions, with prices starting at $18 per bottle. Malanka estimated the median price range as $28 to $34 per bottle.
The business intends to grow through curated experiences for customers, including customizable private events and public pop-up events dreamed up by Malanka and offered on Sundays at the premises of neighbor Bourgie Nights.
“Even though I run a small wine shop, my forte is definitely events,” Malanka said.
Recent offerings have included Salvatore’s, a pop-up dessert bar delivered in partnership with Boombalatti’s Homemade Ice Cream, and Carl’s Caviar and Champagne, which paired caviar and other salty snacks with bright, bubbly wine.
On March 26, manna provisions is partnering with Lite Work Farm for Mushrooms of Folk
, a pop-up event pairing four of the local farm’s mushrooms with the earthy flavors of four natural wines.
Lite Work Farm is one of the clients using a commissary kitchen at manna provisions, tucked away behind the wine shop. The footprint was first acquired by manna in 2017 as a bakery for manna’s pastry chef, Rebeca Alvarado Paredes. Now the space, which is fully equipped and certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is available for those in the early stages of launching a business. Malanka described the bakery as an “incubator” for these types of operations.
“We want to see all of the bakers use it as a stepping stone onto their next project, which could be a storefront or a larger production space,” he said.
In addition to Lite Work Farm, other tenants using the space include Cravings, Make it Chrispy and Pie Slayer.
Located at the corner of Second and Princess streets, manna provisions is open Monday through Saturday from noon to 6 p.m.
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