By Steve Siciliano
Josh Swift’s first experience in retail was not exactly a good one.
When he was eighteen and working as a stocker in a Grand Rapids beer and wine shop, he broke a bottle of 2001 Hess Mount Veeder Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. But he didn’t let that rather inauspicious beginning deter him.
“Wine fascinated me and I began asking my older co-workers questions,” he said. “Eventually those interrogations, along with the stealthy tastes of wine they would sometimes give me, helped me to build a base of knowledge and I was occasionally given the opportunity to help customers.”
His fascination with wine gradually grew to encompass beer, and soon as he turned twenty-one “it didn’t take long for me to tear through all the styles.”
Josh, a recent graduate from Grand Valley with a major in history, views both beer and wine as a symbol of camaraderie. “My fondest memories with family and friends usually involve beer or wine in some way,” he said. “I’m always excited to show customers new ambers or push them to try a lambic for the first time, not because I’m looking for a sale, but because I want to share my passion.”
We have a feeling that he is going to fit in nicely around here.