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Retail Review: Signature Wine & Spirits

Signature Wine & Spirits Owner Sam Advani.

Signature Wine & Spirits
516 Main Street
New Hartford, CT

Square footage: 1,200

Years in operation: 3 months

By Sara Capozzi

Located in the picturesque Litchfield County town of New Hartford, Signature Wine & Spirits brings its own brand of great selection and friendly customer service to the northwest corner and beyond. The shop was opened by brothers Sam and Vinny Advani in late January and is the latest business at 516 Main Street to serve the community as a package store.

The Advanis are originally from the Virgin Islands and often visited family in Connecticut. When they relocated to the state in 2020, inspired by their uncle who owns a couple of package stores and a restaurant in the area, they decided to go into the industry. “I was always around the business when I was visiting and had a liking for it and an interest in it,” Sam Advani said. He worked previously in jewelry and car sales and said he “always liked the retail and sales part of [the package store industry].”

The brothers opened their first Signature Wine & Spirits in Simsbury in June 2021 and, after a few years of cultivating business there, felt it was time to expand. “The idea of opening up one more store with the same name in a different county was something that we were interested in and the right opportunity presented itself,” Advani said. “We’re excited and the people are excited and we’ll be doing some exciting things.”

Signature Wine & Spirits is easily accessible at the center of town, located near a group of well-frequented businesses including a salon, bank, gas station and well-known farmers market, making it part of a full service stop for customers running errands.

When the Advanis opened the latest location, they started with no inventory, which gave them the opportunity to build their product selection the way they wanted it. They started with “the basics: seltzers, whiskeys, bourbons, rums, vodkas, tequilas and wines,” he said. “We went with the well-known brands, the stuff we know people drink on a regular basis. We also take a lot of requests from customers, so it’s a mixture of knowing what sells well and taking requests from people.” Providing great customer service is a priority to Advani. “We’re always willing to go above and beyond when it comes to special requests or case discounts,” he said.

He’s spent the past few months bringing in new products, getting to know his customer base and what they like, and meeting other small business owners in town who want to bring more focus back to Main Street. The majority of shoppers are town locals, but Signature also sees people from Winsted, Barkhamsted and Torrington stopping by. Outdoor attractions like Ski Sundown, the Farmington River and Satan’s Kingdom State Recreation Area bring in out-of-state visitors as well.

Plenty of perks await customers, including in-store tastings to help them discover items, local delivery through Uber Eats and state minimum sales on a new product every month. Advani takes part in private barrel programs, currently offering bottles of an Elijah Craig barrel pick. The store also partners with distributors and local restaurants to offer pairing dinners at local eateries.

The Advanis connect with customers and promote store tastings and other events through Signature’s Instagram and Facebook accounts. With an interior renovation finished, they’re taking the shop into its next era serving the New Hartford community.


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