My career coach, Julie Bauke, calls it ‘Skipping to the Shower’ – it’s when you know you love your job. The women introduced in this column undoubtedly skip to the shower, with wine & spirits in hand, which is even more fabulous.
Meet Shannon Depenbrock of D.E.P.’s Fine Wine & Spirits in Kentucky and Pilar Zeglin, owner of You Mix-it-up, a Cincinnati-based business. These two women represent praiseworthy models of entrepreneurs who have intertwined their personal values with business goals, sharing their passions for others to enjoy. Each female has experienced the thrills and spills of entrepreneurship. Their stories will serve as inspiration for those of us still wondering what it would be like to follow our career dreams, if not already.
Shannon Depenbrock is one of the youthful faces of family owned and operated D.E.P.’s Fine Wine & Spirits, but don’t let her age fool you! This young woman knows more about the industry than most, and it shows up in everything she does, and says. With nearly a lifetime of experience in the wine business, Shannon, along with her family, will celebrate the businesses’ 25th anniversary this May. DEP’s has two locations in Northern Kentucky.
“My father, Greg, started D.E.P.’s from the ground up with the philosophy – ‘Charge less. Sell more!” To this day, we offer the lowest prices and concentrate on educated staff and friendly service. This is how we’ve continued to grow over the years,” says Depenbrock, a certified sommelier and assistant wine buyer for the company.
I met Shannon at the 2010 Gentlemen of Style & Substance awards at Saks fifth Ave. She was pouring bourbon, and I was intrigued by her vast industry knowledge and genuine personality. Soon, we were exchanging business cards, meeting for coffee and supporting each other’s events.
Working for the family business wasn’t the path Shannon originally chose for her life. A Graduate of literature at Miami University, Shannon had high hopes of working for a magazine in New York, but after taking a wine course in college, and spending some time in the Big Apple, Shannon realized her true calling and returned to the family business as an assistant wine buyer.
“It’s a family owned business through and through; most of our employees are family, and even if they aren’t blood relatives, they are considered family. We are all just that close,” Says Depenbrock.
Her career path hasn’t been without its challenges.
“I’ve learned so much – not just about wine, but business knowledge, too, like factoring in importing costs, pricing, tax, understanding the liquor laws for Kentucky, and so on. It took me a while to figure out, but I’m getting the hang of it now,” says Depenbrock.
D.E.P.’s does its part to stay in front of the customer with a series of in-store and online events, including advertising. In addition, D.E.P.S’ offers exclusive wine tastings at both of their Northern Kentucky locations (Covington and every Friday & Saturday. For a complete schedule, visit their website: http://depsfinewine.com/about/tasting-schedules/
D.E.P.’s is extremely social media adept with a strong presence on facebook, the companies’ fan page is streaming with new wine features and positive customer feedback.
“Another way we engage our customers is by hosting contests and through a program called Club DEPs, where we give away exclusive prizes, gifts and more. In April, we are raffling off a TV for new friends of our facebook page. It’s a great way to stay in touch with online customers.”
Club D.E.P.’s an exclusive customer rewards program designed to honor our most valued customers through special offers, gifts, drawings, giveaways and premium VIP selection on our most sought after products.
Even more fascinating is D.E.P’s Twitter wine tastings. Kevin Keith, the company’s social guru, sends out an invitation with a #hashtag. This hashtag will ensure that everyone talking about this topic is streaming on one twitter page. The invitation will also include the wine being tasted so guests can pre-purchase their wine at D.E.P.’s and be ready to compare notes. The way this works is a wine maker, let’s say, in California, is set up on a live screen. It’s pretty fascinating.
“Everyday, more and more people are on twitter and understanding how to use it, so we want to leverage this great tool for connecting our customers with wine makers and their wines,” says Shannon.
Another aspect of her job that is one-of-a-kind is the business trips she takes, like her most recent to France’s wine country, where she built relationships with vendors and sampled new wines to offer at the store.
“I’m bias; French Wine is my absolute favorite. During this trip we spent time in Burgundy in Chateauneuf-du-Pape. In most parts of Europe, wine isn’t about shiny labels, or the bright lights of a restaurant, it’s about the agriculture,” says Depenbrock. “Wine makers are just farmers, they’ve been growing grapes organically for hundreds of years; organic isn’t just a fad. If you taste wine in Burgundy, you’ll taste the region. French wine smells like the land and tastes like the air. There is no other wine region in the world where you get a better sense of terroir out of a bottle of wine like you do in France.”
DEPs has two convenient Northern Kentucky locations for all of your wine, beer and other alcoholic beverage needs.
670 W 3rd Street. Covington, Kentucky 41011
Monday-Thursday 8:30 am-10 pm
Friday-Saturday 8:30 am-11 pm
Sunday 11 am-7 pm
90 Alexandria Pike #1C Ft. Thomas, Kentucky 41075
Monday-Thursday 9 am-10 pm
Friday-Saturday 9 am-11 pm
Sunday 11 am-7 pm
Visit D.E.P. ‘s at www.depsfinewine.com
Stay tuned for part II of Vine + Table’s inspiring female entrepreneurs, featuring mixologist extraordinaire, Pilar Zeglin of You mix-it-up. Learn what it takes to create a unique drink that reflects your personal style, brand, or event.
To learn more about Terrah’s passion for food, wine and travel, visit her blog at CorkStories.wordpress.com.