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Heartland wine businesses see boost in crowds

Wine businesses seeing boost in sales
Published: Apr. 10, 2022 at 9:47 PM CDT
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SCOTT CITY, Mo. (KFVS) - Many businesses in the Heartland are bouncing back after taking a financial hit from the pandemic.

Local wine business owners tell us outdoor seating helped them stay afloat, but now they’re welcoming back bigger crowds.

”It’s good to be back to more normal, I know it’s not over till it’s over, but it’s much better,” Ann Mowrey said.

During the past two years of the pandemic, Ann Mowrey said she didn’t get out much, but still supported local businesses like River Ridge Winery.

“Some of us were like we need them to stay open so we’re going to come and buy a case of wine,” Mowrey said.

River Ridge Winery owner, Rob Bullock said customers like Ann helped keep his doors open as he shifted his focus to online sales.

“It’s just a matter of adapting to the changes, adapting to a different world that we had, and we’ll see where it goes from here,” Bullock said.

As it warms up, he said business is heading in the right direction.

“We’ll keep running hard all the way through really late fall,” he said.

Over at The Riverhouse, owner Derek Wilson said nice weather also impacts his business.

“When you come here, you’re coming here for the atmosphere, for the river, for the scenery and the food too,” Wilson said.

Now Wilson’s breaking records.

“Last night, Saturday, was our biggest day that we’ve had since we opened up so things seem to be getting back to normal,” he said.

Both owners learned to navigate through rising food costs and other obstacles the pandemic caused, and now they’re looking forward to a better year for business.

“Support your local businesses, and go out and visit and get out and get active. Local businesses around southeast Missouri and southern Illinois are looking forward to people coming back out,” Bullock said.

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