With a leap of faith and a desire to not only provide for his family, long time resident of the Prospect-Lefferts Gardens community, Mark Schwartz, opened Little Mo Wine & Spirits in November 2015. His goal being to offer a different experience to his community when it comes to buying wine and liquor, unlike liquor stores of recent that serve this neighborhood, you really had to know exactly what you wanted when you walked into the store because you were often served from behind a wall of bulletproof glass and unable to approach the shelves to explore their contents.
It’s been almost sixteen weeks since he opened Little Mo Wine & Spirits located at 1125 Nostrand Avenue. Earlier this month we stopped by for a visit to chat with Mark about how things are going since he opened. On this particular night, the shop was hosting one of their regular Friday night tastings. Afrohead Premium Aged Dark Rum from Trinidad was the featured drink. During our time there, a steady stream of customers came into the store to try the rum or to pick up a bottle of wine or liquor. Mark greeted them with warmth and in some cases a familiarity from previous visits. His approach when asked for a suggestion about what to buy is to ask what are you looking for. Their answer could mean they just want something to sit back and drink or they want to pair it with a certain type of food. Over time Mark has noticed that many of his customers are looking for something to go with their takeout food, which is a big part of his customer demographic. This is why he created a pairing wall that is drawn out on the entire back wall of the store. The pairing wall is basically a huge blackboard from floor to ceiling that looks a little like a gigantic schematic drawing. There are names of neighborhood restaurants and take out places written in white chalk with lines that intersect across the board referencing various wines that could complement the food his customers might want to eat. The restaurants on the pairing wall are as diverse and varied as the people in this mostly Caribbean neighborhood as well as new types of cuisine being introduced to the area.
In this audio interview, Mark shares with us what led him to open his boutique wine & spirit shop and what he has planned for the future.
For more information about weekly tasting events visit, http://www.littlemowine.com