In our upcoming celebration of two full years of Rootstock and Vine, we wanted to share a Q&A session with owners Anna and Sean. Whether they’re behind the bar mixing drinks, lending a hand to waitstaff to run dishes to tables, or interacting and engaging with customers, a deep, vibrant love for Rootstock can be felt when people walk through the door.
Prior to Rootstock and Vine, what is your background?
Anna & Sean: We were married young and raised our family here in Woodstock. We are both self-starters, love a challenge and have successfully started and operated several businesses in the Cobb and Cherokee communities.
What sparked your interest in wine/bourbon?
Anna: A love of cocktails! And wine, and beer, and… But in all seriousness, there is so much to explore when it comes to wine and bourbon. From studying the backstory of how each product came to fruition, to tasting and constantly being exposed to new flavors, varietals and regions in which the product is made. We love pairing these beverages with food, and of course sharing the experience with our friends and guests. The greatest part is that you don’t ever have to stop learning; we constantly create new variations and we will never know everything there is to know!
Sean: We’re also growing our reputation as not only a place for excellent wine, but also bourbon and whisky through our monthly tastings and pairing dinners. We’re different in that we bring in experts to educate and inspire our guests to learn more about the various types of wine, bourbon and whisky available.
What inspired you to bring Rootstock and Vine to Downtown Woodstock?
Anna: A true love of business and community. We are deeply invested in what Woodstock has to offer and where it will be in 2 to 5 years, and our desire was to be an integral part of the fascinating growth that is happening here. We wanted to add a venue that would enhance what was already present on Main Street.
Share more about your team. How do you build them up and work together to create the experience that is R&V?
Anna: The team at Rootstock and Vine is the heartbeat of our business. It’s incredible to observe them in the work environment; they genuinely love serving our community. They’re all deeply invested in providing an experience of excellence and we are often complimented on how well-informed they are on the product. Not to mention that we’ve received multiple referrals as the friendliest staff in town, which we believe stems from our constant encouragement of the teamwork mentality and the importance of attentiveness.
As owners, Sean and I continually encourage our staff to be the best version of themselves and follow their dreams; whether it’s to grow and thrive in this industry or somewhere else. We quickly become family with those who join the team, and are always available to listen if they need to talk, and jump in to assist if they need anything. It’s impossible not to want the best for them–they are special to us.
What are you most looking forward to in the coming months?
Anna: We’re very excited about expanding the footprint of the building, which will allow a larger kitchen for Chef AJ and our other staff and in turn, more food options! While we understand that the expansion may bring some growing pains, we will continue to pour our hearts and souls into providing an excellent experience and add to the overall enhancement of our community.
Sean: The building expansion will also provide a greater support system for the musical artists we bring in to Rootstock. Our goal is to provide a better venue to showcase the incredible local talent with an even broader Listening Room Series, a live music series we’ve been doing since we opened.
We’re also thrilled to announce our new Rootstock Prime Membership, which offers three amazing tiers of benefits for our wine-lover guests, including advance notice on ticketed wine events, wine and event discounts, to name a few!
What’s Your Favorite Thing About Downtown Woodstock? About the Woodstock community?
We love that Woodstock is a community with a small-town feel coupled with big-city plans.
This city offers ample opportunities to the members of the community to be involved and engaged with their fellow neighbors. One of the greatest feelings for me (Anna) is knowing the fellow business owners within Woodstock are genuinely supportive of us and want us to succeed. And we feel the same! In the past, we’ve partnered with Elm Street Cultural Arts and Reformation Brewery to create fun, engaging events for the public, and look forward to more partnerships in the future.
Rootstock’s tagline is “true to our roots.” What was your inspiration for this and how do you implement it within the community?
Anna & Sean: We want to let people know that fundraising efforts and giving back to the community are a huge part of Rootstock’s mission. It’s important to us that we support our neighbors in need and give back whenever possible. We’re proud supporters of local causes like Toasting Tanner and Cherokee Gives A ____ , and we also support our local schools, arts programs, and other organizations, including the River Ridge Golf Tournament, Elm Street Cultural Arts Program, the Woodstock Summer Concert Series, and being an investor with IN WDSTK. We’re also active members of the Woodstock Rotary Club, an organization that provides assistance to people in need both locally and globally.
Anna: The last two years have taught me more about our city than I could ever imagine…I feel so blessed to have my finger on the pulse of our town, to first-handedly witness all who make up this amazing community and what exciting plans are in store for us.
We’re looking forward to raising a glass to two years of Rootstock and Vine with the nice humans of Downtown Woodstock and beyond! Join us as we celebrate the whole week, starting September 24th and going through Saturday, September 28th, with a variety of menu specials, live music, commemorative wine glasses, and of course, a cake!