Since its opening in the fall of 2013, Emanar Cellars has seen an increase in sales drastic enough to prompt owners, Richard and Mar Meyerhoefer, to expand in two phases.
This popular Spanish wine and tapas bar – located in a store front at the entrance of the live-work concept of Battle Ground Village – began as a retail shop and tasting room only but the Meyerhoefers had bigger plans from day one. As soon as they rolled out their authentic tapas menu in May of 2014, sales shot up 92 percent over the next six months. In the first quarter of this year that number has settled at 11 percent which they feel is largely due to maxing out on space.
Richard said “We’ve had several people drive by and later say they can’t get in so they don’t stay.”
Those increasing conversations were the catalyst for recently expanding their outdoor seating from nine to 36 – just in time for the summer months. Concrete has been poured and tables and chairs are ready to welcome customers as other final touches—including sliding glass panels to open up the north and east-facing walls – continue to be added to make the space more cohesive.
With sustainable growth at the center of every business decision, the Meyerhoefers purchased the unit next to them and plan to focus their energies on incorporating another 500 square feet of indoor space in the fall which translates to a 20 to 24-seat gain and will also add a second ADA-compliant restroom. Mar described the new entrance as an eight foot breezeway with dedicated space for their growing wine-focused gift shop which features ceramics from Spain and area artisan products, as well.
Arguably part of the business success that Emanar is enjoying is the authenticity the owners bring to their customers. Mar is a native of Madrid and, through their travels and dedicated research, she and Richard provide not just a night out but a true experience to everyone who ventures in. They present maps of Spain as people taste through their extensive selection of wines, pointing out the regions each bottle hails from and interesting background information such as climate and local foods.
This dedication to personalization has not gone unnoticed in 2015. Back in February, it was announced that they earned an anonymous nomination for the Battle Ground Chamber of Commerce 2014 Business of the Year and, ultimately, became one of the top three finalists.
One month later they were surprised by their wine representative, Brian Panush, via their wine distributor, American Northwest, with a complimentary trip to Spain.
“They (American Northwest) felt we had such a lot to do with why they won that they treated us as a thank you for buying so much wine from them,” Mar said.
Richard added that of the 26 people hosted by Bodegas Aragonesas near Zaragoza, 24 of them were distributors.
“It was an honor being the only customers there with that group of people,” Richard said. “We were treated like kings and queens.
This extra first-hand knowledge will come in handy in September when they escort 16 customers on a 10-night Spain trip hitting Madrid, Haro and San Sebastian during Logroño’s famed Rioja Wine Harvest Festival.
Mar said “We’ve become good friends with a lot of our customers. We don’t feel like we’re going on a tour. We feel like we’re going with a group of friends.”
Emanar Cellars is located at 1113 S.E. Rasmussen Blvd. in Battle Ground.