Couple creates, bottles and labels own wine at Chandler's Down Time Wines
Colleen Kaspar did not know when she met her future husband that years later she would be running a store in Chandler selling their own hand-crafted bottles of wine.
Basil Kaspar was making wine before he met Colleen, and after they married she said her kitchen turned into his wine workshop. It was then they knew they wanted to make a business out of Basil's hobby.
Down Time Wines opened in November 2016. The small shop in Chandler offers dozens of handcrafted wines—everything from the wine itself to the label being put together by Colleen and Basil—wine-themed gifts and quick bites.
"We had a boat out at Canyon Lake and we named it 'Down Time,' and that's how we came up with the name and our tagline, 'You deserve it,'" Colleen said, the name of the business an ode to the boat they loved.
One of the walls in Down Time Wines is covered by a mural of Canyon Lake and the wine bottles themselves are labeled with the same image of Canyon Lake in the background. It is just one of many touches that Colleen says makes her customers feel welcomed and like they are at home.
"Making our customers feel like family when they walk in and like a proud member of Down Time Wines is our goal every time someone comes in,"Colleen said.
And the business is a family affair. Colleen and Basil are there every day, along with Colleen's sister who also works at the shop.
"It's fun, I love getting to come to work every day," Colleen said. "There is something so satisfying about turning the key in the lock of your own business."
The store is known best for its smooth coffee wine, its blackberry merlot and peach chardonnay, Colleen said. All the wines in the store are low in sulfites, reducing the headache response some people get from drinking wine, she said.
"We are really a one-stop-shop," Colleen said. "You can get a gift, a bottle of wine, a glass of wine and a sandwich and even host events here."
Collen said that the business stays busy, but quiet with loyal regulars coming in and out throughout the week.
"I like the quiet, but someday I really hope to get a crowd in here," Colleen said.