If you are a resident of Harlem or just visiting, I recommend visiting Pompette Wines & Spirits, Harlem’s new wine boutique located on 420 Lenox Avenue (between 131 street and Lenox Av). Pompette is one of the new hidden hot spots in Harlem for the young professional urbanite and wine aficionados. The wine selection ranges from different types of red and white wines to Rose, sparkling and dessert wines with very reasonable prices. The owner is a young black urbanite named Mozel Watson, a resident of Harlem, NYC who has been in the wine industry for 9 years. He is a 27 year old entrepreneur with a welcoming smile and a passion for success. I had the pleasure of visiting his store a few times on the weekends, and during those times I was satisfied with the professional courtesy and detailed customer service displayed by Mozel and his staff. And so I decided to interview him and blog about the establishment and hopefully inform you the reader, about Pompette.
Can you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?
My name is Mozel Watson, and I am 27 years old. I have lived in Harlem for most of my life. I am a fun, optimistic individual to be around with. I worked in the wine industry for 9 years before deciding to start my own business.
What inspired you to start your wine business?
I worked in six different wine stores throughout NYC, after working for various owners; I decided I can actually do this for my self. So, I reached out and got a business partner who supported my dream and backed it.
How did you come up with the name Pompette?
The name was created by my business partner’s son JT. We were brainstorming about specific names to give the business and couldn’t come up with any name that was good enough, so by chance he came up with the name Pompette, which means (Tipsy) in French.
What were the challenges you faced, when starting the business?
The number one challenge was getting the location approved by the community board. And the other one was getting the state liquor authority to approve my liquor license.
Other challenges we still face are how to adapt to the unpredictable behavior of our customers and how to get more people to notice us. There are some days that are slow and some days that are fast with a high turnover rate of customers coming into our shop. As an entrepreneur, you have to adapt with the impulsive changes from customers. When we started, it was tough getting our name out there, but thanks to social media like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter we have ameliorated that challenge. And we have created a mailing list so we can mail our flyers and coupons to our customers.
What were your biggest movers this summer out of your inventory?
Rose was our biggest summer mover. Even though the summer is almost over, Rose is still good for the winter, especially during Thanksgiving. And we plan on keeping some of it on our shelf for the winter.
Can you inform the audience about your schedule for wine tasting?
Our schedule for wine and liquor tastings are Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 6pm to 8pm.
How are you able to balance your personal life and work life?
My girlfriend, Katchelsa keeps me focused and grounded. No fun times for me, it’s all work.