ENTERPRISE, OREGON__A new business celebrated its grand opening in Historic Downtown Enterprise last week, with a solid welcome provided by area residents. Dandelion Wines, 112 West Main Street, is the latest venture by entrepreneurs Jody and Michael Berry. I asked the couple for more information on their background and why they chose to locate their businesses in Enterprise.
“We relocated to Enterprise from Rickreall in 2012,” said Jody. “I have been coming here since I was a kid.” Jody’s aunt and uncle live in Baker and her folks came to the area to hunt elk. She was also a river guide on the Grande Ronde.
“Wallowa County has been in my heart for over 40 years, Jody continues. “Michael’s Mom grew up in Hermiston. When we realized that we had outgrown our farm in Rickreall and we were going to relocate, we starting looking all over the state. We knew that we wanted to stay in Oregon, wanted a small town, a mountain climate, and something more remote.
“We moved to Enterprise because it seemed to say yes to everything we were seeking. But mostly, we moved here because we wanted to be here. We packed up our farm and our other business, Wild Carrot Herbals and we moved here not knowing a soul and trusting that we had made the right decision. Our daughter Ginger was about to start kindergarten too and we felt that the timing was right to make such a big change.”
The Berrys bought the old Enterpriser Building on Main Street. It comprises 3 storefronts and was the Enterpriser Mercantile, an IGA grocery, and a jewelry store. They now manufacture over 100 different skin care products (and give tours) on one side, sell their products and other regional products as well as ship out from another side, and now have the wine shop, Dandelion Wines, in the third.
“Michael and I both have been involved in wine world for years,” said Jody. “Over the past year, we have been renovating this store front, thinking someone else would lease it. Gradually we fell in love with this 10 feet wide by 110 feet long space. We fell in love with the newly re-finished fir floors. The skylight and all the natural light seduced us. It seemed to call for delicious beverages. Dandelion Wines was born.
“Our goal is to offer wine, craft beer, hard cider, specialty non-alcoholic beverages, and aperitifs not currently available in our little corner of the state. We offer tastings of several different wines each day, and will have events and classes about wine.”
Jody reports the response to the Grand Opening Thursday evening was overwhelming.
“That is one of the many things I adore about our community,” she said. “Folks show up and they have no problem getting excited.”