The Wine Merchant

By Malia Durbano


Eric Allen and Lesley Ponce needed some expert advice as situations in their business changed. They were moving from their location next door to Nature’s Oasis to their current location, next to the VFW at 1514 Main Avenue in Durango. Ponce who had been employed by The Wine Merchant for 10 years, would become a partner after the move.
Allen explains, “I had some questions about how to structure a lease. I wondered what was typical and what other ways there are to do things. I also had some marketing questions for Joe Keck. I had some good ideas but I wanted to bounce them off of an expert.”They consulted with Advisor Terryl Peterson regarding structuring the partnership agreement and analyzing the financials. Ponce said, “I wanted Peterson’s advice on what to look for in the financial records to make sure everything was balanced and that there would be a smooth transition.”

Peterson also helped Ponce understand the nuts and bolts of running a business. “I wanted to feel confident reading the financial reports, filing sales tax, understanding Profit and Loss statements, overhead, cash flow and profit margins.” Ponce has over 25 years of experience in the wine industry and had worked for wineries, made wine and was a sommelier, but “running a retail establishment is different.”

Peterson also put Ponce in touch with Region 9 to secure financing to buy into the business. Ponce also took classes in Quick Books.

Allen is grateful for the expert advice they received in areas we were not familiar with. “We’re wine people. They have the expertise in all areas of business and are a great resource to have in the community.”

Ponce is also very appreciative of the knowledge she gained from Terryl Peterson and “I can’t wait to learn more.”

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