"Businesses of Broome" sits down with Barry Manville, owner of Southbridge Wines & Spirits and first member of Be Local Broome
Barry Manville, owner of Southbridge Wines & Spirits
Winter Clark | February 26, 2019
Earlier this week, I met with Barry Manville, owner of Southbridge Wines & Spirits and first member of Be Local Broome, to talk about his experiences as a local business owner in Binghamton. This interview has been edited for clarity.
Winter Clark: So, Terry — who initially connected Southbridge Wines with Be Local Broome — told me you had a bit of an interesting story as to how you got here. You haven’t always been doing this, right?
Barry Manville: Yes and no. I’ve managed a handful of restaurants. I ran two wine and spirits stores down in the Baltimore area that were both very successful. When we came back to New York in 2006, I jumped on board with a distributor and I was a sales rep for almost 5 years. Then I took a job with a supplier, as a district manager. I ran New York State for the 4th largest wine company in our country.
Towards the end of that 5 years with the supplier, I had some trouble with concussions. First, I wrecked on my mountain bike. I was also coaching little league and I got hit in the temple with a baseball bat. Those two concussions were very close together, within a few months of each other. Plus, I had multiple concussions through athletics and different events in my childhood. The doctors described them as “cumulative,” and I really wasn’t getting over those 2 concussions. So, my doctors recommended that I get a job where I wasn’t traveling, wasn’t in a hotel four or five nights a week, wasn’t always staring at a computer screen, or staring at a windshield and traveling all over.
Now, twelve years ago, I used to be the sales rep at this account. I always told the owner, “Hey, I’m always looking to get my own store. If you ever think about selling, give me a call.” I was off the street for eight, almost nine months, on medical leave for my concussions when, one day, the woman who owned this store called me and said, “Hey, I have some family stuff going on, and I need to sell the store so I can focus on that.”
We had lunch a couple days later, and here we are. I know that’s a long answer, but that’s really how it came about. And in taking over the store, I didn’t want to just buy the store. I felt Binghamton needed a wine shop with a kind of a hand-crafted, artisan feel to it, not just another liquor store.