2006-06-01 / News

Jamestown Wine and Spirits expands hours for summer

By Michaela Kennedy

"We heard there was a store for sale in Jamestown, and I got very excited," said Varsha Patel. On May 1, Patel opened her new liquor store, Jamestown Wine and Spirits at 30 Southwest Ave., next to the video store. One change she has already made is expanding the hours for summer, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, Saturday 9 a.m. to 11p.m., and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Patel's husband, Ilesh, helps her with management of the new venture.

Patel noted that she is also expanding her product line, and offered to make special orders for customers if asked. "We are here to serve the customers' needs," she added.

Patel knows about taking care of customers, since her family background is business. Growing up in central India near Bombay, Patel helped her parents in the family business for many years. She came to the United States in 1983, and went on to get her degree in accounting from Rutdgers University. But the retail business world was her passion and area of expertise, and she has been in the business of owning a store for a long time. Patel ran a convenience store for about 13 years and then a liquor store for three years. "When we came to Rhode Island, we began our career in Johnston," she said.

When asked why she decided to open a business on Jamestown, Patel said that she always liked the island, and felt a connection here since the first time she visited years ago. "I dreamed to live here or do something in Jamestown," she remembered. When Patel first heard back in November of last year that Page's Wines and Spirits was for sale, she saw her chance to fulfill her dream. Patel took on full ownership in April and changed the name to Jamestown Wine and Spirits.

The Patels live with their three children, two boys and a girl, in Johnston. She remarked that she would love to move here, but with the oldest child already established in junior high school and

the two younger ones happy in middle school, "that's a big reason to consider where we live right now." Her biggest concern at the moment is the commute to the island with the summer traffic.

Patel noted that Rhode Island is a very friendly place, and she has enjoyed making it her home. She mentioned that they have enjoyed living in Johnston, but she is also looking forward to getting to know the island better. She added that she and her husband fell in love with the island and wanted to name the store after the town. "We are very excited being a part of Jamestown. We have received a very warm welcome here, and we want to give the best service to our customers."

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