The interviewer wasn’t sure he heard Catherine Sexton right.
So he asked again: “You know 80 percent of the customers here?”
The young server at Wine Down on Main shook her head: yes. And not just by sight, but by name, too. And that’s on any given night.
In a way, that’s as it should be.
After all, Sexton has lived here for 24 years and doesn’t seem to know many strangers.
“There are couples that come in and I used to babysit their kids,” she said.
Old friends she grew up with drop in.
And that’s on top of regulars she’s come to know.
“People don’t just come into Wine Down for food and drinks, they come back for the relationships we’ve built with them,” she said.
Many she’s known from her time working at Dugans or the Riverside Bar, among other local spots.
From her teenage years to today she’s “always had a part-time job in the service industry.”
But it wasn’t until she landed two years ago at Wine Down that Sexton found her true part time calling.
“I love the atmosphere, and I love the people who come in here. That is very attractive to me. It very, very rarely feels like work. It’s always a great time,” she said. “Our staff and regulars feel like extra family to me.”
Even so, Sexton had to learn on the fly about the art of recommending and serving fine wine to a discerning locals and out-of-towners.
“When I started there, I didn’t know anything about wine,” she said, but the COVID-19 pandemic gave her that chance to break in right away since the shop “was actually very busy.”
“Through the pandemic, I was there every day so I got a lot of hands on training. I learned a lot,” she said. “I very rarely pour someone a glass of wine they don’t like.”
She’s quick to credit owners Patti Andrews and Patty Fisk for showing her the wine ropes.
Wine Down is her dream part time job: “I don’t see myself being in the service industry unless it involves wine.”
Her personal favorite varietal: Tempranillo, a full bodied Spanish red.
A middle child among nine siblings, Sexton works full time at First Victory Construction and Development. When she’s not at her side gig hopping tables and hobnobbing with customers, you might spot her at a favorite music haunt, 185 King Street.
She’s kept a keen eye on what’s happening outside the wine biz.
Sexton has seen the local food and beverage scene take off.
“In our little four block radius (of downtown) we have 12 restaurants that are locally owned. I love that, and each menu is unique,” she said. “That’s incredible and that keeps Brevard very unique.”
Just like her.
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