By Katie Demeria
MIDDLETOWN -- Every wine Timeless Wines sells has a stamp of approval from Mike Good. He has visited each vineyard himself, traveling to 13 countries since starting his business in 2006.
But Good and his wife Sylvia Good have finally decided to settle down, choosing the small town charm of Middletown as their permanent home. They will, though, start traveling again eventually.
The Goods opened the business's first retail shop last weekend. Their opening day was during the Route 11 Yard Crawl. Mike Good said the store, which is a showroom attached to the couple's home, was packed.
"It was filled with people, wall-to-wall," he said.
"But it worked out well," Sylvia Good added. "It became a social spot."
After years of traveling to various countries, including South Africa, France, New Zealand, Italy and Australia, Mike Good said the perfect home was finally put on the market at 8043 Main Street. They could not pass up the opportunity.
Previously, Timeless Wines operated solely as an online store at http://www.timelesswines.com. Mike Good had a warehouse outside of Stephens City, he said, where he stored the wines he imported after visiting the international vineyards.
The business has done very well, he said. Right now, it has 42,000 likes on its Facebook page.
"Most retail shops want to get to an online status," Sylvia Good said. "We started with that. So this is a good direction for us. We're saying, we did the online part, we were successful with that, now we're going to try this."
Mike Good said Timeless Wines has been so successful because he reaches out to his customers, emailing them regularly with personalized stories about trips to various countries.
The traveling, the Goods pointed out, is not always as glamorous as one may think.
Most trips last about a week and a half, but during his first trip in 2006, Mike Good went to France for 2 1/2 weeks, testing between 600 and 700 wines. He visited around eight or nine wineries a day.
"It was called the death march," he said.
The property in Middletown came complete with a warehouse, so they can showcase a limited selection of wines in the store while having more easily available when needed.
"There really is no one else around here like us," Sylvia Good said.
While many wine stores in the area focus on local Virginia wines, the Goods provide the customer with tastes from all around the world. Many of the prices are reasonable, in the $10 to $20 range.
"We have a lot of expensive ones, as well," Mike Good said. "One of my favorites is from Italy. It's about $98 a bottle."
He began selling craft beers when they opened the physical location, which have been very popular so far, he said. They also offer specialty items like animal jerky, ranging from ostrich to kangaroo.
Mike Good has tried all the cheeses he sells at the shop himself, as well. They, too, are all imported from foreign countries, including France, England and Italy.
The store, he pointed out, gives customers in the area options that would not otherwise be available to them.
"There's a broader spectrum of wine out there than what's available here in the valley," he said.
Contact staff writer Katie Demeria at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or firstname.lastname@example.org