SOUTH ABINGTON TWP. — Ever since Ron and Melissa Liput, of Clarks Summit purchased the former Village Grocery property at 800 Morgan Hwy. in August 2014 and re-opened it as Summit Market and Deli, they have been adding small improvements that help set the business apart.
But their latest addition takes things to a whole new level: wine.
According to Ron Liput, the market is one of the first businesses of its kind in the state to offer wine under PA Act 39. The legislation, signed by Gov. Tom Wolf in June, allows licensed restaurants, bars, grocery stores and delis to sell up to four bottles of wine per customer.
As of last week, the business features a variety of wines from well-known national wholesalers, as well as a local perspective, including Nimble Hill Vineyard and Winery in Tunkhannock and Fred Magnotta, who imports from Italy, Austria and South America. Liput said he hopes to add even more local selections in the near future. He is also seeking input from his customers about what they would like to see on the shelves.
“We have fine wines, all price ranges,” he said. “And whatever the customer wants, we’ll bring it in for them.”
For those who prefer to sample before buying, the store is hosting twice-monthly wine tasting events with appetizers. Admission is free and the tastings are held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. the first and third Friday of each month. Liput said he received a great response from the customers who attended the first tasting, which kicked off Oct. 7, and he looks forward to the next, scheduled for Oct. 21.
The business owner said not only does offering wine help the store gain new customers, but it also gives the regulars another reason to keep coming back.
“With the type of store we are – a lot of fresh food, a lot of sandwiches – to me, it’s going to compliment our existing customers,” he said.
Some of the business’ other unique features and offerings include counters in front of the windows where customers can sit and eat a sandwich from the deli or drink a cup of coffee while reading the paper, re-heatable entrees “to go” from Bazil restaurant and a large selection of craft beers. Liput said he also plans to soon bring in a chef to make even more entrees, which will be available for takeout.
More information about the business can be found online at summitmarketanddeli.com.