Vanessa Wong Opens Wahine Wine Business and Fish & Whistle Market in Ventnor


originally published: 06/22/2022

(VENTNOR, NJ) — In 2016, Vanessa Wong opened Fishtown Social Network, a wildly successful natural wine store and bar in a sprawling growing and developing Philadelphia neighborhood. Now she’s building on that success and looking to the Jersey Shore for her next two ventures.

On Friday, July 1, Wong will open the doors of Wahine Wine Company and Fish market and whistles. The two new businesses will be located next to each other in a newly constructed building at 101 N. Dorset Avenue, near the foot of the Dorset Avenue Bridge in Ventnor, NJ. Wahine Wine Company will be similar to Fishtown Social, with shelves stocked with natural wines, while also offering craft spirits and beers thanks to New Jersey’s liquor laws. Fish & Whistle Market will be a gourmet market focused on bringing regional and made-in-Philadelphia brands, including everything from cheese and deli meats to freshly prepared foods, produce and groceries. The market will also partner with a number of local and Philadelphia-based small businesses to host pop-ups and tastings throughout the year.

“Anyone who knows me knows that I love the beach. The ocean is and always has been my happy place, my respite,” Wong said. of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board makes it incredibly difficult to accomplish what I originally set out to do in Fishtown, which was to make good wine available and accessible to everyone. There’s no state-run retail liquor system is a given. There’s so much more wine available at a much lower cost. I just need to find the time to taste it all.

Vanessa Wong Opens Wahine Wine Business and Fish & Whistle Market in Ventnor

As a business owner and natural wine expert, Wong said she wants her customers to feel good about what they’re drinking on the shore. His new store will feature bottles, cans, boxes and bags of natural, organic and biodynamic wines that you won’t find anywhere else (besides Fishtown Social, of course). The wines Wong will provide are crafted with care, with minimal intervention and no additives. The shop and market will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. six days a week, closed only on Tuesdays.

As for why she decided to name her store Wahine (“waa-hee-nee”) Wine Company, Wong said the inspiration came from her two daughters, ages 7 and 9.

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“Wahine is often used as a term for a female surfer,” Wong said. “I have two little wahines myself who love the ocean and took up surfing without fear. They are brave, courageous and beautiful inside and out, and as a mother, I hopes to embody courage, hard work, sacrifice and gratitude.Years ago, I chose to pursue what I love, so I dove into the male-dominated world of wine with no prior experience I had no whimsical certification, and naively, no fear. Fast forward six years and here I am again. The first time was for me. This time it’s for my wahines.

Vanessa Wong Opens Wahine Wine Business and Fish & Whistle Market in Ventnor

Owner Vanessa Wong and her two daughters. Photo by Mike Prince

As for the market, Wong said opening a market in addition to the wine store was not an easy decision, but it boiled down to what made the most sense from one point of view. commercial. “There is only one me, and not enough hours in the day. As I did when I created the Fishtown Social concept, I asked myself what was missing from the neighborhood and what would benefit the commercial corridor the most. The addition of a gourmet market concept to complement Wahine Wine Company is something unique that does not exist on the island. My goal is to generate even more energy for Ventnor and its surroundings, which is good for everyone.

Fishtown social bar and wine shoplocated at 1525 Frankford Avenue in Philadelphia, is open seven days a week.

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Shirley M. Pinder