Vanessa Wong opens wine company Wahine and Fish & Whistle Market in Ventnor on July 1

In 2016, Vanessa Wong opened Fishtown Social, 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 to Wahine Wine Company and Fish & Whistle Market. 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. “It’s also no secret that operating under the umbrella of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board makes it incredibly difficult to accomplish what I originally set out to do in Fishtown, which is to make good wine available and accessible. to all. So a location on the Jersey Shore where there isn’t a state-run retail liquor system, that’s a total no-brainer. There’s so much more wine available at a much lower cost.I just need to find the time to taste everything.

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 that 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.

“Wahine is often used as a term for a female surfer,” Wong said. “I have two little girls of my own who love the ocean and have taken to surfing fearlessly. They are brave, courageous and beautiful inside and out, and as a mother, I hopes to show 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 fancy certifications, and naively, no fear. Fast forward six years and I’m starting all over again. The first time was for me. This time it’s for my wahines.

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. “I’m only one, 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 most benefit to the commercial corridor. The addition of a concept food market 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 surrounding areas, which is good for everyone.

Fishtown Social Bar & Wine Shop, located at 1525 Frankford Avenue, is open seven days a week. Learn more at http://fishtownsocial.com. Learn more about Wahine Wine Company at http://wahinewine.com, and learn more about Fish & Whistle Market at http://fishwhistlemarket.com.

Shirley M. Pinder