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Wine Factory A Dream come true

A dream come true...
‘Contemplating wine fi elds and memories of cookies and wine in the Good Week made me pursue my dream: opening my own wine store’.

Six years ago, Juan Almonacid, coowner of the ‘Wine Factory’ came to Curaçao. He was born in Colombia and grew up in Mexico. ‘I couldn’t picture myself staying there. Once I touched Curaçao soil, it felt so good I decided to stay’. The Curaçao market is growing and growing. The opening of the Wine
Factory took place on April 3rd 2008.

Your wine
The store has wines intended for hotels, restaurants and caterers that cannot be found elsewhere in supermarkets, and there is wine available for private use.

Wines are ranked by dry, sweet or fruity. The Factory has around 280 different wines. People can feel right at home here, they can roam around and go behind the cashier counter. They get to try and taste everything but it is not a restaurant. Some people enter the Factory for lunch thinking they will be
served. This is how cosy things are at the Factory.

People pass by after work to pick out a lovely wine for the evening. ‘I always say: the best wine is the wine you fi nd tasty. It doesn’t need to be an expensive wine’.

From business plan till opening
Together with his family Mr Juan Almonacid made a business plan and did some marketing research. Included in it were what will I earn and how will I introduce my products? Then began the search for an adequate location. Are you going to rent or are you going to build? If you choose to build, who will build it for you? The Wine Factory was built with the help of an architect friend. ’I really wanted stories for the wines, it is being divided by boxes now. I saw this in Europe and thought it was a brilliant idea’.
Through the Curaçao Chamber, Juan Almonacid gathered a lot of information: who are my competitors? How do I set-up a business and how much will I sell? They provide you with information and know exactly how many people live on the island, how many tourists there are and at what time of the year.

Obtaining a permit is a very tiring thing as you are dealing with the merry-goround of Government. More clarity and unanimity about duration and rules in obtaining a permit would solve a whole lot. If you knew so to speak that two lavatories are required in a kitchen it would already take away all the hassle
and hustle when they only inform you about this during inspection. On top of that came the fact that my permit was more diffi cult to obtain due to the fact that the Wine Factory also has a tasting spot. It eventually took a year until everything was settled in regards to this permit. During that time you are busy building up your business and you are compelled to change your approach in order to obtain this permit. That is the reason why each time your costs change.

I was happy to have a part-time job at the time, if not so, the waiting time for that permit would fi nancially be heavy on the heart. Make sure you have a precise budget and pay attention to your reopening budget, which is essential. The permit request takes a long time and you may not have an income. Make an early permit request. ‘I know now that you need a year in order to open up: from
business plan till opening date. Bare in mind that other unforeseen costs such as Aqualectra and petrol, can arise too’. ‘In my opinion, there should be more pressure on the Government for a better Curaçao. Enterpreneurship should be promoted more, because I believe in Curaçao and its people’ says Juan

The Wine Factory, Saliña.
Open daily from 10 am till 7 pm,
open at lunch. Closed on Sunday.