Spotted Dog Winery Leaving Downtown for Woodland Drive Location

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 08/29/2012 - 23:39

With distribution deals with major grocers the Spotted Winery is producing 3,000 cases of wine each year and growing.

The signature doggie dish is leaving Michigan Avenue in Downtown Saline.

The owners of Spotted Dog Winery announced plans to move operations to 1100 Woodland Dr in Saline by the beginning of October. The new facility will be approximately two miles from current location at 108 E. Michigan Ave. 

For Spotted Dog, the move to the 6,000-square foot facility will help to enhance the brand as a whole, according to owner John Olsen. In the past 18 months Spotted Dog has grown their wholesale list to over 80 customers.

“We outgrew our space and wanted to find a building we could purchase,” said Olsen, who opened the winery with his wife, Jill, in 2003.

The new home will create a new experience for the customers and consolidate operations to provide more space for production needed to support the growing company, according to Olsen.

Olsen has seen the Spotted Dog Winery brand grow gradually over time. In recent years, Spotted Dog wines are finding their way on to the shelves at major grocers like Meijer and Busch’s. The small operation has been producing 3,000 cases of wine a year from its downtown Saline location, and Olsen expects that number to rise.

“Basically, we’re going to be the same thing at the new location, but on a bigger scale,” Olsen said. “People like the Spotted Dog concept.They like the wine. They like the dogs. And they like the labels. They can sense we’re having fun making wine.”

As business grows, Olsen will stay focused on staying small enough to keep the “personal touch.”

“There’s a little bit of us in every bottle we send out. We don’t want to get so large that we lose that,” Olsen said.

For now, the business is Olsen, a full-time employee and help from family.

Since 2003 Spotted Dog Winery has been producing wines in downtown Saline. Olsen, co-founder of the Saline Downtown Merchants Association, said it was difficult to leave downtown.

“I put a lot of heart and soul into downtown Saline and we helped put together festivals and shows that hopefully have a lasting effect on Saline. The hardest part of making this decision was the decision to leave downtown,” Olsen said."We've had the building for a couple years now and would have pulled the trigger on the move sooner but it was hard leaving downtown."

Cindy Czubko, chair of the Saline Main Street board, said news of the Spotted Dog’s move was bittersweet.

“It is bittersweet because we need to celebrate their success, and maybe their downtown location played a role in that. However, we are losing a wonderful business in downtown Saline and we appreciate all hard work John and the Spotted Dog family put in for the good of downtown Saline,” Czubko said.

Czubko said that some lucky business owner will snatch up the downtown location and take advantage of all downtown Saline has to offer soon after Spotted Dog Winery moves.

Spotted Dog is an urban winery, which means the business is not attached to a specific vineyard. This enables the winery to source wine grapes from any appellation in the world, giving the wine maker the ability to produce a broad selection of wines. At the 3rd Annual Great Lakes Wine Festival held in May of 2012 at the Michigan International Speedway, attendees voted Spotted Dog Winery the number one winery.

For more on the Spotted Dog Winery, vist the website or like Spotted Dog on Facebook.

Tran Longmoore's picture
Tran Longmoore
Tran Longmoore is a veteran community journalist. He is founder and owner of TheSalinePost.com. He is co-publisher of The Saline Post weekly newspaper. Email him at [email protected] or call him at 734-272-6294.

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