Paul is the Stamford dad behind Wagon Wheel Wine & Spirits! Get to know him in this special Father’s Day Meet A Dad!
How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
I have two kids. My son Yanni is 12 and my daughter Alexandra is 9.
Tell us about your business.
My family and I have owned the Chimney Corners Shopping Center since 2000, which I also property manage. I bought Wagon Wheel Wine & Spirits in 2006.
What’s your favorite family activity in Stamford?
Picking different restaurants in downtown Stamford to go out to dinner as a family.
You’ve created a food truck venue in the Wagon Wheel parking lot that’s great for families! What’s your inspiration behind doing this?
I’m always looking to find ways to create new dynamics for my business and be more than just a wine and spirits store owner. I realized I was one of the few stores that didn’t have some kind of food establishment to accompany my business and the two go hand-in-hand. After considering a few ideas, I felt food trucks along with family size tables under antique lights on our property would be something that could work for me and the whole neighborhood. I really wanted to create something fun and different for the neighborhood and at the same time, diversify my business.
You also host great charity events. Tell us about some of the organizations you’ve worked with.
As a small business owner I always do my best not only to provide a good service, but also to do my part to contribute to causes that make an impact on others. I’m a regular sponsor of various events for Filling in the Blanks, which is a non-profit organization that raises money to provide weekend meals for kids in the area, who need them. I’ve also contributed to Hope in Motion through the Bennett Cancer Center in Stamford, through various events.
How do the food trucks and the charity events you participate in, help you connect with other families in the area?
On most days when we have food trucks vending, I see families I know all together enjoying family time. It’s really gratifying when people show their appreciation to me because it makes me feel like I’m really providing something fun! The charity events have a similar effect which is not only to contribute to things that are bigger than me, but also to connect with the wonderful people who are involved.
What do you hope families get out of these events?
My hope is that they have fun, appreciate every day they have together as a family and inspire others to do the same.
What do you hope events like these teach your children?
I hope it teaches them to really appreciate every moment and be the best person they can be, no matter what walk of life they choose.
What’s the best piece of “dad advice” you have for other dads?
That’s the toughest question, still trying to figure that one out for myself… ha! Just be good at it!