Photo: Art’s Specialities on Trapelo Road.
In the past year-and-a-half, those seeking a beer and wine license could expect coming before the Board of Selectmen multiple times, spending a great deal of time discussing business plans and legal matters.
So it was something of a nice surprise when the owners of Art’s Specialities, the food market on Trapelo Road whose focus is cheese and olive oil, spent just under 10 minutes before the Selectmen before walking out with the coveted license.
In fact, the entire process was fairly painless.
“We are elated,” said co-owner Jen Bonislawski, who is married to her business partner, Artur Nergaryan. “It could not have gone better than it did.”
The Watertown couple’s store, at 369 Trapelo Rd. near the corner of Beech Street, appeared to be the prototype of what the selectmen were looking for in an applicant for the limited number of beer and wine licenses the town has to dole out.
With its open and bright retail space, the store sells a variety of specialty foods reflecting an upscale market, which its shelves filled with a wide array of cheeses, olive oils, balsamic vinegars, herbs, meats as well as loose seeds, tea and nuts. The operation also won over the board by informing them they do not, nor will sell, lottery tickets or tobacco products.
Once the couple presented their plan to use the license to complement its food operation using less than a fifth of its space to sell selected wines and craft beer as well as overwhelming neighborhood support, the selectmen saw little reason not to issue the license.
“I’m so happy,” said Nergaryan after their presentation. “We got so much support from our customers. They took time from their work and they said such good things about our store.”