A Sommelier’s Wine Market

Daniel Braun offers a unique selection of wines and accessories at Princeville Wine Market. Coco Zickos photo

Daniel Braun
Owner of Princeville Wine Market

Tell us about your business. I offer a unique selection of wines and accessories for both residents and visitors at Princeville Center on the North Shore. I pick wines that are a little bit off the beaten path – smaller production boutiques and allocated wines. I usually have some familiar labels as well, so people don’t feel lost. However, my strategy is to really find jewels and special wines for connoisseurs and people who want to try new things.

Why did you move your business from Kapa’a, where it was formerly known as Da Kine Wine, to the North Shore? The opportunity came up to change locations, and a lot of my customer base was already located on the North Shore. So it made sense to make the transition.

Where did you grow up and what school did you go to? I was born in Florida, but partially grew up on Kaua’i. I went to Island School and graduated from Kaua’i High School.

How did you get started in this business? I started working in hotels and restaurants. As I saw that wine was something that people didn’t really know about and wanted to learn more about, I saw that the more I learned about wine, the more valuable I became as an employee. I ended up working my way into a management position at a Hyatt in Florida, and worked with the Four Seasons on Maui as its buyer for a couple of years.

Why do you do what you do? Wine is part of living the good life. It’s also something that can be transcending. Your sense of smell is located right next to your sense of memory in your brain. So how you describe a wine and how you experience it are directly related to your life experience.

What sets your business apart? Me, and being the only wine store on island operated by a certified sommelier.

What motivates you to get up and go to work every day? I just do what I love to do.

Do you have a motto or philosophy for doing business? I want to be as green as possible. Considering I’m shipping things in from all over the world, I try to promote organic and biodynamic wines that are really stellar examples.

What’s the most challenging aspect of your business? Wine is a very low-margin product as far as retail. People don’t realize just how little it’s marked up, regardless of the price. It’s a business in which you must do a lot of volume in order to actually make a profit, and a lot of my work is involved with sourcing wines that people want.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your business? Not working for someone else. The other part is being able to drink and taste wonderful wines.

How do you measure success? Success is happiness and joy.

What are your plans for the future? I’d like to offer more items, more food products – just more of everything for people.

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing? I’d probably be doing nothing.

Princeville Wine Market
Open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.,
Monday through Saturday

826-0040 princevillewinemarket.com

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