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Make Me Wine closing due to supply chain issues

Keeping the shelves stocked has been a struggle for at least the last six months.

Make Me Wine interior.jpg
The inside of Make Me Wine has gone from full shelves to empty shelves thanks to supply chain issues. It's forced one local business owner to close up shop due to uncertainty in the future.
Contributed photo

WADENA — Supply chain issues have left shelves empty and brought one downtown Wadena business to make the difficult decision of closing shop.
Make Me Wine owner Kim Wendt said the business, which opened in 2019, will be open by appointment only for the month of May. She has struggled to get some of the basic items needed for wine and beer making for the last six months. Looking around the business it's clear the devastating effects the COVID-19 pandemic have had and continue to have on the supply chain.
"COVID really did screw things up for a lot of people," Wendt said in her nearly empty building on April 28.
Wendt first reached out to several loyal customers before going public with the news on April 26. She said leaving the business she worked to build has been made worse by the strong friendships she built over these last few years.
"I want to thank all of my loyal customers for your support over the last three years," Wendt wrote in a Facebook post. "I want you to know that this was not an easy decision, and if I knew what the future would hold, I would not be doing this, but there is just too much uncertainty."

The lack of supplies are plenty, but glass is a chief concern. That includes the glass carboys that wine is fermented in. It's pretty hard to make wine without this product. A lack of glass bottles is a global issue right now.
"You have to have those things in order to make wine," Wendt said.
She said the weeks of waiting for orders to come in became agonizing.
"When you don't have product, you have nothing to sell," Wendt said. "So I had to make the decision that I really did not want to make."
The biggest thing she's had to come to terms with was — she did not fail. She was building a successful business but lost access to the materials needed to go on.
"I hung in longer than some would have," Wendt said.
No one is really able to tell her why she's not getting what she needs. An article in USA TODAY dives into the global issue but doesn't nail it down to one missing link. Instead it's a mixture of labor force, transportation and shipping material shortages. Everyone is trying to get their hands on the glass and no one seems to know when the supply will return to normal.
"It is extremely hard to come in everyday and look at empty shelves," Wendt said in her final days with open hours.
She'll be selling what's left out of the business until June by appointment.

Make Me Wine.jpeg
The Wadena Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Committee including Renee Frethem (left) and Krista O’Dell (right) presented Kim Wendt, owner of Make Me Wine, her First Dollar Award, Tuesday, Oct. 20. Make Me Wine is located at 215 S. Jefferson St.
Contributed photo

Wendt plans to continue to make wine as a hobby and she has secured another job, so she does have some things she's looking forward to.
Make Me Wine opened in Wadena in October 2019 in what was formerly the Rex McDonald Studio. The business was previously in New York Mills after it's location burned down in December 2018 in Perham. It was completely destroyed alongside the next door business Suds Bar & Grill.
Those looking to buy remaining supplies, including an abundance of buckets, or shelving should reach out to Wendt at 218-841-8091.

Rex Studio moves to a home studio, making room new business Make Me Wine.

Related Topics: BREWERIESWADENA
Michael Johnson is the news editor for Agweek. He lives in the city of Verndale, Minn., but is bent on making it as country as he can until he returns once more to the farm living he enjoys. Also living the dream are his two children and wife.
You can reach Michael at mjohnson@agweek.com or 218-640-2312.
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