Hip-hop, high temperatures, street art, traffic: Atlanta is known for many things. But historically, its wine scene hasn’t been one of them. Sarah Pierre, owner of 3 Parks Wine Shop since 2013, is looking to change that.
The shop — located between Grant, Glenwood, and Ormewood Parks (hence its name) — is small but mighty. Its main goal? To make wine accessible for everyone. “I always say, it’s really important to meet people where they are,” Pierre says.
When she first began her journey into wine, she often felt uncomfortable at bottle shops due to her lack of knowledge and experience. “When opening 3 Parks, it was really important to have a store that every single person felt comfortable in and wanted to come back to,” she says.
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To make sure that happens, 3 Parks is staffed with knowledgeable and friendly folks who are cost-conscious. “When someone comes in, the first thing we ask them is what price point they want to stay in,” she says, explaining that many wine newcomers are intimidated by premium recommendations. This simple question ensures that each person who walks into Pierre’s shop walks out happy.
Ingratiating itself into the local community is central to 3 Parks’ mission. Pierre, who graduated with a criminal justice degree and is herself an involved social activist, supports several local organizations — sitting on philanthropic boards and donating much of the wine shop’s profits. “As a business, the only reason we have success is because of the people around us,’” she says.
To give back, Pierre donates to local schools and parks, and is active on the boards of Wholesome Wave — which fights food insecurity — and the Grant Park Conservancy. “Gluttony is part of our industry, but there’s so many people with no food to eat,” she says. “And there’s so many people who don’t have access to parks, which are like the lungs of a city.”
Serving not only as an educational hub for wine beginners but also as a “third space” in the neighborhood, 3 Parks hosts events and tastings as well as filling orders for local weddings, birthdays, and more. “Customers come in all the time and see their neighbors and their friends, and that’s really special,” Pierre says.
Step into 3 Parks, and you’ll see why. The plant-filled store is a calming space, and its selection includes everything from tried-and-true classics from around the world to bright natural wines with eye-catching labels, locally made RTDs, non-alcoholic beverages, and more. Pierre says her goal is to ensure every person who walks through her doors — regardless of how they feel when they arrive — leaves in high spirits, with something they’ll love.
It’s only a matter of time until Atlanta’s wine scene receives the acclaim it deserves. But until then, Pierre is more than content to continue serving the folks who have been supporting her shop since day one. “We are so rooted here,” Pierre says. “We’re part of the community; we’re part of Atlanta.”
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