ODESSA, Texas (KMID/KPEJ)- Kris Boen and his wife, Kira, bought Homemade Wines in 2020 with high hopes for the business, as well as expansion; the couple opened a new location last December in downtown Odessa, branching out from their JBS Parkway location, but the expansion came with its own set of hiccups.
In a Facebook post last weekend, the Boens announced they would be closing the JBS location after seeing an 83% decline in sales.
“We want to reassure you that this decision was not made lightly. It was born out of necessity and a genuine desire to continue providing you with the exceptional wine and experiences you have come to love and expect from us,” the couple said after receiving surprising backlash to the announcement.
It seems that some will miss the cozy confines of the JBS location; however, the couple said they have big plans for the downtown store and hope their customers will embrace their vision.
“We were so excited to open our second location in downtown Odessa and intentionally designed it opposite of the intimate and cozy atmosphere of the Parkway location. The layout was meticulously crafted, drawing inspiration from the open concept California tasting rooms we visited, to create a unique, inviting, and comfortable space in which Odessans could gather in large and small groups,” the couple said.
In fact, Kris said the downtown location can host about 220 patrons at once, as opposed to the 64 person accommodations of the JBS location. He said the aim was to create a “spacious” and “airy” venue; and they accomplished just that- it’s a location that has hosted multiple events in recent months, including live music, murder mystery night, trivia night, and more. The location also has a bistro attached and offers a full lunch and dinner menu.
Apart from the cool and spacious location, Kris and Kira offer a unique product unlike anyone else in the Basin; they are the only winemakers in the area and they have some delicious ideas in store.
“There’s a lot of potential,” Kris said. “It’s been amazing to watch it grow. We offer 90 different flavors…we are trying to bring new flavors to the Permian Basin.”
Among the new flavors and ideas is a line of ciders.
“We have a whole line coming soon,” Kris said.
Last week, the couple released the first cider flavor: Strawberry Pear.
Kris said the cider line is named Janus after the ancient Roman God of new beginnings; it’s available now in limited quantities.
You’ll also find festive fall flavors, like Pumpkin Spice Moscato.
Additionally, the couple offers some incredible gift options for holidays, including heart or Christmas tree shaped bottles, custom labels for gift giving, and for Halloween, casket shaped gift baskets that you have to see to believe.
“I think that that’s one of the things that sets us apart from other winemakers,” Kris said. “We love to give gifts, so we like to be able to provide things for other people to give as gifts as well.”
If you haven’t seen the downtown location at 400 N Texas Avenue, Kris and Kira said they hope you’ll embrace the venture. You’ll find all the locally made wine, cider, treats, and more Monday through Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
How the wine is made:
If you’ve ever wondered how Kris and Kira make their wine, with nary a grapevine in sight around the Basin, Kris shared a little of the process.
“We ship in the grape must from all over the world, which looks like big bags of Welch’s Grape Juice. Then we put it in the fermenters, we ferment them, blend the grapes, and we add flavoring,” he said.
If you’d like to know more about upcoming events at the downtown location, or keep up with seasonal flavor releases, follow this Facebook page for all the delicious details.