The new owner of Rosetta Wines is Shermon Peters, who had a vision of opening a store where people could just browse and not be pressured; where they could, as he put it, "have a total love affair with the store" and its products.
"We're trying to bring people in, to provide them with a product that they are familiar with, and also new products that they're not familiar with," said Peters.
Rosetta Wines is expanding its California, European, and Greek selections so customers will have the opportunity to try new things. Selections more reflective of the neighborhood, such as Spanish and Italian, will also be expanded.
The inventory is frequently rotated to add variety to customers' palates.
"I think that mostly what we come for is a constant infusion of new wines, so that you don't get tired of the same," said Sandee Borgman, a Forest Hills resident who regularly stops in with her fiancé.
All in all, Peters indicated that Rosetta Wines is off to a good start. When tastings are done on weekends, nearly every bottle tasted is sold. Additionally, almost everyone that walks through the door purchases something.
Despite the scaling back of consumer spending that seems to be plaguing most businesses, figures indicate that Rosetta Wines has more customers than it did at the same time last year, although they are spending less on average.
Peters remains optimistic because he knows that people will purchase more once the economy picks up.
The biggest challenge Rosetta Wines faces is that the shopping center in which it is located is still fairly new, so many people don't know about Rosetta Wines. Peters is working on changing that.
Rosetta Wines can be found on the popular social networks Facebook and Twitter. It will soon start taking Internet orders nationally. Fliers and mailings will also be sent. Ultimately, however, Peters believes the most effective form of advertising is also the simplest.
"If you have customers that are so passionate about the store, they just talk about it online or they just tell everybody they know about the store," he said. "It's pretty much word-of-mouth. They may not come to the mall, but they come to this store."
Peters said that some deliveries are already being made to customers in Manhattan, but that his focus is on the immediate neighborhoods in Queens.
The success of the store may hinge on getting locals to frequent the store, but ultimately it's about maintaining a steady flow of traffic. On that front, things seem to be looking up for Rosetta Wines.
"Look how many people are there, tasting at the bar," said Borgman. "That's very encouraging, because I would like this store to stay."
Wine tastings at Rosetta Wines, 80-00 Cooper Avenue, are open to the public every weekend. Free wine classes will also soon be available.