Downtown Spirits, a leading beer, wine and spirits retailer based in Seattle, today announced it is in the process of purchasing a 100% ownership stake in Esquin Wine & Spirits (Esquin).
Founded in 1969 by Rand Sealey, and presently operated by Chuck LeFevre and daughters Stephanie Burkhart and Alisha Gosline, Esquin is Washington state’s oldest independent wine merchant.
The acquisition will expand Downtown Spirits’ wine assortment and centralize its delivery operations, the company says.
In addition to bringing an increased focus on Seattle’s cocktail culture scene, Downtown Spirits had previously expanded its offering to include more than 2,000 fine wines and beers, including wine offerings through its membership in the Wine and Spirits Guild of America, a national association of wine and spirits retailers.
Once this transaction is complete, the retailer will have a 5,400-selection of wine SKUs (including many Washington wines) and 1,200 spirits, the company says.
“Our purchase of Esquin is part of Downtown Spirits’ commitment to connecting customers with an expansive range of fine wines and the most knowledgeable sales team in the region,” says Marques Warren, Chief Executive Officer of Downtown Spirits. “With this acquisition, we’re excited to leverage Esquin’s long-cultivated traditions, business practices and deep connections with Northwest winemakers to create more opportunities for customers to access the best products.”
Discussions between Warren and LeFevre began nearly a year ago. The two continued conversations around a potential transaction and it became clear that pairing the two companies would be beneficial for each enterprise’s customers, the company says.
“Marques is a forward-thinking retail leader and we are excited to have the future of Esquin under his stewardship. Wine is an important industry in our state–providing jobs in agriculture and trade as well as serving as a vital part of the restaurant and hospitality industries,” says LeFevre. “Wine and alcohol have become serious revenue generators for Washington, which is currently the second largest wine producing state in the country. I’m proud that my company has generated millions of dollars for the state through our business.”
Downtown Spirits first opened its brick-and-mortar location in Seattle in 2012.
Financial details of the transaction, which is subject to approval by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, were not disclosed.