By JOYCE SMITH
The Kansas City Star
Jennifer Havens was like many college students: Her drink of choice was beer. But once she graduated, her father was determined to turn his daughter into a wine connoisseur. He was so successful that Havens spent the next 17 years learning about wine. Now she wants to share that interest with others.
Her new business, Wines by Jennifer®, will open in mid-April in a three-story house at 405 Main St. in the Old Town District of Parkville.
Havens has a commercial pilot's license and has traveled extensively, so the business is a combination of her love of travel and wines. The rooms will be divided by country and offer wines, wine-related products and specialty foods.
On the main floor, the Outback-decorated Australia room will have specialty breads from such local companies as Roma Bakery and Farm to Market Bread Co., along with olive oils and cheeses from all over the world. The Spain room will have glassware, and in the France room, customers will be able to relax before a fireplace. A wine-tasting room runs along the back of the house and will have winemaking equipment and details on the process.
On the lower level, shoppers will be able to view works by local artists in a gallery. During warmer weather, they will be able to sip wine on the front porch as they watch traffic on Main Street or sit on two decks overlooking Park University.
The top floor, with its grand piano, will be divided into several rooms for wines and other products from Italy, South America and California. Wines by Jennifer® also will hold public events under a large tent every month, along with wine club meetings and other regular gatherings.
Previously, Havens was a general manager of a subsidiary of Farmland Industries and a consultant for the agricultural industry. She has spent eight years saving to open a business.