Photography: Pam Varela

Fill ’Er Up

In Eat, May 2021 by Ginny S. GillikinLeave a Comment

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Originally a gas station, Taylor’s Wine Shop is now one of North Raleigh’s most popular spots to score some great vino.

The rocking chairs lining the front porch at Taylor’s Wine Shop have witnessed a lot in the 40-plus years they’ve been situated there. First revved up in the ’70s as a gas station (dubbed Variety Picup) in what was once a rural area, the edge-of-town North Raleigh service station now sits squarely near I-540 (very much in town) as a primo wine shop.

As more (and more) suburban families moved to the area—with burgeoning subdivisions and neighborhoods to house them—service station owners Gail and Taylor Cash evolved their, well, services to keep up with growth and demand, and appeal to their evolving customer base, adding video rentals, food, beverages and, yes, wine.

The more people asked for wine, “we gained more wine knowledge and repeat customers, [and] began to expand our wine selections based upon request,” says the Cashes’ son and now co-owner, Ben Cash (mom Gail passed away in January 2011)—so much so that they officially changed the name of the business to Taylor’s Wine Shop in 2001. Talk about uncorking a community need.

Helping us make pour decisions ever since, Taylor’s Wine Shop now offers a range of bottles at multiple price points, from value-priced California chardonnay to $200-per-bottle Dom Perignon—with the most expensive bottle sold to date: a French wine, Petrus (at around $2,200). And these vinos hail from vineyards the world over—taking pride especially in some premium Napa Valley selects from wineries started by North Carolinians and former Carolina Hurricanes players (whom Taylor’s is proud to support).

“As we cultivate relationships with wineries all over the world, we love sharing our discoveries,” says Ben, adding that most of the shop’s customers are local, but their online shop, run by Ben’s sister, Melissa, has also garnered shoppers from out of state.

Oh, and they still sell gas and live bait, plus craft beer, local chocolate and coffee—and even host wine tastings and other events to boot. And beyond goods is doing good—the Cashes share a passion for local charities, donating to the local YMCA and dozens of Scout troops, as well as Frankie Lemmon School and Foundation of Hope, a nonprofit dedicated to investing in scientific research and mental health initiatives, among others.

“One thing has not changed: our store is a place to connect,” maintains Ben. “The facility underwent a huge remodel in 2019, but the sense of community established four decades ago remains. Many friendships and business deals have been made in the rocking chairs that still remain in front of the store.”

So, whether you’re looking to gas up or wine down, Taylor’s Wine Shop has you covered.

Ben and Taylor Cash

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