Susan started Market Alley Wines in 2011 with a familiar entrepreneurial dream: to be her own boss and to do something she loved.
Along the journey of the last six years, some amazing things happened:
She created a “third place” for Monmouth and regional locals to hang out, make friends, explore wine and laugh and talk.
She learned that there is a LOT to learn about wine, and she’s always going to be learning and tasting new things.
She has learned how to run a successful small business in a rural community surrounded by corn and beans.
She has seen, first hand, just how wonderful, essential and amazing her customers are. They always surprise her.
She wakes up everyday with joy in her heart, gratitude on her mind and a true excitement about going to work everyday.
Susan is the proprietor. Susan loves Paul and wine. And a great, crusty bread. Her super hero costume is black. Her favorite live band is Blue Mother Tupelo. Susan is a great singer. That part is a lie.
Mandy has been with us the since the beginning and says MAW is her favorite job ever. She still doesn't know a thing about wine but has a knack for customer service and is great wine server! And she makes a damn good sugar cookie.
Logan came into MAW a few years ago wanting to taste wine. He has been part of the team ever since. An MMA fighter, ball-room dancer, Civil War reenactor and amateur spoons player, this is one quirky dude.
Our resident free-spirit, Natalie went to college on a golf scholarship and is a hula hoop expert. She will be entering nursing school and will be taking classes to be a certified yoga instructor. She has amazing hair.
Hayley is a senior at WIU but isn't sure what she wants to be when she grows up. Definitely NOT an astrologist. She likes kittens. A lot.
Liam is a life-long Monmouth resident who is studying business at MC. He is tall and is not scared of heights so he is our official light bulb changer. He once wore a really ugly shirt that none of us will ever forget.
Eli just graduated high school - early. This fall, the destination is Iowa City to become a Hawkeye and study creative writing. In the meantime, Eli is in charge of snack plates on Friday nights, and also picks up choice bits a dialogue for future stories.
Susan has had many great employees over the past several years - it is always sad to lose a valuable team member but we like to think that MAW plays a pivotal role in developing the confidence and skills in our staff to better prepare them to follow their dreams.
We also think it takes a village with helping our kids grow. Our MAW family, our patrons and friends are mentors too and have taught, inspired and helped our “kids” in so many ways. Here are a few of those special MAW alumni:
Lauren recently graduated from the University of Illinois. Her dream is to work as a curator in a museum. She currently works at the Galesburg Civic Art Center and substitute teaches. Occasionally you'll see her on both sides of the bar at MAW. Her dad is a cop. Be nice to Lauren.
Caiti is a recent Monmouth College graduate who is now an elementary school teacher! She also was the first baton twirler at Monmouth College allowed to twirl flaming batons. She also said said she never wants to work in the customer service industry again but don't tell her this ... she was kind of good at it.
Yes, that is his name. No, he was alive before the movie came out. Yes, he has heard that one before. He did manage to pass French and graduate from Monmouth College. Forrest recently relocated to the Windy City in search of champagne wishes and caviar dreams.
Tom loves beer. Tom reads everything about beer. Tom drinks a lot of beer. Ask Tom about beer and Tom will talk about beer. A lot. Someday, Tom hopes to make beer his living. Tom still fills in at MAW every now and then and helps Susan curate our great beer list.
Alex played soccer at Monmouth College, and then she tried out for the Survivor TV show. She had an internship in Italy that went FUBAR, but that's another story.
Kelsey knows PR. Kelsey also introduced Tom to his girlfriend. Now she works at the Jumer's Casino, helping gamblers feel good about spending their money.
Jess loves writing. And comedy - her "spirit humans" are Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. Jess is studying comedy writing at Second City and working as the manager of Aquitane in Lincoln Park. She's quite funny. Really. Jess is awesome.
Dan started the trend at MAW of fabulous guy-hair. He's also an artist - and he welds things, artsy things. He created the large vulture hanging over the MAW bathrooms. And he runs. Why? Ask him!
Jessica is a painter and mixed-media artist who married her college sweetheart. She recently received MFA from Bradley University and is now teaching at the college level. And she turned her garage into an art gallery. No, really. Jessica is awesome.
Connor is a conundrum, wrapped in an enigma and spiced with organic tea. He sings, he's an artist, he gardens, he loves tea and spent some serious time in a Buddhist monastery after graduating. He also is the #2 reason we had to replace our furniture .... Not. Kidding.
Meet Stella, Market Alley Wines' official mascot. Stella joined the MAW family in March of 2015 and has been chewing her way through countless corks since then. You'll often find Stella at the shop, eager to become instant best friends with whoever pets her. And yes, she's named after the beer!
This website is based on Joomla, an open-source Content Management System (which utilizes the PHP language and MySQL for the database). The website also uses Twitter's Bootstrap CSS framework. The site was created by Paul Schuytema.
All photographs are by Jane Carlson (You should really check out her website! Just click on her name.), Paul Schuytema and Susan Schuytema. Stella's photo is courtesy of Shyvel Piper Photography. No stock photos were harmed (or used) in the creation of this website - it’s all MAW, baby!
This site works best when viewed in Google Chrome.