AUBURN — After retiring from a 30-year career in the food business, Brandy Kirchner went back to school to study and train to become a wine sommelier.
The process to become certified took more than three years, and Kirchner then decided that rather than working for someone else, she would like to operate her own business.
Moving from Ann Arbor, Michigan, to Auburn four years ago, Kirchner had hosted a limited number of wine tastings at the The Auburn Atrium MarketPlace, 106 W. 6th St. Now Kirchner has opened a full-scale business, White Oak Wine Cafe, at that location.
Kirchner carries wines made by 60 producers from all over the world. About half of those are offered by the glass or flight. The others are by the bottle only.
Kirchner said she strives to find small-boutique makes of wine or smaller batches made by larger producers. Her wines are offered in a wide price range, she added.
Kirchner said she encourages and guides customers to try something new and to “step outside the box a little bit.”
The cafe also offers a small menu specializing in charcuterie, cheese boards, gourmet grilled cheese and hot teas. Indoor and outdoor seating is available. Kirchner also hosts private events and hopes to begin offering classes.
A grand opening event is planned for Saturday.