Waters Edge WIneries Signs Two Franchise Agreements to Expand Presence Throughout Florida
August 18, 2020
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA – (August 18, 2020) – Waters Edge Wineries®, an innovative urban winery system bringing the cultural experience of wine to communities across the country, today announced it has signed a new agreement with existing owner Hayes Wineries LLC, to open two additional Waters Edge Winery & Bistro locations in Tampa, FL, and St. Petersburg, FL. These locations will join 11 others currently open and operating throughout California, Colorado, Ohio, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Montana and Texas. Owned and operated by real estate developer Mike Hayes, Waters Edge Winery & Bistro of Tampa and Waters Edge Winery & Bistro of St. Petersburg will both open in 2021, bringing unique and enjoyable experiences to wine lovers on Florida’s West Coast.
“We are excited to continue our expansion across Florida, working closely with Mike and his team to bring the Waters Edge Wineries concept to Tampa and St. Petersburg next year,” said Ken Lineberger, president and CEO of Waters Edge Wineries. “We look forward to providing these communities with a new wine bar and bistro that is perfect for individual tastings, small group outings, private events and more. Under Mike’s leadership and guidance, we know these new locations will be fun, inspiring settings for those who live in or are visiting Southwest Florida.”
Following a successful career as a real estate developer in Illinois and Florida, Hayes became interested in pursuing a new venture in the wine industry, which led him to sign his first Waters Edge Winery franchise agreement in January 2020. Through that agreement, he is currently developing his Jacksonville, Illinois location, which is slated to open in October 2020. Hayes’ array of experience includes ownership of real estate development and brokerage companies, as well as an ice cream manufacturer, and roles as CEO and CFO of various public companies.
“I was originally attracted to the Waters Edge urban winery franchise model as an innovative way to bring the wine tasting experience to people across the country,” said Hayes. “Working with Ken and his team since the beginning of this year, I have been beyond impressed by the leadership, education and support we’ve received, which ultimately led to my expansion plans in Florida. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to continue the brand’s growth in Southwest Florida, which I’m lucky to consider my hometown, and look forward to a long and fruitful partnership with the Waters Edge Wineries brand.”
Combining elements of the traditional winery experience with the popular wine bar concept, each Waters Edge Winery & Bistro location serves as a lively hub within its community, offering bistro-style artisanal selections including appetizers, flatbreads, sandwiches, salads and desserts, custom bottle labeling as personalized gifts, private tasting areas for groups, a wine club and more. This gives guests the opportunity to engage intimately with what has historically been a somewhat exclusive lifestyle, limited to select regions.
As an emerging franchise concept, the Waters Edge Winery & Bistro model is ideal for entrepreneurs passionate about wine who seek a way to share their love and knowledge without being in the agriculture business. Franchise owners receive comprehensive training on the micro-winery tank system and are provided with pre-opening training courses, both hands-on and classroom based, to help prepare for the launch of their winery. The company also offers social media and marketing support to help franchise owners realize success.
The franchise currently has 20 signed franchise agreements including wineries in development for expansion in Florida, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, and Texas. Franchise opportunities to open an urban winery franchise remain available in neighborhoods across the country. Today’s news brings the total number of Waters Edge Wineries for development in Florida to three locations following last year’s signing in Sarasota opening later this year. Each Waters Edge Winery & Bistro location is individually owned and operated by local entrepreneurs in their communities.
About Waters Edge Wineries®
California-based Waters Edge Wineries is an innovative urban winery system bringing the cultural experience of wine to communities across the country. Each Waters Edge Winery & Bistro location combines the very best of a winery and wine bar in one versatile model that can be located anywhere, regardless of topography or agricultural factors. Founded in 2004 by husband and wife team Ken and Angela Lineberger, Waters Edge Wineries currently operates 11 Waters Edge Winery & Bistro locations in California, Colorado, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Texas. The company caters to entrepreneurs who are seeking a fun, exciting career where they can share their passion for wine while creating memorable guest experiences.