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Liquor License Applicants Discuss Experience, Business Plans

The three applicants for the City of Dacula liquor license presented their qualifications to council during a Jan. 30 called work session.

Though Dacula residents will have to wait one more day to learn who will be granted the license to operate the city’s first package store, they had the opportunity Wednesday night to learn more about the applicants.

The three applicants -- WeaverDCB, LLC (Heather Weaver), Beverage Warehouse of Dacula LLC (Mike Korom) and Jay Shree Jala, LLC (Peter/Hetel Thakkar) -- were given 15 minutes each to give a presentation to the Dacula City Council explaining why he or she should be selected as the licensee.

The presentations, along with the application packets, will be scored by the council members. The council will meet Thursday evening at 6 p.m. to decide which of the applicants will be awarded the license. 

Mike Korom

Self-employed equipment distributor and former county commission candidate Mike Korom openly admitted that he has no prior experience in the liquor business.

“But what I can tell you is that I’ve been in the business of dealing with people -- selling, ordering product, paying bills,” Korom said.

Korom, whose background includes work as a sales manager and market development manager, plans to keep running his current business, but will be heavily involved in the operation of the package store should he be chosen as the licensee.

“I’ll have to give up my golf game,” he said in response to a question from Councilwoman Sue Robinson regarding whether or not he had time to devote to a second business.

Korom plans to hire another person to manage the store, which would be located at 2590 Winder Highway. That person also has no experience in the liquor business, but has worked with Korom in previous ventures.

After Korom’s presentation, the council members were given the opportunity to ask questions, the most pointed of which came from Councilman Hubert Wells.

“Did you contribute in any way to further the drive for the package store referendum or, after the referendum passed, did you in any way campaign for the passage of the 'yes' vote for the sale of package distilled spirits to be consumed off premises?” Wells asked.

“I’m a little confused by the question,” Korom replied.

“Did you do anything to help get the referendum passed or the vote passed?” Wells reiterated.

“I guess … I think we both know the answer to that,” Korom responded. “I’m trying to understand what, with that question, what the intent is.”

Korom explained that he was not involved in the petition drive or campaigning for the referendum and that it was his understanding that participation in the petition drive would have no impact on who was chosen as the licensee.

“I’m trying to understand the pertinency [sic] of the question,” Korom said. (See the video for the rest of the exchange between Korom and Wells.)

 

Peter Thakkar

Peter Thakkar, owner of the Dacula Exxon, has 20 years of experience in the convenience store business, including experience in beer and wine sales.

Thakkar said he was the first person to obtain an alcohol license in the City of Dacula and was the first person to sell alcohol in the town.

“I have confidence I can run the liquor store operation very successfully,” he said.

Thakkar added that he will be involved in the day-to-day operation of the store and believes his proposed location, at 3275 Old Peachtree Road, is the best of the three locations in terms of access and convenience.

When asked by Councilwoman Sue Robinson if he intended to keep running his three existing businesses, Thakkar said he would likely sell one of them if he were chosen as the licensee in order to devote more time to growing the new business.

“I enjoy the business,” Thakkar said. “I’m not doing it for the money … you enjoy the money, but we enjoy the business -- especially retail business. That is what I’ve done all my life.”

To Councilman Wells’ question regarding whether or not he contributed to getting the referendum passed, Thakkar simply replied, “No sir.” 

 

Heather Weaver

Heather Weaver and her husband Russ are co-owners of The Bottle Shop, a package store in Madison, Ga.

The Weavers opened their store in 2006 and, according to information presented to council, the business has experienced double-digit percentage growth each year in a depressed economy, increasing both revenue and profit.

“We bring with us specific industry experience that we can apply to make our business successful,” Weaver said.

If chosen as the licensee, the Weavers plan to build their store near the corner of Old Peachtree Road and Hurricane Shoals. According to the Weavers, that location would be furthest from the heart of downtown Dacula and Dacula schools and is the best location for attracting business from the Hamilton Mill, Apalachee Farms and the Mill Creek area.

Russ Weaver, who has 10 years of experience in package store retail sales and management, would manage the store.

“We have an unblemished record,” Russ Weaver said. In addition to outlining their previous experience in the liquor business, Russ Weaver presented council with financial statements which he said demonstrated their ability to “build, stock and run Dacula Cork and Bottle for years to come.”

The Weavers plan to move to Dacula if chosen as the licensee and are the individuals behind the successful petition drive that brought the package store referendum before the voters in November.

If selected as the licensee, the Weavers said their store would open its doors in October.

 

You might also be interested in reading:

  • Three Submit Applications to Become Dacula's First Liquor Store Licensee
  • Petitioner Obtains Enough Signatures for Package Store Referendum
  • Petitioner: Dacula Package Store Would Be ‘Finest Store in Georgia’
  • Dacula Election Results 2012: Package Store Referendum Passes
  • If You Build It They Will Come ... and Buy Liquor!

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Frank February 02, 2013 at 01:53 AM
3 to 1 was the vote -- what do you want to do to the other 2 brun them???
Elizabeth February 02, 2013 at 02:21 AM
RDC, are you a group? Do you have a website where we can get more information? I am sincerely interested, not a detractor.
Cynthia Montgomery February 02, 2013 at 02:58 AM
Frank, your comment is deflecting the attention from the the question at hand. A leader in our community was accused of having his votes up for payment. Do you want the truth? What are you saying about the other two votes? Our leaders make decisions each month. This is the first time I have seen anyone question the moral decision making of one of our council members. Two different people are claiming the same amount for an action taken. I am asking from whom they got their information? Our council members should have OUR interest as their first thought, not the improvement of their family's bank accounts. Where did the 7$ amount come from? If you cast a dark shadow on someone's actions then be man enough to bring your information to the table & don't "hit and run" with half truths or full lies. Council member Wells deserves the truth to be told since his family has been brought into this. So either speak up or shut up. Did his family receive payment from the Weavers or not? To accuse someone of misconduct without any proof, is not worthy of our community. If it is the truth, why did the Weavers choose the Wells over another citizen. The Weavers had to have known Wells was a city council member. So before this goes any further, Larry & Don, where did you get your information about the pay? Are the Weavers available to ask for their facts on the story. The Weavers have the right to pay whomever they choose. If they indeed did paid, I question why the Wells family?
Michelle Couch February 02, 2013 at 02:29 PM
I was on the same page as Frank. If Wells abstained, you still have a 2 to 1 vote with the same outcome. Only one vote in opposition to the Weavers application. The package store and location will not be the evil end all of Dacula. It will not increase litter; nor attract masses of undesirables. I strongly doubt you will see people walking out of the store, swigging down their open bottle concealed in a paper bag and then when they reach the corner they toss it on to the side of the road. A tastefully constructed, well-managed package store in Dacula does not an inner city corner in the "hood" make. The package store in my city does not present these problems; there is no disruption of worship at the church right next door or across the street. There is no danger or harm caused to the elementary school or daycare two blocks away. There are no drunks walking the streets and tossing their bottles on the road. I do not wish to discount someone's concerns about what is happening in their community. However, there is ABSOLUTELY no need to create and breed such unrealistic fear about this matter. I grew up in an absolutely beautiful and charming city near Charleston, SC. There are package stores on every other corner (which are state owned). There is no greater abundance of crime or danger to the community than there is in Dacula on this day - prior to a package store. If you do not approve of the package store - don't shop there! That choice is yours.
M.K. OSBORNE February 02, 2013 at 05:57 PM
Now we can move on to strip clubs and escort services in order to get everyone's vice included for the sake of fairness . Member EOO .... Equal Opportunity Offender.

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