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Meet Kori Tafoya of Royal Palm Village Wine & Tapas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kori Tafoya.

Hi Kori, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
While attending University and studying for my degree in International Business, I worked in the restaurant industry through college and even shortly thereafter.

After completing my degree, I moved to New York, a city with a lot of opportunities, and began serving at a restaurant in New York City. It was there that I found my passion for food and wine and became certified as a Sommelier.

Shortly after, I traveled to Spain for some time in an effort to use my international business degree exporting wine back to the states, but returned home for the holidays and was offered a position locally in wine sales that I couldn’t refuse.

Working here in the market, I met my now business partner who was a wealth of knowledge in the industry. He always wanted to open a package store at the beaches and after several years of contemplating the offer I devised the concept of Royal Palm.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
There are always learning curves, obstacles, and challenges in opening and running a business.

The important thing is to do your best to keep a positive mentality and take things a day at a time when needed.

As we have learned in the past couple of years, there is no telling what will be thrown at us whether internal struggles, societal changes, or pandemics, we just have to learn to adapt and make positive changes.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
A locally owned & operated concept in RETAIL as well as DINING! Store by day and restaurant by night!

Offering over 1200 bottles of fine wine, 12 rotating draft beers & over 200 selections of craft beers to pair with the creative tapas! We are focused on sustainability & supporting locals as much as possible. We are a from-scratch kitchen where everything including our desserts is made in house. The menu is “tapas” but not traditional Spanish tapas. I would describe it as fusion.

Our chef has been with us for 10+ years and is extremely creative with combining flavors, and food ethnicities with classical and modern techniques. There is often a misconception that our tapas are just appetizers and not a full meal, but I assure you, you will not leave hungry. We offer a full menu- just not each item on the menu has starch and vegetable to accompany it. We focus on the heart of the dish.

Our concept is unique in that you are surrounded by wines while dining in the restaurant. In lieu of a wine bottle list, our shelf selections are our list. We like for our guests to enjoy an interactive experience and to be able to get up and browse the large selection of wines or beer with assistance from our sommeliers on staff.

From a very competitive retail price, we then charge a small corkage fee to open the bottle at the table. This is a great value when dining out as most restaurants charge 2.5-3 times the bottle price. We always have a list of featured wines offered at just the retail price as well. I often like to refer to the wine wall as the “adult candy shop”.

In addition to our restaurant and retail shop, we do offer off-site catering. From small groups to large celebrations we are able to not only provide the food and staffing but wine and beer at retail price.

Are there any apps, books, podcasts, blogs, or other resources you think our readers should check out?
Working with wine is truly farming, in that everything begins in the vineyards, with the quality of the grapes.

It is important to always stay abreast of environmental conditions for each region internationally, every year. There are several writers, bloggers, magazines, and industry news publications which is imperative to keep up with your continued education.

I try to round my education with all of the above and keep an open mind to the constant change of the dynamics of this industry as it is constantly in motion.

Contact Info:

  • Email: kori@royalpalmwines.com
  • Website: royalpalmwines.com
  • Instagram: Royal Palm Village Wine & Tapas
  • Facebook: @royalpalmwineandtapas

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