California-based Waters Edge Wineries to Open First Florida Location

Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. — Waters Edge Wineries®, an innovative urban winery system, has signed a franchise agreement to open a Waters Edge Winery & Bistro in Sarasota, Fla. This new location will join 11 others already operating throughout California, Colorado, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas. Local entrepreneurs Michael Hayja, Dr. Sean Castellucci and Christopher McKenna of Artisan Vinification, LLC, will own and manage the location in Sarasota, which is expected to open in spring 2020.

“We are excited to debut our brand in the Sunshine State, and with the support of Michael Hayja and his two business partners, we will cultivate a new wine experience for locals — as well as for the many tourists who travel to Florida in search of unique, memorable experiences,” says Ken Lineberger, president and CEO of Waters Edge Wineries.

The group will take over the space at 1219 1st St., which was formerly Social Eatery & Bar. For almost a decade, the prior concept provided guests with a unique establishment that offered locally sourced meals, in-the-know craft alcohol and an opportunity to connect with their loved ones in a comfortable, convenient spot. Waters Edge Winery & Bistro at Social will continue celebrating the importance of intimate conversation with the added benefit of the chance to explore new wines and experiences.

Combining elements of the traditional winery experience with the popular wine bar concept, Waters Edge Winery & Bistro locations serve as a lively hub within its communities, 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.

Earlier this year, Waters Edge Wineries announced three new franchise agreements to introduce its concept in Madera, Calif.; Toledo, Ohio; and Richmond, Texas. In August, a new location opened in Davidson, N.C., a suburb of Charlotte, and a new flagship location showcasing an updated design footprint opened in Long Beach, Calif., this month. Waters Edge Wineries® currently operates 11 locations in California, Colorado, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas with expansion in North Carolina, Kentucky and Montana. Each Waters Edge Winery & Bistro location is individually owned and operated by local entrepreneurs in their communities. The California-based concept was founded in 2004 by husband and wife team Ken and Angela Lineberger. For more information, visit


SOURCE: Waters Edge Wineries®

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