June 27, 2022
A natural wine shop and gourmet food market run by Fishtown Social founder Vanessa Wong opens at the Jersey Shore next weekend.
Wahine Wine Co. and Fish & Whistle Market debuts July 1 at newly constructed buildings in Ventnor at 101 N. Dorset Ave., near the foot of the Dorset Avenue Bridge.
Wong, who opened Fishtown Social on Frankford Avenue in 2016, announced plans for the new businesses in September. At the time, it had tentatively been called Ventnor Provisions Co. Natural Wine Shop & Market, but has since shifted to two names. Wahine is the word for a Maori or Polynesian woman, usually referring to young surfers. Wong chose the name as a nod to her two daughters.
The wine shop portion of the new business will feature a curated selection of beers and craft spirits along with organic, biodynamic and natural wines. The business will focus on small producers and farmers, interesting regions and less common varietals.
Wong shared a glimpse inside the new shop on Instagram last week.
Fish & Whistle Market will be stocked with gourmet foods from popular brands throughout the region, including partners in Philadelphia. It will have fresh produce, groceries, cheese, charcuterie and other freshly prepared foods, with pop-ups and tasting events held year-round.
Wong said the idea for a wine shop at the Jersey Shore stemmed, in part, from her desire to work in an environment with fewer regulations. She chose Ventnor because the community reminded her a lot of what made Fishtown an appealing place to open a business.
"Anybody who knows me knows that I love the beach. The ocean is and has always been my happy place, my respite," Wong said. "It's also no secret that operating under the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board makes it incredibly difficult to accomplish what I originally set out to do in Fishtown, which is to make good wine approachable and accessible for everyone."
The shop and the market will both be open six days a week from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. six days a week, closing only on Tuesdays.