The usual joyous commotion at Bosu’s Wine Shop wasn’t coming from their store. Rather, it was from a large wooden door around the side of the building and down the alleyway. Welcome to The Secret Wine Company, where curiosity and culinary delights intersect.
“It’s that feeling of knowing a secret, that’s not exactly a secret, but the kind of secret you want to tell everyone without having to tell everyone,” said Maleah Pusz, co-owner of Bosu’s.
Alongside her business partner Tony Gaddis, Pusz has taken the 23-year-old shop (which they purchased in 2014) and added another layer of community spirit and collective fun, all with wine glass in-hand.
“When Tony and I starting thinking about our vision for Bosu’s, we wanted to have that place, kind of like when you drive up to someone’s house, lights are blazing, and people have arrived for a dinner party,” Pusz said. “And somehow this group of people showed up know that this is the place, this is where to go — these are my people.”
With the cozy Bosu’s storefront as the original foundation of The Secret Wine Company (the business umbrella which the shop sits under), Pusz and Gaddis overtook the empty building next door and began extensive renovations in recent months. A beautiful floor plan emerged, one which includes a 39-seat event space (the main celebratory room and den library), professional kitchen and wine bar.
“At this point, it is an event space, with casual dining to happen down the line,” Pusz said. “By this summer, we will have a limited small plate menu, a nice place to come for a first course, a glass of wine or craft beer before going out.”
And in terms of Bosu’s wine dinners and specialty events, Bosu’s teamed up with Jackie and Frank Blevins, who own Perfectly Seasoned, a longtime catering service in Waynesville. The partnership allowed Chef Jackie to bring her professional kitchen into Bosu’s and have an entire space to create her culinary magic, one that also allows Bosu’s the platform to flourish in their own ideas and endeavors.
“I hope to build the wine bar business up with the help of my food,” Chef Jackie said. “It’s about using non-processed foods, all natural, and as local as possible. We also grow a lot of our own herbs and vegetables, too. It’s about creativity and seeing people happy — instant gratification is the nature of the job.”
And with an ever-evolving culinary scene in Waynesville and greater Haywood County, Pusz looks at the big picture, whereas to have this latest project complement the other businesses, rather than take away from them.
“Waynesville’s culinary scene is exploding, and we’re really fortunate to have such great working relationships with a lot of the other restaurants and businesses,” she said. “The culinary pie in Waynesville is getting bigger, not smaller. That, and Waynesville has never been a ‘I want my slice alone’ kind of place.”
At their recent German/Austrian wine dinner, which served as a kind of “soft opening” for The Secret Wine Company, the packed house was abuzz, with glasses held high in celebration of not only the evening and those in attendance, but also another night of pure fun and passion in Western North Carolina.
“I’m not ashamed to admit I was teary-eyed a few times tonight,” Pusz said. “Because the people were a beautiful blend of folks that had been here since day one, and also people finally having an opportunity to come here for the first time. For us, it’s having that ability to bring people together and share in an experience — it’s a dream come true.”