CARDINGTON — “Wine makes every meal an occasion, every table more elegant, every day more civilized.”
That quote could be made by Jerry Newell and Rick Mitchell, proprietors of newly opened Bunker’s Mill Winery at 102 E. Main St.
Looking back, both lived in the Columbus area for almost 20 years although they are originally from small towns in Ohio and Michigan.
Wishing to return to their roots and realizing they enjoyed wine, Rick, after managing several restaurants, accepted a position at a Columbus winery. Jerry, meanwhile, began helping by conducting wine tasting at various retail locations around Columbus.
After observing the winemaker he opted to try his hand at it and quickly fell in love with the process of wine making. Therefore, with Rick’s management experience and Jerry’s passion for wine making they decided to start their own business.
Seeking a place outside of Columbus, rural areas and small towns that may be accepting of their concept, it was pure luck that brought them to Cardington. Jerry had been researching properties for sale and found a few in the area and sent an e-mail to the Cardington Village website on a Sunday about 8 p.m.
He received a response within 15 minutes from Mayor Susie Peyton requesting a meeting with them and expressing her interest in the concept. With her support and that of Lea Ann Maceyko, Troy Ruehrmund, Lisa Brake, the village council, Friends of Cardington and the Cardington Improvement Corporation, the business became a reality.
They found the building needed some work so they updated it with new exterior siding, new floor and new interior paint and are working on construction of a new basement door that will allow public access to the basement fo additional party rental and event space and wine production.
Later this summer, the outdoor patio will open.
They titled the business Bunker’s Mill Winery, named after the founder of Cardington in 1834, Isaac Bunker, and located just a stone’s throw from that mill.
They want the winery to be seen as an adult meeting and event space where friends come together to enjoy a glass of wine and catch up.
The owners are active n the community and want to show Cardington how much they appreciate the support that has been given to them in their first year of operation. “We hope that this will be a long-term love affair between the winery and the community,” Mitchell said.
Peyton said the business is a huge boost to the community and with its downtown location helps those businesses, too.
Maceyko, president of the CIC and active with Friends of Cardington, sees nothing but positive for the winery and other businesses. “It’s a real plus for the entire village.”