MOUNT VERNON, KY – Todd Greer didn’t plan to open his new liquor store during a pandemic, but road construction delays and the spring economic shutdown left him no choice. In the end, the timing couldn’t have been better, and On the Rocks Wine and Spirits opened its doors earlier this month.
On The Rocks is located just off KY 1004 at I-75 Exit 59 in Mount Vernon. You can’t miss it. It’s the shiniest new thing in Rockcastle County, and Greer couldn’t be more proud of his employees and their endurance and tenacity in helping get the business open.
He began planning this new business venture in June 2019 and recalls the opening process as being a challenging one. Road construction on I-75 put a dent in Greer’s plans from the beginning. “With all of the delays and outside forces working against me, I was at a point of either opening or giving up, and I just went for it because I’m not a quitter.”
The family-owned wine and spirits store is one of only two in the county. Greer’s goal is to offer the region a unique shopping experience with specialized liquors and wines they might not find elsewhere locally.
On The Rocks offers several specialty wines, craft beer and a variety of well-known and unique liquors. It’s open seven days a week and offers drive-thru service.
The Laurel County native says he chose to locate the business in Rockcastle County because the opportunity presented itself, and the community holds a special place in his heart.
“My grandfather (Elmo Greer) built I-75 through Rockcastle County, and I’ve been a part of every rehabilitation through here,” he added. “I grew up six miles from the Rockcastle line, and this place feels like home.”
He wants his customers to feel at home too.
“I want the whole community to feel like this is their liquor store and benefit from what we have to offer,” Greer said. “Everyone that comes into the store has had positive things to say like we offer good pricing and a good variety. That’s important to me.”
But like any new venture, getting the word out can be a challenge. That’s where the family part of this business comes into play. Greer’s daughter Eleanor is using her experience in merchandising and marketing to create and manage the store’s website and is building a strong social media following.
You will see a new On the Rocks billboard near the interchange in the coming months to draw tourists and customers from outside the region.
Every successful business owner needs the right lending partner in his or her corner. For Greer, it’s been Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corp. (SKED). The nonprofit lender specializes in helping startup businesses get the business loans and industry edge they need to stand out in challenging economic times.
Greer says working with the SKED staff has offered him insight and given him feedback he may not have received from a traditional bank.
“It’s been one of the easiest things I’ve ever done,” he said of the loan process. “They come to me, and I don’t have to take time out of my schedule to drive and meet with them.”
SKED Director of Lending Chris Coldiron says working with successful entrepreneurs – like Greer – see their visions become a reality is gratifying.
“When Todd came to us with his business plan, I knew it was a good one. Todd used his knowledge and experience to build a beautiful store on a very tight schedule.” Coldiron said. “On The Rocks is a great addition to Rockcastle County. I look forward to seeing the business develop and succeed.”
For more information about On the Rocks Wine and Spirits, visit their website at www.ontherocksky.com, like the business on Facebook: ontherockswineandspiritsky or stop by and see them at 100 Tassie Lane in Mt. Vernon.