BIZNOTE: New owners for West Seattle Cellars after 24 years under current ownership

(WSB photo, 2015)

Nine years ago, we took that photo of West Seattle Cellars proprietors Jan Martindale and Tom DiStefano as the shop at 6026 California SW marked its 20th anniversary. With one year to go until its 30th, WSC is about to start its “next chapter” with new owners. First, here’s the announcement made today:

As most of our customers know, we are approaching retirement age. Over the last year we’ve given a lot of thought to how we could secure the future of West Seattle Cellars as the only full-service wine shop in West Seattle. So we are very happy to announce that, on April 1, we will pass ownership of the shop to our friends, neighbors, and club members Jessica DiAsio and Bryce Fink, who live very close to the shop. Jessica and Bryce are excited about the opportunity to serve the West Seattle community with the same high standards of selection and service that our shop has demonstrated since its founding in 1995. …

We want to assure our customers that no immediate changes are planned. Tom will continue to be in the shop for the foreseeable future, helping in the selection of wines and assisting customers in finding the right wines. The wine tastings and wine clubs will continue in the same format. Gift certificates will continue to be honored, and all the wines that we are holding in the shop for customers will still be available. Just as our dear late partner Bear learned from Matt, the founder of the shop, and we learned from Bear, we look forward to passing on our knowledge and experience to Bryce and Jessica.

We’d like to express our deepest gratitude to all our wonderful customers, who have loyally supported us for over 24 years. We hope you’ll continue to support West Seattle Cellars as Jessica and Bryce open the next chapter in our story.

Tom, Jan, and the late Bear Silverstein took over the shop almost five years after Matt Mabus opened it “on April 1, 1995 in the little building our office shares with the message studio,” Tom reminisces. “We (Bear, Jan and myself) took over on January 1, 2000 with no announcement, and we moved into our current shop on December 7, 2005. We had no idea we would own the shop for over 24 years. When Jan and I took over on December 2, 2006, after Bear’s first stroke, we didn’t even know if the shop would survive.” We asked him for standout memories: “There are so many: great tastings and classes, wines that made a difference in customers lives, the outpouring of support during the pandemic and beyond. But the memory that will stay with me the longest is the day that Bear died, January 14, 2010, and the partners and close friends gathering in his memory that night after the public tasting.” Though not as an owner, Tom expects to work in the shop “for the first couple of years of the next chapter,” so there’s still a chance for him to make a few more memories.

2 Replies to "BIZNOTE: New owners for West Seattle Cellars after 24 years under current ownership"

  • Alki resident March 26, 2024 (7:23 am)

    We will miss you Tom and Jan- you are a treasure of this community! Thank you for all your great advice and enthusiasm about wine 😀, you’ll be missed. 

  • WSSpartan March 26, 2024 (9:26 am)

    Glad Tom will be sticking around for a bit…One of my favorite monthly activities is going in to pick up our wine club shipment and having Tom describe the selections. I’ve learned a lot about wine from Tom and Jan over the years and will miss them in retirement.

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