Let’s begin at the beginning – the owner of Harwich Spirits Shoppe (HSS). Enter Bruce Gibson, aka “Da’ Giz”; aka “Da’ Gizz”; aka “Giz”; etc.
Bruce’s start in the alcohol business began when he realized that by sweeping up his fathers cocktail lounge at age 10 he was able to literally pick up some spare change that the previous evening’s customers dropped. What a beginning. Then, unbeknownst by his mom and dad, he began learning the different tastes of the various beers, liquors, and liqueurs. Wines came much later.
Fast forward through social lubrication drinking in high school and college. Too many stories that don’t mean much to the profession… We come to entering his Dad’s present businesses of dual retail liquor stores located in Chatham and Wellfleet on Cape Cod in Massachusetts, circa 1972.
Early on, Bruce William Gibson realized that the liquor end of the business was not very intriguing so he began attending industry wine tastings that were held in Boston hosted by luminaries like Alexis Lichine, Jack Cakebread, Robert Mondavi, Sam Siedman, and others. The understanding of the unlimited variables of what makes wine taste the way it does began a fire that has yet to be extinguished. There are so many reasons why a wine tastes as it does. From rainfall, sunlight, temperature, and earth composition to the ways the growers and winemakers adapt the numerous techniques – it’s all truly amazing. We could take grapes from the same vine and give them to five different vinotechs and end up with five wines seemingly of separate regions, vintages, or even varieties.
So much for that right now. As the early years ramped Bruce’s energies, so did the opportunities presented help to mold who he is today. Earning the Harwich Spirits Shoppe in 1975, Bruce seized the chance to join a very small wholesaler in 1981, Grapevine Imports. Selling to restaurants and other stores on Cape Cod and southeast Massachusetts, he entered a new zone which took him around the world twice, visiting France, Spain, Germany, Australia, Argentina (twice), and also the likes of California four times. Constant communication with wineries, roving winery reps, and sales meetings honed his ability to taste and discern how and why a wine tastes, smells, and stains the way it does.
And then there’s Yelena [pronounced ‘Lenna]…
She, as many may know, was born in St. Petersburg, Russia on December 15, 19__ [I’m no dummy]. It seems that from birth she had an inherent knowledge that she would be working for Da Giz. The first words out her mouth were WHIIIINEE, [wine] and duhhh-gzzz-zzz. She sped her way through through staunch Russian education system, including University, before heading to the US of A to seek fame, fortune, and a Nelson.
Lena finally landed on Cape Cod by a series of predestined steps, unbeknown to her. It happened that The Harwich Spirits Shoppe was looking for a gorgeous, intelligent, diligent, strong, hard-working individual the day she graced Da Gizzez’ shoppe. The rest is modern day-ish history.
Lena is now the boss of Bruce, Panchita, and Cisco and does most of the infrastructure work. No she is NOT available.
So that’s it so far… Bruce (Da Gizz) Gibson and HSS in a nutshell… Stop by and visit the shell!