Spigot: New owners and a new twist give this neighborhood market a much-needed renaissance
By J.J. Ballesteros, Chairman, Board of Directors, Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce
The Chamber Spotlight is meant to highlight a unique business member of the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce.
At the intersection of Pearl and PCH, another Woods Cove vintage destination reemerges as a venerable neighborhood corner store. Spigot, the longest running business in Laguna Beach, has been offering wines, spirits, beverages and cigars since 1933.
Now under new ownership, Shelley Arend and husband Kelly Cornwell took ownership one year ago on December 2, 2021. Shelley, a mother of two, local resident for more than three decades and an established Laguna Beach businesswoman, has owned several businesses in Laguna Beach prior to purchasing Spigot. Shelley’s savvy pursuits include Laguna Soup Co., Rhythmride, Laguna Magical Cottages, and beachBRELLA.
Shelley and Kelly live just three blocks from Spigot. What was most important for them in the purchase was transitioning the Spigot from a run-down liquor store to an attractive neighborhood market, carrying on the charm and appeal of cushy Woods Cove. Shelley attests that “it was an eyesore for residents and many did not want to go in it. We wanted it to become a neighborhood store and part of the community.” Shelley and Kelly have been working diligently to clean up the store, expand or improve on the offerings, and make it a friendly place for everyone to come to – families, employees of neighborhood businesses, visitors and passersby alike. Shelley shares that “our end goal is to make Woods Cove an even better place to live and work.”
I sat down with Shelley to learn a little more:
J.J. Ballesteros: What are your greatest challenges in running a business in Laguna Beach and how have you overcome them?
Shelley Arend: The greatest challenge specific to the Spigot is to change the poor reputation the store had garnered. We have worked to overcome it by hiring very friendly staff, cleaned and remodeled the entire store and brought in an array of products customers want.
J.J.: Are there any items you specialize in at Spigot Liquor you want the public to know about?
SA: We specialize in sourcing great wines ranging from vineyards in California to France and Italy, high-end tequilas and a great selection of specialty bourbons. We have the only allocation of Clase Azul in Laguna Beach, including Clase Azul Ultra which goes for $2,200 per bottle. Not to mention all kinds of good snacks and candy for the kids.
J.J.: Do you work with any nonprofits in town?
SA: I plan to reach out to the Laguna Beach Food Pantry to work with them and do wine tastings at fundraiser events early this upcoming year.
J.J.: Why do you feel it is important to be a member of the Chamber of Commerce?
SA: Being a member is important so businesses can support each other. The Chamber is a wonderful supporter of our small business community, so we choose to support them.
J.J.: Is there anything else you want us to know about Spigot Liquor?
SA: Our interior remodel is complete but look for more changes moving forward! We will be painting and updating the exterior of the building next so there is a fresh and reimagined experience throughout.
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For those of you who have not seen the revamped store, I would encourage you to come in and take a look at the vast selection of wine, spirits and cigars. Both Shelley, Kelly and the staff are welcoming and knowledgeable on all their products. Spigot really is a great neighborhood store designed for locals. Check them out as you prepare for this holiday season. Spigot Liquor is located at 1803 S. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach.