Steele’s Wine Cellar Is Now Skillman Wine & Liquor
By Barbara A. Preston l August 2, 2021
Mitul Patel of Monroe Township and his nephew Vir Patel of South Brunswick quietly assumed ownership of Steele’s Wine Cellar in the ShopRite plaza on Route 206 in Skillman in December 2020. They are changing the name to Skillman Wine & Liquor. However, Mitul says they will not be changing much else.
The business is successful as it is with employees Art Dorety, Nick Mertz, and team. Skillman Wine & Liquor will continue to sell brandy made with Terhune Orchard apples; liquor from Sourland Spirits in Hopewell; River Horse beer from Ewing Township, and wine from Unionville Cellars in Ringoes, just to name a few local products.
They will also continue to support local organizations, including Montgomery High School girls athletics and the Rocky Hill Fire Department. In addition, they will continue senior citizen discounts and the popular monthly wine club.
The Patels did make two positive changes. They increased inventory, adding more of a selection of world-renowned brands. They added 800 new items to the shelves at more competitive prices, Mitul said. They also remodeled the store to make it more organized.
Acquiring a new business during the busiest month of the year can be tough. They were too busy to make an announcement, and a grand opening was out of the question during a pandemic. Then, liquor stores state wide reported about a 30 percent increase in sales during the pandemic— keeping them busy.
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They do still plan to have a grand opening celebration sometime soon, and will announce it when they are ready. The Patel family is experienced in the liquor store business. They also own and operate Hopewell House Wine & Liquor (since 2018) on West Broad Street in Hopewell and Jamesburg Wine & Liquor for the past 10 years. For the Patels, it is very much a family business. Their strong family bond had been, and continues to be, a key to their success in business.
Skillman Wine & Liquor
ShopRite Plaza, Route 206