Martin Wine Cellar

 
 

Company History

1946

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David Y. Martin, Jr. outside of his original store

David Young Martin, Jr. founds Martin Wine Cellar. With its entire inventory on display, Martin Wine Cellar opens on May 24, 1946, bringing in $29.61 in sales. The original location occupied half of a shotgun double (15x12ft) on the corner of General Taylor and Baronne Street.

1950s

During the 1950s, D.Y. Martin, Jr. purchases the other side of the shotgun double building that houses his store.  To expand his store, he has the building demolished and, in its place, builds a new store of concrete blocks painted white.

1955

Robert (Bobby) Chandler is hired. Bobby, the earliest known full-time employee of Mr. Martin, begins work at Martin Wine Cellar. He becomes the only other member of the staff besides Mr. Martin. He later becomes the Spirits and Beer Buyer and was also the Closing Manager at Baronne Street for years. His complete employment spans the era from 1955 to 1996.

1962

Article of David Y Martin, Jr. and is son, Cedric, discussing the initial samples of holiday packaging. Times Picayune, November 1978

Circa 1962: David Y Martin, Jr. is among the first retailers in America (perhaps the first) to create wine and gourmet food gift baskets utilizing plastic “shrink-wrap”.  These attractive, convenient gifts become a popular and important part of Martin Wine Cellar business.

1969

Mr. Martin makes his second expansion in 1969, when he purchases and demolishes the two houses adjacent to his property and builds a dramatically larger store and a parking lot.

Construction of new building in 1968

David Martin during construction in 1968

Martin Wine Cellar on Baronne opening day 1969

David Martin in his new building. Opening day 1969.

1974

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Cedric Martin, David Young Martin, Jr.’s son,
joins the company full-time.

1975

David Gladden sampling wines before his tastings

  • August 6 – David Gladden starts the Martin Wine Cellar Thursday Tasting Series. Over the years this program has expanded to seated lecture tastings, beginner and intermediate wine classes as well as reception style events. Due to the schedules of visiting winemakers and other events in the city, they are now held on various nights of the week.
  • David Gladden teaches Martin Wine Cellar sponsored Wine Classes (‘Beginners’ Class’ and ‘Bordeaux Class’) in conjunction with and held at St. Mary’s Dominican College on St. Charles Ave.

1977

David’s son Cedric assists his father in opening a New York Style Delicatessen offering a variety of specialty sandwiches, salads, cut-to-order cheeses, pâtés, and exotic meats.

1988

Cedric Martin begins to change his food operation from a Deli to a Bistro/Deli by adding daily special plate lunches, delicious housemade soups and salads. He hires experienced chefs and deli managers, adds an attractive wood banquette to increase seating, and improves the catering menu.

1998

The company offices officially move from the old offices on Baronne and General Taylor streets to new offices at the Bienville location.

1989

Mr. Martin signs an agreement to turn the Sena Mall Theater into the Metairie Martin Wine Cellar.  This 7,800 square foot store includes a reception/tasting room and 67 parking spaces. November 20th marks the Grand Opening of the Martin Wine Cellar Metairie. Bistro/Deli construction is completed in May of the following year.

Sena Mall before construction

Martin Wine Cellar of Metairie, opening day 1989

1993

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first case of wine, Louis Latour Meursault 1990, to be stored in the new warehouse.)

  • DYM. Inc. purchases a Bienville Street location for use as a warehouse and company offices.  The 72,000 square foot building at 4221 Bienville was built in 1951 as the General Electric Distribution Center. The building now contains wine storage for Martin Wine Cellar, the company’s corporate offices and the Martin Wine Cellar Gift Department.

1994

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Cedric Martin and his wife, Pam, at Once Upon A Vine III

  • The first Once Upon A Vine Event is held in City Park.  This event was designed to be the premier wine tasting event in New Orleans showcasing the Martin Wine Cellar portfolio during the slower, summer months. The wines were complemented by Catering from Martin Wine Cellar.
  • Martin Wine Cellar launches their first website in the fall of 1994.

1995

David Gladden begins ‘The Wine Professionals series, featuring presentations and tastings structured to provide our sales and management, over time, with a broader education and tasting experiences of many of the world’s greatest wines.

1996

  • On May 24th, Martin Wine Cellar celebrates its 50th Anniversary in business with a grand open house tasting of foods and wines.
  • On November 4th, the first Martin Wine Cellar Rare Wine Room is launched in the original Baronne Street store. This room housed old and rare wines from various sources such as Sotheby and Davis auction houses, winery library selections, and private collectors.

2000

The Metairie store undergoes an expansion to the current 12,000 square foot store with a 110-seat Bistro/Deli, tasting room, 67 parking spaces and warehouse.

2001

The Bordeaux Futures Campaign for the outstanding 2000 vintage is the largest and most successful since the 1982 campaign.

2002

0010_editedDavid Y. Martin, Jr. passes away after a 20-year struggle with Parkinson’s Disease.  He led by example and never missed a day of work. He was an entrepreneur of his time.

2005

  • August 29th – During the Hurricane Katrina, the Baronne Street location is flooded, looted, and vandalized. The Metairie location reopens on September 26, 2005. Martin Wine Cellar became not only a retail store, but also a place to see friends, and give or receive comfort, especially for those in the Lakeview area.
  • On December 5th, Martin Wine Cellar opens a Mandeville location with wine, spirits, beer, gourmet foods and gift baskets.

2006

  • On January 28th, Martin Wine Cellar opens the Magazine Street location with wine, spirits, beer, gourmet foods and gift baskets.
  • In December of the same year, Martin Wine Cellar opens a Baton Rouge location with wine, spirits, beer, gourmet foods and gift baskets.

2007

Martin Wine Cellar beings teaching educational spirits classes, their first is Spirits 101.

2011

  • April 2011, Martin Wine Cellar begins shipping wine across the country. Martin Wine Cellar ships wine and gift baskets to 37 states.
  • Martin Wine Cellar of Metairie opens for Dinner, Monday-Friday from 4-8pm serving dinner specials, as well as the regular menu, and wines by the glass.

 

Grilled Pork Chop (Dinner)

Grilled Pork Chop

Niçoise Salad (Dinner)

Niçoise Salad

Louisiana Blue Crab Cake (Dinner)

Louisiana Blue Crab Cake

 

2013

MarketWatch_Cedric_2014Cedric Martin is named USA Retailer of the Year by Market Watch Magazine.

2014

Martin Wine Cellar reopened at 3827 Baronne Street on December 12th, 2014.

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