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Inspiring Conversations with John Bisson of Vinifera Wine-to-Whiskey

Today we’d like to introduce you to John Bisson.  

Hi John, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
I was brought up in a family business, Bisson’s Grocery Stores, from the 1940s to early 1990s. It’s that entrepreneurial spirit that has continued to fuel my fire to launch my own business. I’ve grown up with the belief that each of us can make a difference in people’s life by offering something special and unique. These beliefs are the at the core of Vinifera’s mission. 

We have an amazing wine and whiskey collection with a food offering which pairs nicely with the beverages. 

We have invested in an enomatic wine system. I believe it may be the only one in the Akron area. The system provides the freshest wine pour because it does not allow air access to the wine. Therefore, we can offer higher-end wines by the glass and guests do not need to buy a whole bottle. However, we have wines by the bottle that can be enjoyed at Vinifera, take-out, or both. As long as the bottle is sealed, guests can take an unfinished bottle with them. 

At this point, we have 200+ wines and 200+ whiskeys. Our offering is growing and changes almost weekly. 

We’ve got unique signature cocktails which are updated seasonally. One of the most popular cocktails is the ‘craft your own Manhattan’. Guests choose from any of our whiskeys/bourbons, along with a robust selection of vermouths and bitters which can be served smoked, 

Our food is inspired by artesian crafting with a focus on our signature collection of ‘crostini’s’ which guests select a ‘board’ of three. A spectrum of flavors ranges from cheesy shrimp, grilled peaches with prosciutto, avocado tomato salsa, and more. They make for a wonderful sharing and paring experience. Other food items include salads, presses (similar to paninis), charcuterie boards, and homemade desserts. 

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
COVID impacted our production and construction timeline. At first, it was challenging to find crews who were willing to take on construction projects. Also, building material costs rose sharply which impacted our budget. Opening a new business during a pandemic was not ideal but it hasn’t prevented folks from visiting and returning. 

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
Visit us at the French Mill on State Road in Cuyahoga Falls. Check out our menus at, follow us on 

Facebook@Vinifera Wine Bar 

Instagram @ Vinifera Wine Bar_ 

Each Thursday, local musicians play live from 6:00-9:00 PM. 

We offer various events such as wine and bourbon tastings which are highlighted on our website’s home page. 

Also, our boutique (small production batches) wines are for sale ‘to-go’ which make great gifts and is an ideal way to build your own personal collection. Each wine is personally selected and has a rating of 85+. 

The whiskey and bourbon collection includes very rare and hard-to-find gems, 

And. our party room can be rented for special events during the week and the entire facility can be rented for a minimum of three hours on Sundays. 

Contact Info:

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