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The Business View – August 2015 / Small Business of the Month
Deb Domke and her husband Phil have always had a passion for good wine and good food. In fact, she used to spend her lunch hours perusing the wine aisles at local grocery stores and looking at gourmet foods.
After a diverse career as a television journalist, mall marketing director and bank branch manager, she decided she would cross off one item on her bucket list and open her own store. On June 1, 2012, she opened Domke Market, featuring wine, beer and gourmet food in west Mobile.
Three years later, the store nearly doubled its size in a new location at 720 S. Schillinger Rd. in Mobile across from Home Depot. Domke has been the sole employee, with her mom helping out during the holiday season.
At the new store, she is adding part-time employees. Domke Market, the Mobile Area Chamber’s Small Business of the Month, is also known for its gift selections and custom gift baskets and recently added clothing and jewelry lines to the mix.
The market features a variety of wines from Italy, France and the United States, and even a local wine made in Baldwin County. Gourmet food items include local and regional dips, sauces and salsas, with a few items branded under the market’s name.
The products in her store are those she found during travels or from customers who bring in labels. “If you listen to your customers, they will tell you what they want,” she says.
She is working to add more local items for visitors to Mobile, but she says those items will still meet her standards. “I feel like if it’s in my store, I put my stamp of approval on it.”
Domke grew her business with regular wine and beer tastings, and by maximizing social media. She credits her customers for their word-of-mouth promotion.
What she says makes her business unique is the personalized service. Domke says, “Anyone can go and pick out a bottle of wine. At Domke Market, we know our customers. We know their likes and their dislikes, and that gives it a personal touch.”
In May, the Mobile Area Chamber partnered with Domke Market to host one of its CashMob events to promote buying local. “We gained a lot of exposure from the CashMob. Even our regular customers were impressed that the Chamber would support a small business in west Mobile,” she says.
Domke Market is open Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The new phone number is 251-287-1851.
Click here to read The Business View – August 2015