June 2, 2014
New York City is a microcosm of the Internet: a place where standing out from the crowd is all about the quality of the experience you deliver. So it’s only fitting that New York based City Winery has created a winning pairing of wine, food and live entertainment for a one-of-a-kind curated experience.
As a winery right in the heart of a major urban center, City Winery is a unique idea in more ways than one. They may bring in fruit from growers outside the city, but the crushing, de-stemming, and fermenting are all done in a warehouse right above the #1 subway line on the west side of Manhattan.
To create something completely unlike any other business, they added a live music venue and gourmet food to their winery. “From the beginning, we wanted to create something unique. Something that didn’t exist out there for the customer,” says City Winery Board Member and Technical Advisor Josh Dorf. “It’s a different experience altogether.”
Of course they needed a web platform that could help make the experience work. They started out with a completely customized web solution, but realized it wasn’t going to scale with their business, so they re-platformed with Magento Enterprise Edition. Out of the box, Enterprise Edition gave them over 70% of what they needed, and City Winery could focus on the custom modules that manage their ticket ordering system, loyalty program, and concierge tool, as well as extensions to manage accounting and recurring billing.
“One of the great advantages is that the architecture of the Magento platform allowed us to create this module that would drop right into the solution, so that, once those orders came in from our custom piece[s], they are plunked right into the existing order management process of Magento Enterprise Edition,” says Dorf.
The result of their hard work is a site that can not only support their unique business, but also perform under pressure. They’ve seen fantastic growth in daily orders and in their loyalty program, and they’re attracting big crowds. “Last year we had Prince at a last minute event. The spike on the servers was tremendous, and not going down was key. Having that rock solid foundation, that's what Magento Enterprise Edition gave us,” says Dorf.