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BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: Stone's Beer and Beverage Market

Updated: Apr 17

Stone’s Beer and Beverage Market has brought neighbors together at the corner of 17th and Fairmount for nearly 70 years. In early May, it returns to its original location in a remodeled building, ready to serve the community in new and familiar ways. 

From beers on tap to a keg fridge, the team at Stone’s has prioritized the user experience every step of the remodel. “The space is really designed for the people who frequent it,” owner Nick Wendowski said. “Both as team members and customers.” 

Nick emphasizes relationships in all aspects of the business. “I’m most fulfilled when I’m connecting with my team,” he said. “And if the team is really happy working here, that flows into their interactions with our customers.”

The new store provides an opportunity to build more of these connections. “Ultimately we’re trying to grow relationships in the community using beer as a vehicle,” Nick said. “Beer is meant to bring people together and we think that it’s our duty and responsibility as one of the mainstay businesses on Fairmount Ave to continue to do that.” 

Nick bought the business in 2019. He heard whispers that Stone’s was going to be for sale. At the time he was working in the corporate world and started visiting Stone’s every day after work to talk to the owner and establish trust. 

“I wasn’t thinking ‘I need to own a beer store,’” he said. “I was just thinking ‘I want to serve this community’.” He had seen what his wife Jen had built at her business Yoga Habit, located diagonal to Stone’s at the 17th and Fairmount intersection, and knew he could not let this opportunity pass. 

“We both have entrepreneurial spirits, but she was the first to make the jump and was really enjoying it,” Nick said. Once Yoga Habit was established, Nick decided it was time for him to try his hand too. “We just decided to double down on the neighborhood and the community.”

From a pandemic to a relocation and remodel, the last five years have been anything but normal for Nick and the Stone’s team. They used the onset of the pandemic to build out their website and set up a delivery team. “Everyday was pretty much a blur,” Nick said. He and Jen also recently welcomed their first child around this time. Jen, Nick, and their now-two children still live in the neighborhood. You will see them around Fairmount and Francisville, not just in their businesses. 

While the store temporarily relocated to Brewerytown due to construction, Nick is excited to provide another space for neighbors and friends to bump into each other once they reopen on Fairmount Avenue. “There are these mini neighborhood reunions, which is very cool to see and very cool to be a part of,” he said. “Stone’s exists for more than just a good beer recommendation. It exists to be something greater in the community and to impact people’s lives and in ways only small businesses can.”

Whether you’re a novice or beer savant, Nick has a few tips to help you get the most out of your Stone’s experience.

  1. Ask questions. “Our team is really knowledgeable and providing answers is a joy of the job” he said. 

  2. Ask for samples! The addition of beers on tap will transform how you shop.

  3. Buy singles if you’re on the fence. You don’t have to commit to a case. 

  4. Use the staff picks to your advantage! Find out which team member has a palette similar to yours and follow their recommendations. 

Follow Stones on Instagram and Facebook @stonesphilly.

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