By: Jim Butcher | Category: Retail | Issue: May 2015
Celeste Krafft, Owner Malissa Spacek and Manager Scott Starkey.
It’s no secret that south Broken Arrow is going through a boom in development. While the focus has centered on the Creek Turnpike shopping center, it won’t be long before Elm is redefined all the way out to Indian Springs Country Club. The rebirth of this area is already underway, as of Sparky’s Wine and Spirits proves.
The storefronts at 131st and Elm were established long ago. In fact, the earlier incarnation of Sparky’s, Indian Springs Liquor, had been there for over four decades. Earlier this year, business Owner Malissa Spacek purchased the liquor store with hopes of nudging development further south. With Indian Springs Country Club just around the corner and new building up north; their timing is perfect. They re-named the store Sparky’s Wine & Spirits; a combination of Spacek’s and Scott Starkys, manager, names. Their intentions for the store go well beyond a new name and sign, though.
Spacek and Starkey have already begun implementing some new changes. “We have weekly specials,” says Spacek. Tequila Tuesday, for example, features specials on select tequila brands. Wine Wednesday takes the same approach with new and favorite blends of wine.
Sparky’s will also hold wine and beer tastings. While logistics for in-store tastings are still in the works, Spacek says they are taking reservations for private wine tastings and other events. Customers need only call the store to schedule a date, and Sparky’s will line up a variety of wine for your party.
Another welcome change is the most obvious upon walking into Sparky’s. One look at the selection indicates this is not your typical wine and spirit shop. Every section boasts the newest and, in some cases obscure, brands. Additionally, the store is willing to order special requests, even offering discounts on cases. “We have pretty quick turnaround,” says Starkey.
Sparky’s offers a growing selection from local brewers and distilleries. Prairie Wolf Spirits is based in Guthrie; their vodka is displayed prominently amongst the Smirnoff and Grey Goose. Similarly, Tulsa’s own Marshall’s Brewing Company is given the same love. And, because some folks are interested in trying something new, but often shy about asking, Sparky’s knowledgeable staff is quick to engage in discussions about what is on the shelf.
Celeste Krafft epitomizes the friendliness and passion of Sparky’s staff. Always on the lookout for new makers, she is the driving force behind the ever-expanding variety offered at the store. She points to a purple bottle with shimmering liquid inside, “Look at this – it’s a blend of moscato and vodka. Look at how pretty this is.” She turns the bottle upside down, resulting in a swirl of pink and purple. Produced by Viniq, the bottle stands out amongst the others. When tipped, the result is an effect like one of those ocean motion toys commonly seen on bookshelves – except colorful, almost glittery.
“At a lot of liquor stores, you walk in and the staff just waits up at the counter to ring you up,” observes Krafft. “Here, we talk to you and make suggestions.” Such a willingness to please shapes inventory. “We’ll do anything for our customers,” says Krafft. “We get shipments in several times a week, so we can usually get special orders in pretty quickly.”
In fact, the desire to bring in even more variety has already catalyzed plans to expand. Spacek and Starkey are hammering out details to connect and remodel the space to the south, which will open up the layout of the store and add plenty of shelf space for industry newcomers and local brews.
Already, Sparky’s has brought an air of excitement to the corner of 131st and Elm. With all the growth just to the north, Spacek and Starkey are poised to ride a wave of development that will connect Indian Springs Country Club to the rest of the boom approaching from the north. Be sure to stop by Sparky’s for all your wine and spirit needs – and keep an eye out for big things this summer.
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Jim Butcher is a retired, award-winning newspaperman who continues to write as a freelance writer and photographer. He owned the Tulsa Front Page weekly and was executive editor to Neighbor Newspapers' 13 metro newspapers. Currently, he writes for Value News and has become a paid assignment screenwriter, along with a University of Oklahoma professor who wrote Brad Pitt's first feature film. His award-winning screenplay is on the historical Osage Indian Murders of the 1920s.