Danica Coons and Sandy Haub feel right at home in Oakdale.
Since opening their new liquor store in Oakdale, the two women couldn't have asked for a better location for their first business.
Coons and Haub took over what used to be the location of Pagerti's Liquor off of Century Avenue and Geneva Avenue. They opened Dancin On Sand Wine and Spirits — a play off their first names, Danica and Sandy — on Oct. 8 and have been transforming the liquor store over the past several weeks.
"New carpet is coming, eventually," said Coons, laughing.
Coons and Haub used to work as branch managers for Wells Fargo. In February, the two women found out that they would be laid off in July along with several other employees, Coons said.
That's when they started thinking of opening their own business together.
Coons and Haub went through a long list of possible businesses they could run, but none seemed to make a good fit. Coons' father had owned his own restaurant, but neither Coons nor Haub wanted a business with cooking. Running their own bar wasn't an option since the hours were late and there would be no day off.
However, opening their own liquor store seemed perfect. Sundays would give them an official day off — though they haven't enjoyed a day off quite yet since opening the business. Plus, the hours were reasonable and there seemed to be some fun, different options with owning your own liquor store.
Haub said they would like to help people pair different wines with their meals and feature beer and wine tastings at the store.
Pagerti's Liquor was the 16th liquor store location that they looked at and they both immediately saw potential for the store.
"We were looking for a fixer-upper and some place where the community would accept us," Haub said.
Coons said they found out that Pagerti's was for sale through a friend at Wells Fargo and set up an appointment to tour the facility.
"We could see the potential right away," Haub said.
"And it wasn't too close to other liquor stores. It was everything we were looking for," Coons added.
Pagerti's was under some scrutiny after having issues of selling alcohol to minors. The city council imposed a $500 fine to the previous owners for breaking the city ordinance.
Since taking over the location and putting their new name to the facility, Coons and Haub said they have not had issues with people presenting proper identification when purchasing liquor.
"I can probably count on one hand the number of people who have needed to show their I.D., but didn't have it so we had to turn them away," Haub said. "Other than that, people have been very good about showing their I.D. immediately."
Coons and Haub said that not only have customers been accomodating, but the community has been more welcoming than they could have imagined.
"Everyone has been so warm and welcoming," Haub said. "They always come in to see how the girls are doing."
"It's almost like we have Big Brothers and Big Sisters around looking out for us," Coons said. "We've even had other liquor stores call to check in on us and borrow us equipment we've needed."
Dancin On Sand Wine and Spirits is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and open on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. It is closed on Sundays. For more information call 651-330-2765.
Dancin On Sand will also have a website up after the holidays as well as additional tasting parties.