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Darien Lawmaker's Bill Would Allow Cheese Shops To Sell Beer, Wine

State representative Terrie Wood, left, and Darien Cheese and Fine Foods owner Ken Skovron testified at Wednesday's hearing.
State representative Terrie Wood, left, and Darien Cheese and Fine Foods owner Ken Skovron testified at Wednesday's hearing. Photo Credit: Cthousegop.com

DARIEN, Conn. -- Darien State Rep. Terrie Wood (R-141st District) is proposing a bill that would create a wine and beer permit to allow cheese shops to sell limited amounts of wine and beer.

The bill was inspired by Darien Cheese and Fine Foods owner Ken Skovron. Both Wood and Skovron appeared before the General Law Committee recently to testify in favor of the bill. Wood originally proposed the bill in 2013.

“This is a simple concept that would allow six small businesses in our state to sell limited amounts of wine and beer. Limited is a key word in this legislation,” said Wood, a Republican whose district covers Darien and Rowayton. “The cheese stores are not looking to compete with the local package stores in any way. The wines and beers would be chosen to be paired with specific cheeses.”

During the public hearing, many members of the committee were concerned about what exactly the definition of “limited” would be. Skovron noted other states who have passed similar bills and outlined limited based on how much retail space the beer and wine products would occupy. Skovron also noted why pairing the two together in his shop would be so beneficial.

“Other New England states, such as Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, have laws that allow cheese stores to sell limited quantities of wine and beer and the results have proven to be very positive and not harmful to their bottle shops,” Skovron said.

“At the moment, I feel that the independent cheese shop has been placed at a competitive disadvantage. By allowing the limited sales of wine and beer in our shops we will have the equal opportunity to grow, expand and compete with stores that are already doing so.”

Darien Cheese and Fine Foods has been "specialists in the world's finest cheeses,'' according to a statement on its Facebook page. The business is at  25-10 Old Kings Highway N., Darien.

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