The massive liquor emporium Wilburâ€™s Total Beverage, located at S. College Ave. right next to Whole Foods, doesnâ€™t exactly scream â€œlocally-owned.â€
â€œItâ€™s kind of like the Wal-Mart of liquor stores,â€ said senior political science major Coby Linderholm.
But students like Linderholm and the Fort Collins community may be surprised to find out that Wilburâ€™s is not only locally and family owned, but both the owner and his father graduated from CSU â€“â€“ and theyâ€™re ecstatic to be voted â€œFavorite Liquor Storeâ€ by the 2012 Best of CSU poll.
â€œWe truly appreciate the student and staff support, so much,â€ said Matt Dinsmore, owner and manager of Wilburâ€™s Total Liquor.
â€œWeâ€™d like to thank the CSU community. Because we live in this community, we work in this community and we love this community,â€ Dinsmore said.
Dinsmore graduated from CSU in â€˜05 with a degree in marketing, and it wasnâ€™t long before he joined the staff of Wilburâ€™s â€“â€“ a business his father had already established and was passionately working to develop into the popular establishment it is today.
Wilburâ€™s was named after the founder, and Dinsmoreâ€™s fatherâ€™s, good friend of the same name. Heâ€™d always hated the name, so much so, he went by â€œLeighâ€ instead.
â€œWhen we were trying to think of a name, we thought, â€˜So, how can we eff with Leigh?â€™â€
Wilburâ€™s opened up for business 12 years ago on College Ave., and it moved south to its current location in 2004 . It has been growing ever since.
â€œAs the Fort Collins community is getting bigger, our business has been getting so much better,â€ Dinsmore said. â€œWeâ€™ve really grown tremendously.â€
One of the things that sets Wilburâ€™s apart from the many other liquor stores in Fort Collins is its enormous wine selection â€“â€“ one that Dinsmore calls one of the â€œmost diverse in the nation.â€
During most business days, Wilburâ€™s has on hand what they call a â€œWine Wizard,â€ or a staff member who has been trained in decades of wine knowledge. The â€œWizard,â€ Dinsmore said, is there to make the selection less daunting to customers, and to open up the community to a world of wine expertise.
Despite its seemingly endless variety of alcoholic selections, Wilburs makes sure to stock locally-owned and operated brands. And its Fort Collins customers take notice.
â€œItâ€™s awesome. Itâ€™s huge,â€ said physics graduate student Tim Walton. â€œBut itâ€™s also great that it has so many microbrews and local options.â€
Editorial Editor Colleen McSweeney can be reached at email@example.com.