Working in Clark County: Mar Meyerhoefer, wine cellar owner

By Mary Ricks, Columbian news assistant

Published:

 
photoMar Meyerhoefer and her husband Richard operate a tasting room/restaurant and sell imported Spanish wines, plus local wines at their wine shop in Battle Ground Village. They live above the shop.(Steven Lane/The Columbian)

Working in Clark County

Working in Clark County, a brief profile of interesting Clark County business owners or a worker in the public, private, or nonprofit sector. Send ideas to Mary Ricks: mary.ricks@columb...; fax 360-735-4598; phone 360-735-4550.

Mar Meyerhoefer was born in Madrid, Spain, but lived and traveled in the United States growing up. She and her husband began dreaming of owning a vineyard and introducing people to Spanish wines and culture — when they retired. They moved the timetable up and launched their wine venture even while holding their day jobs. Mar wanted to share her love of travel, culture and food over a glass of wine. Emanar Cellars was launched.

Name: Mar Meyerhoefer.

Job/employer: Mar Meyerhoefer and her husband Richard own Emanar Cellars LLC in Battle Ground Village.

Emanar is Spanish for "emanate," which means to issue or spread out from a source. Emanar also sounds like Mar and Richard's initials, M&R.

Age: 50.

Education: I was born in Madrid and lived there off and on about 16 years. My father was a diplomat with the Spanish Air Force, and we lived in several places in the United States. I have a degree in manufacturing engineering from Weber State in Utah. I worked at AT&T for years and now own Meyerhoefer Quality Management Systems. My husband Richard is a regional sales manager for Delta Computer Systems.

Professional background: After we married 20 years ago, we started getting interested in the wine industry. We thought we would like a vineyard with a nice tasting room, in the Spanish style, when we retired. We starting noticing there were wineries popping up all over Clark County. We decided we should do something sooner rather then waiting. We bought property in La Center and started making plans for a vineyard. We read, took online classes and attended seminars at the University of California at Davis to get educated about the wine industry. The more we learned, the more we realized we were not farmers and would certainly not ever be like the fourth-generation Spanish vintners we were trying to emulate.

Business atmosphere: I wanted to provide a place that was elegant but not so much so that anyone would feel out of place. I wanted a nice environment for guests, where they could be comfortable and I could introduce wines of Spain.

What we offer: We feature three of our blends, several imported Spanish wines and a few wines from local wineries. Along with tastings, we also sell wine by the glass or bottles and serve tapas (small plates). We are open Thursday, Friday and Saturday afternoons.

Residence: Battle Ground.

One word to describe yourself: Personable.

Most rewarding part of job: I enjoy the people. I get to meet so many people, and some have become good friends. We have a good time hearing stories about their lives and where they have traveled. And I get to share my Spanish heritage with them.

Most challenging part of job: I wouldn't say it is challenging, but we still haven't figured out the business flow cycles. Plus there has been a lot of legal "stuff" we have had to learn. Insurance differed because we lived upstairs from the business and we had to determine which kind of license we would need for our business. Were we going to be a tasting room or a bar or a restaurant? We had to make choices.

Something you would like to do over: I don't want to do anything over. We both learned as we went along. Possibly we could have thought about a bigger space for the future but we have enjoyed the journey.

Best feature of my Battle Ground community: We took months to decide Battle Ground was where we wanted to live when we first moved to Clark County. We liked the feel of city and the people were friendly. The community has grown over the years. There is a general camaraderie with other business owners.

What would make your community a better place: We, the community, need to better promote ourselves. We need to let the public know what we have to offer and where we are in Battle Ground.

Favorite restaurant/pub/coffee shop/store: My favorite places are Pasta GiGi's and Bones Steak and Chop House.

Hobbies: I love to travel.

Favorite travel destination: Of course, Spain, but every time we go back to Spain, we also try to visit another city or country, too.

Most interesting play/movie/arts event: We attended a one-man show, "It's a Wonderful Life," around Christmastime that we enjoyed.

One thing you want to do in the next year: Some of our customers want us to guide a trip to Spain to give them a real food and wine experience, and we would like to do that.

Something you want to do within five years: If the business continues growing, we will want to expand.

Person you'd most like to meet: Ellen DeGeneres.