EVERETT — The vegan tuna salad at Cafe Zippy is a sassy toss of red onions, lemon and sunflower seeds.
But what wine pairs well with sassy and crisp?
Until a few months ago, Cafe Zippy’s wine selection was limited. Owner Marilyn Rosenberg wasn’t always sure what to recommend.
When Rosenberg bumped into Jeff “Wick” Wicklund in February, she knew he’d have an answer.
Wicklund, an Everett native, knows something about wine.
For years, he wrote a wine and food column for The Daily Herald.
In 1997, he and his, wife, Edalyn, opened Wick-Ed Cellars, a downtown Everett wine shop.
The Wicklunds sold the business six years later and moved to Bellingham. The Everett wine shop eventually closed in 2017.
That day Rosenberg and Wicklund, who’d recently moved to Everett, got to talking about a changed Everett: Young families with children were moving to the city’s north end, and new development dotted the waterfront — and the obvious need for a splash more vino.
Both agreed: Wouldn’t it be nice to add a little zip to Cafe Zippy?
“Young people are naturally becoming interested in nice micro-brews and wines,” Wicklund said.
In the midst of their conversation, a customer stopped by and asked why the cafe didn’t offer more wine, said Rosenberg.
“It was a sign that we needed to do a beer and wine shop here,” she said.
This spring, Wicklund and Rosenberg formed a partnership. They expanded the cafe’s existing bar and built display shelves and wine racks.
The cafe is now home to C. Vines Neighborhood Wine Bar-Bottle Shoppe.
It serves five wines and six beers on tap.
“We want to have the most eclectic, interesting wine selection in Everett,” Wicklund said.
C. Vines also offers wine tastings, classes and club subscriptions at several price levels.
Wicklund says the business — a part time-time venture — is profitable.
Rosenberg, who launched Cafe Zippy in 2005, is thrilled by the new offerings. The wine bar pairs nicely with the cafe’s menu of organic food and beverages.
In 2016, Rosenberg moved Cafe Zippy from downtown Everett to a residential location at 1502 Rucker Ave.
The name C. Vines is a nod to the building’s former tenant, a neighborhood grocery store, said Wicklund, a 1978 Everett High School graduate who grew up around the corner.
“This used to be C. Vans, a grocery store and butcher shop,” he said.
As a kid, Wicklund loaded up on candy and pop from the store, courtesy of pals whose parents had a charge account at the grocery.
In his 20s, candy and soda went by the wayside.
“Wine became my interest, then a hobby, then a passion,” he said.
“In 1994, there was no place to buy wine in Snohomish County,” said Wicklund. “I’m talking about something really nice to take to a wine tasting.”
“Around that time I asked my wife: ‘How about we open a wine shop?’ She thought I was kidding,” he said.
“Two years later, I found the best retail block in town — a spot in downtown Everett on Colby near J. Matheson Gifts and (the former) Pave Bakery,” he said.
They sold Wick-Ed Cellars in 2003 and moved to Bellingham. There the couple operated wine and bottle shops.
Most recently, Wicklund operated a consulting firm, BH Consulting — named after their kids Brandon and Haley — and curated the wine selection at a grocery chain in Whatcom County.
Then family drew them back to Everett.
“We didn’t plan to return, but once we started spending time here, we fell in love with Everett all over again,” Wicklund said.
“This is a resurrection for me,” said Wicklund, who tired of consulting that kept him on the road 18 hours a week.
“Since no one picked up the baton to do another wine bar and bottle shop, it seemed like a good move,” Wicklund said.
As for Cafe Zippy’s vegan tuna salad, “Our on-tap organic California pinot noir or an organic pinot gris would pair brilliantly,” Wicklund said. “Good organic wine and organic food is fruit of the same vine.”
Janice Podsada; firstname.lastname@example.org; 425-339-3097; Twitter: JanicePods