Stores With Stories: Paradise Wine

By Nancy J. Parisi

Published on | Last Updated

Since opening its doors in 2015, Paradise Wine in Buffalo’s Five Points neighborhood has been hopping. Open six days a week (day of rest is Monday), the shop focuses on organic, sustainable, and biodynamic wines and liquors. It’s co-owned by best friends Paula Paradise and Lauren Kostek. The two are so close that some presume they’re a couple: they are solely business partners.

Paula, a poet and longtime trusted wine enthusiast who earned her wine chops working at Premier Wine, and Lauren, a real estate agent with Gurney Becker & Bourne, restored their building and storefront, creating a calming space with an art gallery sensibility (they’ve hosted small literary and wine-focused event in the past) – lots of wood and a rainbow flag in the window. Paula’s standard poodle, Bliss, is also a welcoming face here some days.

“I’m visible as a business owner,” Paula says, “so I feel it’s important to extend out to all disempowered groups, including our gay community. I took a crooked path as a past pastry chef, server, bartender, and wine sales associate to where I am today, but it is the way it was meant to be.”

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Paradise Wine, 435 Rhode Island Street, Buffalo | Instagram

Nancy J. Parisi headshot

Nancy J. Parisi

Nancy is a social documentation photographer based in Buffalo, NY.