The West End Wine Shop came into existence in May of 1999 as the 8th Street Wine Library. Frustrated that folks kept thinking it was a bookstore, Joanne and then-business-partner David Cohen renamed the store to the West End Wine Shop. Just before David was due to become a new dad (and therefore, too busy for wine), Manuel purchased David's interest in the shop in March of 2002, forming the business partnership that exists today.
Manuel Sanchez was born and raised in Montreal, Canada, to Spanish parents who excelled in Montreal's Restaurant and Bed & Breakfast business. He spent years running a fine French restaurant in Montreal's historic Old Port, and has traveled the world tasting wines from all corners, with a primary focus on Europe (with those Spanish roots, it's no wonder!) Fully fluent in French, Spanish and English, Manuel's B.S. degree is in Finance from CU. He is successfully qualified for and competitively completed ten Ironman Triathlons, including in Hawaii, Switzerland, Canada and the US! A longtime Sommelier, Manuel's knowledge about wine comes through in his passion for it, and years of experience and travels through wine country (it just so happens that great wine country often coincides with great tri-training country!)
Joanne Keys was born in Costa Rica and has spent her entire adult life traveling the seven continents (including six years in Antarctica, although her belongings have resided in Boulder since 1983). As a computer geek by trade, she worked in international software development, allowing herself to intimately learn the wines of the world firsthand. In 2000, she hung up her frequent flier cards and joined her belongings in Boulder, when she purchased 50% of the Wine Shop. Joanne is now the Executive Director of the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado, a Denver-based nonprofit that advances sustainability through "grass-tops" collaboration among business, nonprofit, government & education. Aside from wine, her other passions in life are paragliding and playing with her dogs.