Kent and Sheree Easton sought out the Small Business Development Center at Rend Lake College when they decided to purchase Genkota Winery in Mt. Vernon. CLICK HERE for a larger image.
MOUNT VERNON, Ill. - Since it's opening by Dr. Brad Drake in December 1997, Genkota Winery of Mount Vernon has been a place known for great wine and a tranquil atmosphere with two rolling acres of grape vines highlighted by an Amish built building with a large covered, wraparound deck and cozy areas with picnic tables throughout the grounds that encourage sipping Genkota's national and International award winning wines.
Kent and Sheree Easton have always had a taste for quality wines and have been managing the winery for one year. When Drake indicated that he would be willing to sell the business, the Eastons approached the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Rend Lake College to discuss the feasibility of purchasing the local winery.
The clients, with assistance from the Illinois SBDC at RLC, developed a comprehensive plan that was both functional and demonstrated sustainability.
The plan was presented to Jo David Cummins, President of Community First Bank of the Heartland. With Cummins' and Drake's cooperation, the Eastons were able to bring funding together through the U.S. Small Business Administration's 7(a) Program.
On April 27, the Easton Development Group became the proud owner of Genkota Winery.
"The Illinois Small Business Development Center is proud to have been a part of this venture and wish all the best to the Eastons and Dr. Brad Drake," said SBDC Assistant Director Nick Lemay.
The new owners have added many new and exciting wines to the list of offerings, and regularly hold special events and fundraisers that are quickly gaining the attention of southern and central Illinois. It is through continued hard work, dedication and commitment that Genkota winery will continue to be the premier winery of Southern Illinois. For more information, go online to www.genkotawine.com