Posted on May 22,2018
Do you love painting with your girlfriends or just enjoy a fun night out with adult beverages? Nicki de Vera thinks Canvas & Chardonnay is the perfect place, as she mentioned in her #MyDowntownRochMN interview. We stopped by Canvas & Chardonnay to chat with Leah, one of the new owners, and learn more about the business.
Samantha: Hi Leah! Thanks for taking the time to chat with me today. Can you tell us what someone might expect to see or do during a visit to Canvas & Chardonnay?
Leah: Yes! We have a group of wonderful humans who work for us. When you walk in the front door you’re greeted by one of our employees and offered a drink before class even begins. Everyone is chatting, meeting new people, grabbing their paint pallet, and listening to music. Class starts about half an hour after check-in when one of our incredible instructors stands up on the stage and introduces you to the tools you’ll be using for the evening. The instructor is in charge of the party and guides everyone through the painting – step-by-step. Music is played all evening in between each step and beverages are served right up until the last instruction. At the end of class, everyone is encouraged to capture and share their finished project with friends!
Samantha: That sounds like a perfect way to spend an evening. How long have you been in business?
Leah: Canvas & Chardonnay opened in April of 2013 for classes of 25 and since then the business has been remodeled to fit up to 50 painters! I have worked for the business since the opening night and as May of 2018, we [Leah, Eileen, and Tyler] have taken over the business. Operating a business in Downtown Rochester has always been a dream of ours, we together are the Rochester Art Heads and we are so ecstatic about this new adventure. Plus, there really is a sense of a “neighborhood” with surrounding business owners. We are excited to continue paint nights and to add other special events that you will be hearing about soon!
Samantha: I'm really enjoying the new vibe. What would surprise people about the business?
Leah: A majority of our customers have never picked up a paint brush in their lives. Many people are surprised at how great our instructors are at breaking the steps down for people of all skill levels to follow. People leave with a painting that they are excited to hang on their walls or give as a gift to a friend. And we are always creating new paintings, which keeps customers coming back for more.
Samantha: I know you just took over the business, but what has been your most memorable moment so far?
Leah: The highlight of our last month has been showing our new and returning customers the refreshed space we are creating at Canvas & Chardonnay. We are bringing new life and good vibes to Downtown Rochester. In fact, we’re having an Open House on June 2 to debut our newly remodeled space and would love for your readers to join us! On June 3, we will host our first of many art shows, called Stay, Illusion. People can buy tickets at Cafe Steam or on the Canvas & Chardonnay website.
Samantha: That's great, we look forward to seeing all the great things you and the rest of Rochester Art Heads have in store for us, including your upcoming art show! Thanks so much for your time, Leah!