OUR TEAM

Chip Hughes was born in 1959, a superlative vintage of extraordinary wines, most of which he will never taste. To compensate for that sad fact of existence, he decided to become a wine merchant and help the world discover great wines for both everyday enjoyment and the occasional milestones and celebrations that call for something truly special.

Before becoming a wine merchant, Chip built restaurants, wine shops and wine bars, cooked, worked in the import and distribution of wine and even spent a few years as a licensed real estate broker in New Jersey. Somehow, he managed to cobble all these things into a 40-year career of staying one step ahead of the law and getting two kids through college without ending up in the poorhouse.

Chip was educated at the Culinary Institute of America and in the most pressurized, demanding kitchens of New York City and the surrounding region. He knew everyone in the food and wine business “way back when” and often leverages those connections to the great benefit of his clients. 

No wine societies or professional sommelier groups count Chip as a member, and it’s probably best things stay that way. He is most proud of his long marriage to his wife, Maxine, his two children, Rachel and Parker- who are way smarter and better looking than he is- and his relationship with his neurotic rescue pup, Tobi…who is also TFWR’s mascot. 

 


Katie Janke is our Store Manager and Wine & Spirits Maven at TFWR.  Born and raised in Minnesota, she moved to Ithaca to join the TFWR team in early 2020. She comes with 15+ years of experience in all areas of the industry, from fine dining to vineyard management. During her time in restaurants, she fell in love with the concept of food and wine pairing and began to gather credentials to back her passion.   
 
Katie has a degree in horticulture- with a focus on viticulture, plant breeding and genetics- from the University of Minnesota. She has also earned several wine and spirits education certifications along the way and spent three months in France studying agriculture systems.
 

Beverage education is her jam: Katie loves to geek out about the newest products to hit the shelves and guide you to your next favorite drink.

When she’s not in the store you can find her hiking and looking for the next forest to explore or sitting in the sun, usually with a glass of bubbly and a great book.