OUR TEAM

Chip Hughes
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. 

 Maxine Boll-Hughes

Maxine Boll-Hughes is co-owner, Chip’s wife, and runs the (behind the scenes) day-to-day operations of TFWR.  

Besides crunching numbers, Maxine is TFWR’s artist in residence and wants to make certain the time you spend in the shop is lovely and delightful.  Maxine adds all the personal touches, curates the art that TFWR has on display and is excited about discovering all the ways the local art and wine community blend together within the walls at TFWR and beyond. She has plans for live gouache painting sessions at TFWR (follow her on Instagram @maxinebollhughes). 

When Maxine is in the shop, chances are, you’ll see her carrying their rescue dog - and mascot – Tobi, in a sling while greeting customers, ringing up orders and arranging local art and regional wine maps on the walls.  
Maxine brings her accomplished background in art and design to TFWR’s branding, logo, packaging, store decor and vibe. After working for many years as an award-winning illustrator, Maxine is currently focusing on commissions and selling prints. 

When Maxine is not at the shop or in her studio, she cherishes time spent with her family. Although Maxine and Chip's two children, Rachel and Parker, live in Chicago and Los Angeles they love being together and are always planning the next adventure.  

Family is everything to Maxine, and having a family-owned business is a dream come true. TFWR is slowly growing its own team and looks forward to welcoming you in the shop to discuss wine, dogs, art or exchange a hearty hello. 

Rachel Gould

Rachel Gould has lived in Ithaca since 1999, and is a longtime Finger Lakes wine enthusiast.  If asked what her favorite free-time activities are, she’ll likely tell you that a long hike in a gorge followed by wine tasting would be her perfect day off.  She’ll happily talk to you all day long about FLX wine, and loves to share recommendations about local wineries (and hikes!).

Recently, Rachel has taken her love of wine further and has become an Official Wine Geek, spending much of the last several years focused on improving the breadth and depth of her wine knowledge.  Since 2020, Rachel has completed WSET Levels 1, 2, and 3 with Distinction, as well as eCornell’s Wines of California, the Pacific Northwest, and New York Certificate program.  Next up for her is a deep dive into Italian wine via the Wine Scholar Guild’s Italian Wine Scholar program. 

In addition to working at TFWR, Rachel is senior director of study abroad at Ithaca College, and also works full-time as a single mom to her son, Elliot, and their four cats.