Lovers of beer, wine and other assorted alcoholic beverages have a new place to shop in Milledgeville.
Milly Package opened its doors for business at 917 N. Columbia St. on Oct. 30. For owner Ansul Patel, opening the store represents the realization of a goal he has had for the better part of the last decade. Having grown up helping out in the gas station his family owns, Patel is used to the demands of managing a business and meeting customer needs.
This year, Patel and business partner Vandit Patel finally had all of the pieces in place to bring Milly Package to life. They were even able to secure a location for the store just next to the family Citgo station, thus allowing Patel to run Milly Package and continue managerial duties in the family business.
Patel said the location is ideal for multiple reasons. Being situated just north of the downtown and college campus area makes Milly Package the only store of its kind and size in the immediate area. In addition to servicing the campus community nearby, Milly Package is easily walkable for residents of the adjoining neighborhoods, thus allowing for a good amount of foot traffic in the store.
“I feel like this location is a better location for in and out with a lot of space to park cars,” said Patel, adding that the store’s location helps “to make it easier for them [customers] rather than them having to drive on 441 when it gets congested on busy days.”
Milly Package offers a full inventory of domestic and international beers. While the coronavirus pandemic has made getting some varieties of international beers challenging, Patel said he is in constant contact with his sales representatives to keep the supplies stocked.
“We’re making sure we’re on top of it every week. I stay on top of all of my inventory,” said Patel. “I’m always making sure I’m communicating with the reps, getting the best deals.”
One area Patel takes great pride in is stocking a variety of craft beers, particularly those that are local to Georgia.
“We definitely focus on a lot of craft beers, a lot of local beer from anywhere from Athens to Macon, Atlanta area,” said Patel. “We’re definitely always going to keep that in stock because I feel like, you know, we’re helping out the local economy, too.”
Patel knows many residents enjoy visiting craft breweries in neighboring cities, but that they do not always have the time to get out of town to enjoy their favorite beers. He said he hopes his inventory will help meet that demand.
“When they’re not in the big city, they can just pick up their favorite six-pack over here,” said Patel.
Milly Package also has a full wine selection. A thorough lineup of various red and white wines already lines the shelves, and Patel said he is constantly working to procure more varieties for the store.
Top-shelf liquors are also available, including vodka, Canadian whiskey, scotch, bourbon and more. Patel sees the demand for high-end products and rare items such as allocated bottles of bourbon.
“People come around looking for those, so we’re trying to make sure that we have that in stock,” said Patel.
In addition to the beverage lineup, Milly Package features a cigar room offering a variety of premium cigars. Patel welcomes customer input as he expands and perfects the cigar offerings.
“Whatever cigar you’re looking for, we have it, pretty much,” said Patel.
Future additions to the store will include ice by the bag and snack items. Wine gift bags are already available near the checkout for those wishing to give the gift of a bottle of wine.
As the store continues rolling out its services to the community, Patel is investing time and energy in making sure he and his staff are well trained to answer customers’ questions and make their shopping experience a positive one. He describes the staff members as “young-minded” individuals who are ready to work.
“Whoever walks in, we’re making sure we’re helping them all the way to the checkout,” said Patel.
For Patel, helping the customer is what it is all about. He said he is excited to bring his years of experience in store management to his new venture.
“I just love dealing with people. I love serving people. I just want to make sure they’re satisfied with our service,” said Patel, adding that the staff at Milly Package is ready to “let the good times roll here.”
917 N. Columbia St., Milledgeville
Facebook: MILLY Package
Hours: Monday through Wednesday 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Thursday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sunday 12:30-9:30 p.m.