HINSDALE – Sean Chaudhry was on vacation in Southern California this August as he and his buddy were en route to visit five craft breweries in San Diego.
It was a microcosm of a love that Chaudhry has experienced for the past 10 years.
“I’m 45 now and at 35 I was able to embark on a journey where I actually enjoy what I do,” Chaudhry said. “I totally love what I do.”
Chaudhry is the owner of the Hinsdale Wine Shop, which specializes in wines from around the world, craft beer and spirits. On Aug. 15, 2003, Chaudhry opened the Hinsdale Wine Shop, which he said was frankly a hobby at first. Chaudhry celebrated his 10th year anniversary this year, but surprisingly the charismatic owner was at one time on top of the corporate ladder working for G.E.
Chaudhry has a background in finance and said he lived in Europe and traveled the world before being relocated to Hinsdale.
“I got exposed to a lot of great wine so I developed an appreciation for good wine very quickly,” he said. “That’s when I said let me give this a shot and see if it works out.”
And work out it has as Chaudhry learned he could support his family and his lifestyle with something he truly enjoyed. But it was also a large risk Chaudhry was taking, not just because he was starting a small business, but because he was starting a wine shop in a town that was just coming off its years enforcing prohibition.
“We were the first ones to open doors as it was a dry town about two years before that,” he said.
After prohibition ended, restaurants could serve alcohol with an extended liquor license, but it was in 2003 when the village allowed specialty wine shops. After 10 years, the popularity of the wine shop is evident, as in a small town like Hinsdale, sometimes you just have to go where everybody knows your name.
“Ten years is a long time and so basically in 10 years you get to know most of the town,” he said. “I’d say 80 percent know me by name when they walk in and I know them by name.”