WooHoo Winery’s welcoming atmosphere, variety of wines, and gorgeous location attract visitors from all over the US.
For owners, Donna and Mike Franks, making wine started out as a hobby. Their passion for wine and desire to be self-employed sparked an idea that grew into a full-time business.
Nestled in Pacific County’s beautiful Willapa Valley, WooHoo Winery welcomes visitors to enjoy the tasting room as well as a peek behind the scenes at their working farm.
The Franks chose the name “WooHoo” so that it would be easy to remember and welcoming, even for a novice. And there truly is something for any wine lover. Their wines include reds, whites, and sweet, fruity creations.
We asked Donna to tell us more about her business and experience running a winery in Pacific County. Here’s what she had to say:
Why did you choose to start a business in Pacific County?
It’s on the main tourism route with Highway 101. There’s low overhead, supportive locals, and we love the area. It has so many outdoor activities within short reach, and the area is good for cooler weather grapes.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
When our guests come here and see what we are doing and are excited about what they see. They really appreciate our little business; often they travel a long way just to see us, and that makes us feel like we are on the right path.
Also, the moment we no longer had to work a full-time job outside of our business while running our business at the same time and knowing we began with just an idea and a wine kit.
What is unique about your business?
We are a working farm while being open to the public (agri-tourism). We are making wine growing grapes, garlic, hay and apples, and our guests can see this any time they come to visit.
If you had to do it all again, is there anything you’d do differently?
No, not really because I think back to all the mistakes we’ve made over the past 16 years, and they have all helped to shape who WooHoo is today in one way or another. But I might say we need to work out how to take more time for non-business related things at least once a week, but that’s a work in progress.
If you had one piece of advice to offer someone starting a business in Pacific County, what would it be?
Meet other local business owners so you can network, be patient, start small, and grow with your business. Businesses are ever changing. Be flexible.
For any aspiring business owner in Pacific County, here are a few key takeaways from Donna’s experience:
- Pacific County not only attracts tourists but also has a strong, local community.
- Appreciate your guests and the process of building a business.
- Allowing visitors to see behind the scenes is an excellent (and fun) way to stand out.
- Mistakes are opportunities to learn and grow a better business.
- Network and allow yourself to be flexible and embrace growth.