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Novelty Hill Januik

Expansion is a good thing

Novelty Hill Januik is already wine-country cool with its outdoor space, bocce ball court, umbrellas, and a feeling of openness in the Tasting Room with large windows overlooking outdoor space on one side and the Barrel Room on the other. Was it enough? Apparently not, because there are new additions.

About a year ago, they began executing their plan for more outdoor space. A level below their current outdoor space is now a beautiful garden area with heaters and lights overhead. The bocce ball court has been moved to this area, leaving more event and tasting/dining space above. A firepit sits at the far end from the winery building.

Garden and bocce ball court

At the other end of the garden area, a Cellar Room has been updated for events with a Treehouse Room upstairs. The Treehouse Room is perfect for corporate events and often used as a bride's room for weddings. Surrounded by windows, overlooking the new garden area and woods beyond, it's a lovely space.

As from the start, the kitchen sits between the Tasting Room and the Terrace Room which is used for events and also Tasting Room overflow. It has capacity for 120 people. The production area sits beyond the Terrace Room with the Treehouse to one side which can accommodate up to 20. It also has access to a small outdoor deck. The Tasting Room overlooks the Barrel Room which is above the Cellar Room.

Another expansion is to the management staff. Owners Mike and Carolyn Januik and Tom Alberg and Judi Beck (Novelty Hill) have hired Mo Shaw as General Manager of Hospitality. If you've followed Mo, you know she is a talented industry professional having worked at the management level of the Space Needle (dining room manager), Restaurants Unlimited (senior general manager), Ray's Boathouse, Café, & Catering (general manager), Q Hospitality Management (contract operations manager), DSquared Hospitality (CEO), FareStart (senior director of food and beverage), and has been an independent consultant for years. You can see why the owners are thinking hiring her is a good idea. She knows things.

Mo Shaw

How did they find each other? "It's a funny story," laughs Mo. "I was very happy at DSquared. Then FareStart recruited me. I was at a point in my career where doing something I love and giving back spoke my language. It was such a hard decision, but I decided to move to FareStart. Four weeks later, COVID hit. They kept me on for 14 months, but eventually had to eliminate the position. I was in La Conner when I got a text from a dear friend. In her text, she said she had been chatting me up to Mike Januik even though she knew I was happy at FareStart. I told her, 'I just got laid off two weeks ago.'" Mo then jumped at the chance to schedule an interview with Mike, and then Mike invited me out to meet more of the team. The rest is history.

"The team is awesome. I'm responsible for anything that impacts the guests first and directly. My team consists of the Director of the Wine Club, Director of the Tasting Room, Director of Events, and the Executive Chef. There's a lot of depth to this team and everyone throughout the winery is treated like family; we're in it together. It's an honor to be part of this group.

"New spaces add to the unique feel of this place and the ambiance fits the feel of the architecture. The owners want people to feel like they're visiting a garden while they enjoy wine. New areas also enhance the event experience and wine membership. We offer both day and evening events and are open seven days a week. Another thing that makes Novelty Hill Januik unique is that everything is done here except grape growing. All production takes place on site, and we produce 45,000 cases of wine each year. We have our own executive chef. At this time, the kitchen offers a charcuterie and cheese plate Monday through Thursday. Friday through Sunday, we add three types of pizza and small plates that change, but an example would be duck confit croquettes. We also do truffle fries with garlic aioli and people love them! The food that Executive Chef Kim Sturts does for events is outstanding."

Treehouse room at end of garden

Mo has set out her goals in this new job. "I want to get the event side of things robust. We can do that as a team, although we'll need to add staff. Increased events will increase wine sales and cross-market our wines. I'd like to see us make a sparkling wine. People love them at weddings and right now we source from outside. I'd also like to see more food features outside with more chef/culinary elements. And then I'd like to live happily ever after and drink lots of wine!"

Connie Adams/September 2021

Novelty Hill Januik
14710 Woodinville-Redmond Road NE
Woodinville, WA 98072

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