Sip and Shop
Cambridge business combines shopping and girlfriend fun
By Manning Lee
Photos by Maire Mcardle and Stephen Walker
“Pinkies Up,” is a phrase that dons the front of DocoVino Wine Bar and Boutique. Since the middle of the 15th Century, the practice of lifting the pinkie finger while drinking tea or wine represented a distinction between social classes. In a strange twist of phraseology, it is now a mantra that beckons women to gather, consume beverages, and to be fancy and fun together. No place on the Shore embodies the idea of girls having fun more than DocoVino, a sweet, little wine bar/boutique in the heart of Cambridge.
Amy Betts is a sassy, fun, and bubbly business owner who spent 16 years working at a dental office. She determined that her nine-to-five job just did not fit her busy lifestyle. Betts took a chance and followed where the wind blew her. She decided to create a successful fashion boutique in the heart of Cambridge. “In Cambridge, it is difficult to find clothes other than at Walmart. I wanted to create a place where women could find unique, comfortable pieces that make a statement while still keeping the clothes affordable and fun,” explained Betts.
In the beginning, the boutique thrived but struggled through the winter months. Betts looked for avenues that would enhance traffic during those times. She hosted ladies’ night each first Friday of the month. She invited ladies to come, have wine, and shop together in hopes of creating customers. It became wildly popular and sustained her business during the winter months, but it also helped her grow her business the rest of the year.
After perfecting ladies’ night, Betts still wondered, “How could I incorporate even more fun into the boutique?” added Betts. It would need to be something that could get people to come out to purchase from the boutique. Since Betts had success in implementing ladies’ night and since the local wine bar had just closed, she decided to create a new space in her existing boutique that ladies could come together, drink wine, have fun, and shop.
While most ladies who visit DocoVino come for the wine, they also want a little something to nibble on while they sip their wine. Betts started by simply serving cheese and cheesecake procured from the Cheesecake Girls in Easton. “In December last year, we added the pancake and Belgium waffle charcuterie boards. We make them from scratch and serve them with some Devonshire cream and syrups,” Betts described.
Betts designed her signature wine tasting flights. “There aren’t a lot of places around here to do tastings. I know I don’t want to buy whole glasses or bottles of wine if I don’t know if I’ll like them or not. My flights are a fun, affordable way to try several wines at once,” Betts explained. She gave each flight a playful name. For example, the ‘Big Little Lies’ features organic and biodynamic wine choices. The ‘Betty White’ flight represents the sweetest combination of fruity, floral-bodied wines.
Gaining popularity in the store are DocoVino’s afternoon tea parties on the last Sunday of every month. By reservation only, each tea party is reminiscent of British High Tea. It begins with a bottomless teapot of Fortnum and Mason loose leaf Royal Teas. It also comes with a green salad or seasonal fresh fruit salad and a three-tiered tray full of scones, jams, cookies, and finger sandwiches. DocoVino also reserves private tea parties for groups of ten or more.
Whether ladies prefer holding a wine glass or a teacup with their pinkies up, there is something for everyone here. DocoVino is the spot in town where ladies can come with their closest friends to eat, drink wine or tea, buy clothes, and have a great time together. Let the men have their sports bars — the ladies have DocoVino!
DocoVino Wine Bar and Boutique
Tea Party Dates for 2021
There are two seatings; 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.;
Seating is limited; reservations are required.
406 Race Street
Wednesday-Thursday: 12:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Friday: 12:00 p.m.-10 p.m.
Saturday: 10:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.
Sunday: 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.