When you walk through the doors of Wise Guys Discount Liquors in Valparaiso, you’re greeted by not only a vast library of beer, wine, and spirits, but also a knowledgeable team led by store manager Sam Liubakka. His long career with Wise Guys began at WiseWay Foods, where he was instrumental in growing sales and the brand’s success.
After three years at WiseWay, Liubakka was promoted to manager before moving to the WiseWay in Winfield. There, he began to grow the beer and wine sales, using his longtime passion and knowledge of craft beer and wine to succeed.
“I was in charge of beer and wine ordering, writing ads, and maintaining the department as a whole,” Liubakka said.
When an opportunity arose to manage the new Wise Guys Discount Liquors, an off-shoot of WiseWay, on Taft Street in Merrillville, Liubakka jumped on the challenge.
“It was an easy transition,” he said. “I had all of this knowledge of beer and wine, plus I’m a bourbon drinker, so I immediately enjoyed the chance to talk with customers about what kinds of drinks they liked.”
After growing the Merrillville location, known as “Merrill Point,” and overseeing sales and customer relations, Liubakka was part of the team that opened the new Chesterton location two years later.
“We had a really amazing team opening that store and were successful in growing that location,” he said.
Today, Liubakka manages Wise Guys in Valparaiso, which opened earlier this year, much to the community’s excitement. On any given day, he is managing sales and his dedicated staff, writing orders, and overseeing the store in general. As store manager, Liubakka is key in ensuring the store lives up to its customer-focused and welcoming environment.
“Wise Guys is a unique liquor store in the area, not only because of its vast library of products, but also our employee knowledge,” he said. “We engage with customers and when we show them where something is, or what we recommend, we walk them to it, all the while starting up a conversation about what goes well with that product or what else they have tried.”
“All in all, though, it’s such a fun atmosphere to be in,” he continued. “We have great employees and a great owner, and we all have connected on a shared love of good beer, good wine, and good spirits.”
Liubakka himself is a bourbon drinker and recently has enjoyed Bardstown Bourbon. In his spare time, he and his wife of seven years have put their time and energy into renovating their new house.
For more information about Wise Guys Discount Liquors, visit their website at https://www.wiseguysliquors.com/.