published on March 4, 2016 - 7:13 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff
National chain Pinot’s Palette will soon open its first Central Valley location in the North Pointe shopping center in Fresno.

The business offers a unique night-out option, pairing painting lessons led by local artists with a wine-bar atmosphere. The model has become a major trend across the country and similar concepts have popped up throughout the Valley in recent years.

Visalia’s Blending Palettes and several mobile groups are among the few local options, however local franchisee Stacy Gould said Pinot’s Palette will be the first brick-and-mortar location in the Fresno area.

“It’s something that we don’t have here but something that Fresno definitely needs,” she said. ‘It fills a creative need and outlet for people and because it’s a franchise model, everything is really well-thought out.”

Gould said she was immediately drawn to the company after visiting a Pinot’s location in Henderson, Nevada. After a few visits, she became hooked and decided to bring the model to the Fresno area with the help of business partner and husband Ken Gould.

The Goulds currently run PayTech Payroll Systems in Clovis, but Stacy Gould said she will eventually transition completely to Pinot’s.

“I love people. I love wine and I love painting, so this is just a perfect fit. I’m ready to relax and put my whole self into this,” she said.

The 3,200-square-foot space will open in early April and include both public and private painting rooms and a bar offering wine, beer and non-alcoholic drinks. Lessons will initially be held in the evening, and will be exclusive to those 21 and older.

Unlike other wine and painting businesses models, Gould said Pinot’s requires guests to register online prior to their class. There they can customize any seating arrangements and select a painting from among the company’s available library.

Gould said she expects to hire nearly a dozen local artists and staff for the facility who will all be trained by a head artist from Pinot’s corporate headquarters prior to the grand opening.

“It’s to show the artists and assistants how to describe their step-by-step instructions with lots of details and assist the guests,” she said. “Pinot’s lessons are no experience necessary, but people are often nervous thinking they can’t create what they see.”

Gould said that’s where the wine and music typically come into play, helping to create a relaxing environment.

“It’s a huge stress reliever, especially for people who have high-stress jobs,” she said. “Once you try it a few times you realize it becomes addicting and you just want to grab a brush and relax.”

Lessons typically last two hours and range from $35 to $55 depending on if it’s a public or private class. Pinot’s also offers a pet painting service, which allows guests to submit a photo of their animal to paint in class.

The facility can also be used for corporate events and Gould said she plans to partner with local businesses and nonprofits.

Pinot’s Fresno has already donated a private paint party package as an auction item for the Marjaree Mason Center’s Mardi Gras Party and will donate 100 percent of its initial net seat sales to a local nonprofit group as part of its grand opening celebration.

“That’s something that’s really important to me because we have a lot of great groups in the Valley,” Gould said. “We’ll continue to partner with nonprofits and fundraisers throughout the life of the business.”

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