They packed up their New York lives to convey Sunny’s pure wines to Amesbury
When the pandemic broke out in early March, Caitlin Frame and Laura Poladsky wasted no time aligning their panic buying priorities. “The first thing we did was buy a case of wine. Just to be clear, ”says Frame. “Everyone bought toilet paper,” adds Poladsky, “and we bought wine.” It was a careful purchase. While Frame, a musician, and Poladsky, an artist, lived in Ridgewood, Queens as of 2020, they ended it on the North Shore, co-owners of Amesbury’s new all-natural wine shop, Sunny’s. So that first case of lockdown wine? Let’s call it research.
Frame, who grew up in Newburyport, has an impressive non-music resume that includes stints behind the bar at pioneering Brooklyn restaurants, Marlow & Sons and Diner. She was also on the opening team of Manhattan’s acclaimed Frenchette, whose natural wine program was the focus of national attention. In early 2020, she and Poladsky embarked on new projects – they helped open a bar or artist’s studio – that ultimately stalled when New York’s stay-at-home orders came into effect. But the two remained hungry for a new project. When they left town to visit Frame’s family in the late spring, their creative energy, entrepreneurship, and what Poladsky jokingly calls the “real estate problem” led them to an attractive corner store in Amesbury. “This town is stupidly cute,” recalls Poladsky. “That’s it. We can do something here.” A few weeks later, she and Frame left New York for good.
Sunny’s opened its doors in late October, offering shelves of tastefully curated bottles of Malvasia and Montepulciano in a region where moxie may be easier to find. Frame and Poladsky have managed to lay a foundation for interesting, ethical, low-intervention wines that female winemakers showcase whenever possible, and the two pride themselves on hand-selling each bottle. In this area of Massachusetts, where local food, organic farming, and craft beer are already valued, natural wine – which shares an ethos with these movements – seems like a breeze.
Speaking to them, it is clear that Frame and Poladsky are both excited about the beautiful wines they sell and about sharing them with their community. “It feels like there’s a lot of buzz in Amesbury right now,” says Frame, and the co-owners look forward to a time when they can bring their new neighbors together for the kind of community-based, arts-based events that are signature her time in New York.
“I think we both really love serving people because there is no better word,” Frame reflects. “And to serve in all the different ways. . . . I like being part of creating an environment where people are happy and comfortable. “And feel safe,” adds Poladsky, and Frame echoes it before summarizing: “And I think Sunny is a microcosm of all of these things that we have learned and loved. “