Downtown Yakima has been blessed with Stems Yakima for the last 15 years – a full-service wine and gift shop that also serves as a de facto visitor center. Owner Brad Baldwin opened Stems after working at a local winery and demonstrating early on his gift for creating displays and interacting with customers. When a space opened up next to the brand-new Hilton Garden Inn Hotel, Baldwin seized the opportunity and has been providing a haven for local wine lovers and tourists ever since.
Stems features local wines, monthly wine tastings, a variety of cooking related gifts, and a welcoming atmosphere that makes Stems a destination for visitors. Baldwin says he is amazed by the amount of repeat out-of-town customers with whom he has become friends over the years. For locals, it is a trusted resource for custom wine orders and deliveries, and a great place to find that perfect wedding or birthday gift.
Being downtown and adjacent to the hotel is a perfect spot, says Baldwin. He believes it is important to have a strong downtown core, that it should act as the meeting place for the community, and also as the center for tourism. As the main employee of Stems, Baldwin enjoys acting as an unofficial visitor information specialist and also filling in folks about Yakima history. “I had a group of ladies come in,” says Baldwin, “and we got to talking. They were very interested about wine and the Yakima area. Well, then, they started tasting wine. We were all just having the best time. It turns out, they were supposed to meet their friend for dinner, but they had completely forgotten about it!”
Over the years, Stems has had customers from as far away as Australia and Germany. But of course, the locals call Stems their own. From great kitchen items to wine accessories and novelty gifts, Stems has it all! Stop by and say “hello” to Brad. Hang out, taste some wine, and shoot the breeze about Yakima.
Getting to Know Brad Baldwin
Carroll High School, Class of 1979
Hobbies: Travel and any place he can drink wine
Favorite Movie: Dangerous Liaisons
Favorite TV Show: CSI or any crime show
Favorite Sports Team: Seahawks (that is the correct answer, right?)
Favorite Food: Any restaurant; just as long as he isn’t cooking!
Posted June 29, 2021
14 S. First Street
Yakima, WA 98901