We had the good fortune of connecting with Kori Tafoya and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kori, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
Native to Jacksonville Beach, Florida. Attended University and I worked in the restaurant industry through college and even shortly thereafter.

After completing my degree in International Business, I moved to New York, a city with a lot of opportunities, and began serving at a restaurant in New York City. It was there that I found my passion for food and wine and became certified as a Sommelier.

Shortly after, I traveled to Spain for some time in an effort to use my international business degree exporting wine back to the states, but returned home for the holidays and was offered a position locally in wine sales that I couldn’t refuse.

Working here in the market, I met my now business partner who was a wealth of knowledge in the industry. He always wanted to open a package store at the beaches and after several years of contemplating the offer I devised the concept of Royal Palm.

What should our readers know about your business?
Royal Palm Village Wine & Tapas is a locally owned & operated concept in RETAIL as well as DINING! Store by day and restaurant by night!

Offering over 1200 bottles of fine wine, 12 rotating draft beers & over 200 selections of craft beers to pair with the creative tapas! We are focused on sustainability & supporting locals as much as possible. We are a from-scratch kitchen where everything including our desserts is made in house. The menu is “tapas” but not traditional Spanish tapas. I would describe it as fusion.

Our chef has been with us for 10+ years and is extremely creative with combining flavors, and food ethnicities with classical and modern techniques. There is often a misconception that our tapas are just appetizers and not a full meal, but I assure you, you will not leave hungry. We offer a full menu- just not each item on the menu has starch and vegetable to accompany it. We focus on the heart of the dish.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Restaurants: Norikase- one of the best sushi experiences in town for a special occasion Omakasi at its finest
Restaurant Orsay, downtown Jax
Restaurat DORO in Neptune Beach, small quaint with amazing and creative food
The GOAT, Jacksonville Beach
Royal Palm Village Wine and Tapas (of course) 😉

Flask & Cannon- drinks

Concert at the St Augustine Amphitheater
Downtown St Augustine- Michael’s Restaurant
Walk around downtown St Augustine for a day
Cap’s On the Water in Vilano Beach for Sunset

Boat Trip out to Ft George for one Afternoon of relaxation in the open air

Bike Ride down First Street

High Reformance Gym most mornings for Pilates, Boot-Cap & Spinning (burn off all those calories with all of the drinks & food)

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
As I previously mentioned I met my now business partner who is a wealth of knowledge in the industry, David Joudi, owner of Riverside Liquors in Jacksonville, Florida. David mentored me through my years of wine sales in Jacksonville and encouraged me to continue to grow in the industry. His encouragement is what helped me to be where I am today opening my own business.

Website: www.royalpalmwines.com

Instagram: royalpalmwineandtapas

Facebook: Royal Palm Wine & Tapas

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