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Meet Kristi McDonald of Sip & Shop Texas in Tyler

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristi McDonald.

Sip & Shop Texas is all about building community! We love to shop local, support our local wine scene and build up the little communities around East Texas that make it possible. Did you know that East Texas produces EXCEPTIONAL award-winning wines?

Kristi McDonald, founder of Sip & Shop Texas, is a small town girl, making big news! Kristi founded Sip & Shop Texas and works alongside local wineries to create the East Texas Wine Trail. Sip & Shop Texas gives you a fun way to explore local vineyards & taste local wines during a fun afternoon with East Texas Wine Trail tours!

She also has another “Riesling” to celebrate! She’s working alongside the city of Canton to create the first ever Wine Garden coming to First Monday Trades Days!

First Monday Trades Days and Sip & Shop Texas have teamed up to bring you the BIGGEST & BEST combination of two all-time Texas favorites – SHOPPING & WINE!

The World Famous Canton First Monday Trades Days is made up of 6,000 vendors located on hundreds of acres with over 700,000 square feet of covered shopping.

Read that again: 700,000 square feet of shopping!! (Could it be the eighth wonder of the world?!)

It has become known by shoppers from all across Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma as THE place to buy home decor, furnishings, antiques, clothing, crafts, jewelry, gifts, and collectibles. It is a favorite of vendors, dealers, craftsmen and artists alike as the perfect venue to market their wares.

But even at the greatest market show on Earth, we cannot live by housewares alone. Like every good duo, we need some mac to our cheese, some peanut butter to our jelly, some sip to our shop. Sip and Shop Texas is adding even more goodness to your First Monday experience! In a team effort, Canton First Monday and Sip and Shop Texas have created a one stop shop to soothe your wine-derlust and get your sippin’ and shoppin’ in the same venue!

First Monday Sip and Shop will host a Wine Garden in the Trade Center 1 Pavillion for each market show! So you can sip, and then shop, right on the First Monday Grounds. We will also host East Texas Wine Tours straight from the market!

Spend your morning shopping at all the fun and funky boutiques and hidden gems along the way and then hop on the Sip & Shop van to spend your afternoon with us, as we take you on a journey to explore some of the best vineyards in the area. Tours include roundtrip transportation, wine tastings, and an unforgettable East Texas experience! (Tours sell out early and tickets must be purchased in advance at SipandShopTexas.com.)

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It’s been a challenge because wine is such a new thing to the area! There are over 20 local wineries in East Texas now. The East Texas Wine Trail is a great way to get out and explore this area, but it has been challenging because most people don’t even know we have such an exceptional winemaking area happening right here in East Texas. Van Zandt County has historically been a dry county too, so there is a lot of history being made as we are opening up some of these areas – such as First Monday Trades Days – to the idea of a wine community. We’re breaking new ground and that always comes with challenges.

Please tell us about Sip & Shop Texas.
Sip & Shop Texas is your headquarters for fall fun in East Texas!

Did you know East Texas produces a variety of exceptional award-winning wines? Or that Edom is now an Art District? Downtown Ben Wheeler has a wine slushy machine! Athens has a Farmer’s Market with to die for baked goods and live music.

There are hidden gems all across East Texas and Sip & Shop Texas is all about helping you find them! Over the past few months, Sip and Shop Texas has built a community by shopping local, exploring local vineyards and showcasing the best East Texas has to offer. We’re also having a lot of fun doing it!

Thank you East Texas for all your love & support! We look forward to seeing you on the trail! Find out more or reserve your spot at SipandShopTexas.com.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My family has been around the East Texas area for generations. My grandfather owned a small grocery store, cafe and other businesses around Canton. Having a strong sense of community has always been important in my family. We used to have huge family dinners – with everyone from the area. I actually have my grandmother’s old dining table. I think it can hold 30 people! We all have so many good memories around that table. I think when you grow up in an area where the community is like family, its important to keep that feeling of connection alive.

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