OUR STORY

Photography by Paul Mehaffey

In 2009, Mike Okupinski initiated the vision for a small bottle shop and growler bar, and his buddy, Ed Buffington, joined the project shortly thereafter offering up the idea of a curated wine selection. The two firmly believed that Greenville’s culture was ready for something special. They opened The Community Tap on July 1st, 2010, to a thirsty crowd.

With continued support The Community Tap moved three doors down (thanks to very thoughtful neighbors and a willing landlord!) in April of 2014 into a larger space complete with an expanded wine and cold selection, a bar with 20+ beers on tap, over 12 wines by the glass as well as kombucha and specialty non-alcoholic drinks to enjoy onsite, a private event room, and a large deck with seating for 60. Anna Okupinski officially came on board (Spring 2014) as the organizer/whip-cracker for the new and improved Tap.

Ed and Mike continue to have a great time hand-picking TCT’s product assortment while also connecting with the requests of our customers – whether it be executing new event ideas, bringing in new products (we now have sake!), or partnering with local charities – the Tap is all about connection, discussion, and mainly, community.  We have grown from a staff of 2 (that would be Mike and Ed in 2010!) to eleven of the finest folks in Greenville who graciously represent all that is the Tap.

Our people

Mike Okupinski - "Mike O"

El Presidente​

Jersey boy with his heart in the South

What he does at the Tap: beer taster and buyer, brewer gatherer, festival father, customer helper, mister-fix-it will-do-can-do-everything-er

Background in GIS (geographical information systems) and Geography (ask him about a map - do it!)

Loves mountain biking, boating, dancing to Phish, and just being outdoors

Hates the word "moist" and non-gelatinous toothpaste

Ed Buffington - "Edwin"

AKA Daddy Warbuffs

From the ATL, loves the GVL, soul in the EU

What he does at the Tap: wine taster and buyer, tasting faciliator, ROOTS master, behind-the-scenes meeting guy-er

Background in Sales, vast culinary knowledge from years of Food Network study

Loves road biking, cooking for others, drinking from a porron, and dirty jokes

Hates the noise that folding a paper makes and cheap Mexican food

Anna Okupinski - "Anna O"

Mama Bear

The Upstate born and raised

What she does at the Tap: counts the beans, schedules the people, organizes the events, communicates and gathers the folks

Background in Theatre and Corporate Event Planning

Loves to plan anything and everything, sour cream, and colorful hair

Hates the taste of milk and driver's that block the intersection

Neil

New Guy Neil

There It Is

What he does at the Tap: Server and stocker of beverages, cheese consulting, and (eventually) cheese buying and run-club organizing

Background in speciality cheese and coffee (and beer and wine, too)

Loves running, yacht rock, board games, Portland Trailblazers basketball

Hates “Your” used instead of “you’re”

Bev of the moment: Clos Cibonne Tibouren Rosé

Greg Bowling

"Teach"

Upstate born & raised

What he does at the Tap: master bartender and chalkboard artist, Greg is the Tap's spirit animal

Background in F&B and real job as an Art Teacher!!! (bless him!)

Loves art, music, and his wife's weenies (she is THE Resident Dogs food cart!)

Hates lazy people, selfies, and inappropriate jokes

Bev of the moment:

Kelsey Bosma

KB

#inappropriatejanitor

What she does at the Tap: Lead custodian & scheduling apprentice

Background in bartending and harassing regulars

Loves my dogs, music, going to music festivals (which I count as camping), reading

Hates raw red onions, fans blowing in my direction

Bev of the moment: Iced beef stock

Natalie

Nat, Natty G., Natty Lite

“As above, so below.” Not my own, obviously, but I try to live by it.

What she does at the Tap: Beertend, pour wine, make people buy things they’ll love

Background in Graphic design, saving dogs, beer, beer & more beer

Loves energy healing, massage therapy, rock climbing, hiking, drinking boxed wine, live music

Hates the word “moist,” and watermelon

Bev of the moment: Krombacher Pils

Kimmie

Kim-Chi

Southern Yogi!

What she does at the Tap: She helps with the bar and retail. Kimmie teaches wine tastings and yoga/wine tasting classes here at the Tap (think yoga, dance & comedy had a baby!))

Background in the craft beer industry for over 15 years! Now, a lover of good wine from working at the Tap. Kimmie has a BA in Art Therapy and is a certified yoga teacher.

Loves Yoga, camping, & wine!

Hates cucumbers, wobbly tables, & people that chew gum with their mouths open.

Bev of the moment: Prunus Tinto

Justin

JB, Jables

What he does at the Tap: Beer slinger, social media guru, trivia master

Background having two decades of food & bev experience; had his photo in Southern Living that one time; spelling bee runner-up in third grade

Loves horror movies, Taylor Swift and literally every dog he’s ever met

Hates the musical stylings of British singer/songwriter Phil Collins. Also, olives.

Bev of the moment: Almanac Vibes Pilsner

Amanda

Tiny but mighty

Tiny But Mighty

What she does at the Tap: Craft beer-slinger, customer service devotee, cash register specialist, motivated wine novice, tidying up enthusiast

Background in Sales and operations in the fashion/apparel industry

Loves sushi, crafting, Beyonce, fine leather goods

Hates congealed salad and “Thunder” by Imagine Dragons

Bev of the moment: Steel Hands Coffee Lager

Ryan

Branimal, Big Red

“Dignan, look...I’m just not very good at this selling-yourself stuff, okay? So, I’m just gonna tell you the truth. I really wanna be a part of this team. And I’m the only one with a car.”

What he does at the Tap: A little this, a little that, a little what-have-you.

Background in beer and wine distribution, software/hardware sales

Loves garlic, soccer, collecting records, Kurt Russell

Hates onions, ignorant and close-minded people

Bev of the moment: Westbrook Coconut Shake IPA

Nick

Nick or Harvey or Nickoli Harvi

Matchmaker

What he does at the Tap: Help people find what they are looking for and introduce them to things they may find of interest

Background in landscape, horticulture, turf management, sales, inventory and sales

Loves planning, live music, my family and friends, football and golf

Hates when people are disrespectful to others

Bev of the moment: Sichuan sling from Xiao Bao Biscuit