Staff

We taste before we buy! ’s principal wine buyer, Michael J. Quinlan, Jr., tastes more than 7,000 wines per year. Michael also tutors monthly tastings for the entire wine department so that informed and educated advice is always available to any customer who requests it. So whether you are seeking a $5-$10 bottle for tonight’s dinner or a specific vintage for that special person or even a few cases of futures for the cellar or your children…you can always trust the advice you receive.

Photo of Michael J. Quinlan, Jr.

Michael J. Quinlan, Jr.
Wine Sales Manager
quinlan@tableandvine.com

Michael's career at Table & Vine began in 1996 when he was hired as a part-time wine associate. Over the course of the past decade, Michael was quickly promoted to full-time sales floor captain, sales manager, wine sales manager and as of January 2008 became the corporate wine sales manager.

Michael is responsible for Table & Vine’s wine selection, purchasing and merchandising. He oversees the Table & Vine inventory within the Northampton and Greenfield Big Y® World Class Markets™. Michael also works closely with marketing to ensure Table & Vine’s image is always creative and unique and that people understand that Table & Vine is a lifestyle destination.

Michael has traveled to many vineyards around the world including, Chile, Argentina, Italy, Austria and Canada's Ontario region. He has also traveled extensively in France and Spain having visited every major wine region. Michael believes it is this kind of knowledge and experience that makes Table & Vine stand out above the rest. He also attends countless trade events, wine fairs and wine tastings. Because of his tireless pursuit of knowledge and excellence, Michael personally tastes over 5,000 each year. His ability to identify up-and-coming wine regions, excellent wine values and his exceptional knowledge of the wine industry as a whole has make Table & Vine a unique destination for wine connoisseurs' nation-wide.

Michael always shares his travel experiences with the staff at Table & Vine and loves to pop open a bottle of his newest discoveries and older favorites in order to educate the staff. Michael can honestly boast that the wine staff at Table & Vine is second to none.

Michael serves as the Chief Judge of the Eastern States Exposition Northeast Gold Wine Competition.

Michael's favorite types of wine include Spanish, Red Burgundy and both German and Austrian wines.  He resides in Northampton, MA with his wife Kimm and two boys Patrick and Tucker.  Michael can be emailed at: quinlan@tableandvine.com

Don Yensen
Store Director
strdir91@bigy.com

Don Yensen started as a high school teenager bagging groceries at the East Longmeadow Big Y.  He quickly moved through the ranks from grocery to fresh foods to eventually becoming a meat and seafood department manager.  From there he went on to the sales office at the Store Support Center in Springfield as a meat and seafood merchandiser for Big Y’s central zone.  Don became a store manager in 2007 and most recently was in our Manchester, CT Big Y location. 

Don got a “small taste” for the division working as an assistant manager years ago in their newly remodeled Northampton store.  When the opportunity presented itself at our flagship in West Springfield, Don was excited to bring his retail store experience as well as his “thirst” for knowledge to the store director position.

If Don has to choose a favorite here at Table &Vine, it would be any one of the fine IPA’s, but the excitement of learning more about some of the other fine wines and spirits makes this job something special. 

Don enjoys beach vacations and reading.  On the reading list these days are children’s books with his son Jonathan. 
Don, his wife Debbie and their son live in Southwick, MA.

 



Michael Brunelle image

 Michael Brunelle 
 Associate Wine Buyer 
 mbrunelle@tableandvine.com

Michael began his career with Big Y Foods, Inc. in 2001 as a part time member of the Division. After two years of displaying a serious passion for wine, Michael was promoted to Wine Department Sales Manager.
In late 2008, Michael left to pursue an opportunity on the supplier side of the industry. Having spent 4 years learning the business side of the trade, Michael was ready to "Come Home to Big Y”.

After having called on many stores and restaurants, Michael realized there is simply nothing as impressive as . He also knows there are many wines that has access to that many stores never even see. This allows to truly be a unique shopping destination by offering their customers wines they just can't find anywhere else.

His favorite wines include Rhône Valley reds especially Northern Rhône, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, and the white wines of The Loire Valley and New Zealand. Of course, he would never say no to a well-aged Bordeaux. He loves finding the newest values of the world and sharing them with customers.

 Michael enjoys cycling, running, and triathlons in his spare time. He resides in Westfield with his wife Maria and daughter Noella

 

 


Picture of Jules Latour.

Jules Latour
Wine Department Sales Manager
latour@tableandvine.com

Jules Latour grew up in Amherst, MA.  He graduated from the University of Massachusetts, with a degree in English.

He worked for another supermarket chain for ten years before joining Big Y Foods, Inc. in 1995.  In 1999 he joined the division to learn more about wine and the liquor industry in general.  His favorite wines are usually the Wines-of-the-Month selected by Michael J. Quinlan, Jr.  He is especially fond of the red wines from Rioja, Argentinian Malbecs and Bordeaux. His favorite whites are German Rieslings.  Jules also enjoys great cheese such as P'tite Basque and Delice de Bourgogne.  Of course he has not forgotten about the excellent beers of the world either.

Jules believes that is the place to shop not only for the more than 4,000 varieties of wine, but also everything associated with life’s finer pleasures and it’s just a place you have to see it to believe it with, of course, world class customer service.

He currently resides in Hatfield, MA with his wife and two sons.

 



Kathleen imageKathleen M. Banas
Fine Foods Sales Manager
banas@tableandvine.com

Kathleen began her career with Big Y Foods, Inc. in 1987. Over the years, Kathleen has held various positions within the fresh foods departments. From the deli to the bakery and even fresh, prepared foods, Kathleen knew the deli was her passion. As a deli manager, Kathleen fell in love with cheese when she quickly realized there was more to cheese than just cheddar. Years of traveling, training, and even hands-on-training; crafting her own Huntsman cheese (ask her about it when you see her), and her years of expertise with fresh, wholesome foods, have all led to her finding her place within .

Any given day, you can walk into and see for yourself the more than 1,500 fine and specialty foods has to offer. If you come in at the right time of day, you’ll even be treated to aroma of rustic, artisan breads baking in the oven. At the heart of it all, you’ll find Kathleen behind the cheese bar cutting samples of cheese for her customers to experience, or she’ll be sharing her cheese knowledge with her customers so they may enjoy the wonderful world of cheese at home.

Entertaining? Kathleen’s more than 20 years of experience in food service makes her your go-to celebration expert. It is her hope that you make ’s fine foods boutique your destination when planning all of your most simplistic to most elegant celebrations.

 

 

 

 

Picture of Phillip Leblanc.

Philip LeBlanc
Liquor Department Sales Manager
leblanc@tableandvine.com

Phil began his career with Big Y Foods, Inc. in 1992 as a part-time bagger. He eventually worked his way into the grocery department where he held many positions from grocery clerk to night crew manager and then assistant grocery manager. It was in 2002 that he joined .

With many years of experience in merchandising, shelf management and product replenishment, Phil has found a way to make the most of the numerous shelves devoted to spirits. Phil and his staff are pleased to bring their customers more than 2,700 varieties of spirits…one of the largest collections in North America!

Phil finds the daily challenges in his position the most rewarding. He likes to think outside-of-the-box in a way that makes the spirits aisles a unique, one-of-a-kind destination for anyone who loves life’s simple pleasures.

Phil and his staff sample thousands of spirits on a yearly basis so that they are able to assist customers in making the right choice for the right cocktail or simple indulgence. Phil is also responsible for selecting the many new spirits offers on a weekly basis, making sure the aisles are well stocked and handsomely presented each and every morning ready for our customers and always looking for ways to “raise the bar”. It is those high standards Phil has set for himself and his staff that make the spirits aisles at a truly indulgent taste destination! 
Phil resides in Easthampton with his wife Samantha and stepdaughter.

 

Valerie Gomes
Employee Service Representative
esr91@bigy.com


Valerie began her career with Big Y in 2001 as a service clerk in the East Longmeadow store.  Throughout high school and college, she assumed various roles on the front end, including cashier and courtesy booth clerk.  In 2005, Valerie was selected to participate in Big Y's "Supermarket 101" summer internship program, where she and fellow participants were exposed to many facets of the company.  This included presentations by many of the departments at the support center and warehouse as well as visits to various Big Y vendors.

Valerie graduated from Union College in Schenectady, NY with a degree in mathematics.  While there, she played on the women's tennis team, served as editor-in-chief of the college yearbook, and was president of the concert committee.  Upon graduation, she decided to pursue her love of rock music with a gig at a Hartford concert venue where she performed marketing and box office duties.  

She soon realized that this was not the career for her and came back to Big Y in 2011 as an ESR trainee in the Tolland, CT store, followed by assignments as ESR in the Stafford, Longmeadow, and West Hartford stores.

As the new kid on the block, Valerie is looking forward to learning all about from her fellow employees and is excited about a new employee training initiative coming soon.  Being of Portuguese heritage, she especially looks forward to learning all about Port wine from the experts at

 

 

 

Kelly O’Shea
Customer Service Manager 
cus91@bigy.com

Kelly began her career in 2003 at the Longmeadow Big Y as a cashier.  In 2010, she was promoted to Assistant Customer Service Manager and worked in the Enfield, Tolland and East Windsor stores.

Kelly bringsover 20 years of customer serviceandmanagement experiencewith her to .  She began her retail career with Bradlees Department Stores while still in high school and heldvarious management positions during her 17 years there.  When Bradlees closed in 2001, she went to work for the Hampden Board of Health and then Civil Engineering.  Wanting more customer interaction, she decided to go back into the retail business.

She looks forward to learning all about the various selections that offers our customers, and she is excited to WOW our customers with the assistance of her staff.  Kelly resides in East Longmeadow with her husband and two sons.