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Greenwich Shop Owner Shed Wall St. for Wine

Greenwich small business owner Frank Lugossy made a huge career change a few years back when he traded in Wall Street for Main Street. Lugossy, an institutional equities trader for 18 years, got laid off from UBS in 2005.

"Technology was advancing to the point where it was replacing actual traders,” he said. “I saw how things were changing and decided to make a complete left turn in life."

He ended up behind the counter of his own boutique wine shop, Continental Fine Wines, in Greenwich.

"I didn't want to go back to the city. I always liked wine, but I looked at a number of different businesses to own and wine seemed intriguing to me. There is always something to learn about wines," he said.

Lugossy bought Continental Fine Wines in April 2006.

"The previous owner said, 'Here are the keys, here you go.' I had to learn it from day one," he recalled.

Lugossy's wine venture was a success. "I cut my teeth in that store. I learned the business." So when another opportunity came up in Wilton last May, Lugossy decided to go for it and open a wine shop there as well.

Although he has shed his suit, corporate title and large paycheck, he says he is just as happy being a small business owner.

"I like it. It is mine. There is no political game I have to play. It is a lot of hard work, but it is mine. Ultimately, how successful it will be depends on me."

Lugossy says his wife and two children, 13 and 17 years old, are also happy with the change.

"We definitely changed our lifestyle. We were living in the Fairfield County McMansion, which we sold. We downsized everything. But we are just as happy now," he said.

Do you have any Wall Street to Main Street stories? I would like to hear them. Email me at kdrucker@mainstreetconnect.us.

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