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Former Staff

Some Former Houston Wine Merchant Staff

Carla Cardini Carla Cardini
Former Buyer for Spain, Portugal, Greece, Israel, Hungary, Mexico and Online Sales

Carla was born in Mexico City, raised in Conroe, Texas  but has made herself a citizen of the world - having trekked across Europe by camper van and cruised Central America by sailboat.  A graduate of the Hilton School at the University of Houston, she is the 6th generation of hospitality professionals in her family.  She has worked as a general manger and sommelier at restaurants including Ruggles, Sierra Grill, Riviera Grill, Ibiza, Sullivan's and Pappas Bros. Steakhouses in Houston, as well as for Wolfgang Puck at Postrio in San Francisco. She takes great pleasure in sharing her enthusiasm and experience with wine & food and is a great proponent of fearlessly following your dreams.


Allison Conner Allison Conner
Former Buyer for Australia, United States, and Online Sales

Allison started with Houston Wine Merchant while she was still attending the Conrad Hilton School of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston. Since graduating in 3 ½ years she has passed the Certified Specialist of Wine given by the Society of Wine Educators. In addition, she has passed the very difficult Wine & Spirits Education Trust Level 3 Exam (WSET III), and she did so with merit.



Charlotte SimonsCharlotte Simons
Former Wholesale Manageress

Charlotte discovered her passion for the beverage industry at the age of 21 in a beverage management course at the College of Charleston, where she was studying Hospitality Management and Spanish.

Upon graduation, she moved to Boston to accept a position with Boston Harbor Distillery where she was able to work closely with the CEO, Rhonda Kallman - a co-founder of Samuel Adams and an incredible inspiration to Charlotte. Upon returning to her hometown of Houston, she joined the Wine Merchant’s staff as assistant wholesale manager during the busy holiday season of 2015. She was shortly recruited by a local distributor as a Craft Spirits Specialist before moving on to manage the beverage program at Café Brasil during their transition to a full beverage permit.

We were pleased to have her return to our staff in the summer of 2017, bringing her creativity and experience back to Houston Wine Merchant once more.  You may follow Charlotte’s cocktail crafting and tasting adventures on Instagram @whatischardrinking.



Cyrus Tolman Cyrus Tolman
Former Buyer for Argentina, Greece, Lebanon, Portugal, Spain, Online Sales, and Electronic Communications

Cyrus also started with Houston Wine Merchant while he was still attending the Conrad Hilton School of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the U of H. He has since joined as full time staff, completed his Certified Specialist Of Wine (CSW), and has been appointed chief taco forrager.



Devon DekleDevon Dekle
Wholesale Manageress, emeritus

Devon studied marketing before beginning her career in beverage sales, but she actually grew up wanting to be a chef. As an adult, she fell in love with wine after a few tasting courses and has been hooked ever since. She just finished her WSET II and takes every chance she can to learn more, reading books and trying new wines in her free time.

Devon loves getting to know new people and chatting; her friendly personality just draws you in. It’s her favorite part of the job, and as a new Houstonian, she’s found that driving around to different accounts is a great way to get to know the city.



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