Feb 22, 2022
Inez Ribustello, got her start in the world of food
and wine after moving to New York City to pursue a career in
cooking. She chose New York’s Institute of Culinary Education to
jumpstart her new path, where she began to learn about wine.
From there, she worked at Best Cellars, the
groundbreaking, mid-priced wine store on Manhattan’s Upper East
Side. Her wine career took a huge leap forward when she became an
Assistant Cellar Master at the renowned World Trade Center
restaurant Windows on the World. In a very short time, she was
promoted to Beverage Director, putting her in the position as wine
buyer for the largest grossing restaurant in North
The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 impacted
her both personally and professionally.
Having lost friends, colleagues, and her job in the
attacks, she had to face her future.
Ultimately she returned to her hometown with her
ﬁancé (now husband), Stephen. Together they opened their own
restaurant, wine bar, and retail store called On the Square. The
wine list at On the Square holds the prestigious Best of Award of
Excellence from Wine Spectator.
Inspired by Best Cellars, they created a
user-friendly, non-intimidating wine list, which was well received
by both customers and press in the Eastern North Carolina
In 2009, Inez was 2nd runner-up in the Best Sommelier
in America competition held in New York City. She is a member of
the Alumni Hall of Fame for the Institute of Culinary Education and
a graduate of the Court of Master Sommelier’s Advanced
Inez’ next big venture was Tarboro Brewing Company, a
microbrewery that started brewing in February of 2016.
Almost a year later, she and her husband opened a satellite taproom
serving tacos in the Rocky Mount Mills.
Stephen and Inez have two 2 children that they
In September of 2021, Inez released her
self-published memoir Life After Windows, a
book she has been working on for the past 20 years.