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Meet the Corkery Team!

Since The Corkery’s founding in 2016, its creators Joanna Preuninger and Darek Maslanka have transformed a small local wine shop into an elite standard bearer in the lower-Manhattan and Financial District retail communities. Siblings notorious for their wild adventures and their epic wine list debates, they make dynamic business partners with a synergy that has earned The Corkery its reputation several times over. Get to know them, and the rest of The Corkery Team better.

Joanna Preuninger

Duchess of Cork

Being one of those rare individuals who are preternaturally tuned in to the obstacles and demands of their environment and possessing meanwhile the courage to take on any challenge without hesitation, Joanna Preuninger was destined to attain whatever goal she fixed her mind upon. An idea for a unique, fully customer focused yet affordably priced wine retail experience began to percolate in her thoughts during the earliest days of her career in the wine industry. Embarking to pursue her vision, and being ideally suited for the task at hand, it was not long before The Corkery came into existence and she had left an indelible imprint upon the world of wine. Joanna has blazed the trail forward for female small-business owners everywhere, and The Corkery has set new standards for customer experience in retail wine. Yet there is much more to her than just the success of her venture or her charisma as a leader. Charming and even a little bit of a goof behind the scenes, Joanna wins the hearts and minds of all who know her, but none more than those of her own family. The Corkery is her brainchild, but her most precious babies are running around at home. When not directly overseeing operations at The Corkery, she is a loving mother to two rowdy, sweet little boys, and takes care of a bustling, happy household. When she does take time for herself, it might be to go for a trail run with Pepper, her rescue pup, exercise with kettlebells, or simply lose a few moments admiring her husband’s work in the garden.

Darek Maslanka

Duke of Cellar
Long before he was the co-founder and spirit buyer for The Corkery, then-teenager Darek Maslanka came to the U.S. from Poland to pursue the American dream alongside his father in the restaurant business. Quickly rising through the ranks of one of New York City’s most successful catering establishments, wearing almost every hat along the way, he cultivated versatility and an almost superhuman work ethic before the end of his adolescence. Nowadays he finds that he can only relax by traveling to the most remote reaches of Planet Earth. If he’s not hurtling down black diamond slopes, narrowly avoiding bears, climbing active volcanos, or chatting with Galapagos tortoises, you’ll find him at The Corkery, where his broad expertise and his warm enthusiasm has customers returning time and again, seeking out his sage advice on whiskeys and fine spirits. 

John Ferro

Baron of Bottle

The Baron of Bottle, John M. Ferro, started his wine journey on his stoop in Queens in the 1970's, drinking inexpensive white wine and reading his college textbooks. Some years later, he would perchance to recall the name of the producer and vintage of the favorite wine that he had been drinking during all that study time. Unbeknownst to him in his prior college days, it was in fact an exceptional and undervalued White Burgundy – his first real gem. Perhaps this early formative experience planted the seeds of good taste in the connoisseur he was to become, because over the next thirty-some-odd years, he never ceased to pursue his passion for wine. A ferocious intellect and a natural autodidact, he remained focused on reading and learning as much as he could, tasting all the time, and traveling not only to broaden his palate, but to deepen his knowledge and experience. Almost 40 years after his journey began, he became an accredited Sommelier. Once his daytime job in IT ended he embarked on his passion to a career in the wine industry. Gaining retail experience in several great wine stores in NYC, he finally found his way to the best, where his unique mix of wisdom, passion, and expertise makes him a pillar of The Corkery Team.

Kamil Koc

Lord of Vine

The personal life of Kamil Koc, the alliterative Lord of Vine, is an affair shrouded in mystery. It is rumored that when not at work, he retreats to a hidden chamber beneath The Corkery floor which is accessible only via a secret passageway behind a rotating stack of wine shelves next to the servers in the back office. His shadow has been spotted on CCTV after hours, straightening inventory, dusting high shelves, and laughing maniacally at stick figures made of cork. During business hours, he is a warm, authoritative persona who tenaciously champions The Corkery’s commitment to outstanding customer service. A Level 3 WSET certified wine expert with over fifteen years of food and beverage experience, he has knowledge to match his passion and back up each recommendation. The standard-bearer for The Corkery ethos, he goes above and beyond to serve and educate every client.