These days it seems more and more that we are accomplishing what we
set out to achieve. Both Senor Sangria Red and White continue to be a huge
success. 2012 is rockin’ along with the summer heat. We’re psyched
and busy as hell as we are working hard to meet demand. But, July quickly
became August. In the blink of an eye September will arrive. Before
you know it, fall is here, and – for some reason – demand drops off
(note: Sangria tastes just as good in the fall!).
So the process of setting goals for 2013 that will dust 2012’s
accomplishments is once again on the forefront of our minds. We want
to keep our feet-on-the-street by continuing to sell and market
our brand. We want to sell more through today’s retailers and
distributors. We want to expand to more states. We want to add
more distributors. Heck, we might even want to introduce
something new… The list goes on and on!
We’ll keep you posted, but In the meantime…stay cool by drinking a big glass of sangria and Cheers to everyone!
The Last 4-5 weeks have been a whirlwind! Back in March I posted a blog about how much driving I’ve been doing….well I am still driving, driving, driving! Our car is only 6 months old and we have hit 14,000 miles +. We’ve definitely taken some extreme road trips to manage all these different markets…..In one day I drove 12hrs + for two 30 minute meetings. NJ to Buffalo, NY to MA back to NJ…Oh man…thanks goodness for good music and lots of energy drinks.
The traveling is totally worth it, but the biggest struggle with being on the road so much, is leaving my beautiful pregnant wife Maria home alone. I would love to just be home spending time with her and of course taking responsibilities off her plate, so she could relax more. She has been such a trooper and is so supportive of the chaos (good chaos that is) in our lives right now. It is so important to get these markets established now, before the baby comes so I can have quality time at home with my girls in September.
With all this traveling, I have continued confidence that our brand is unique and we are definitely onto something here. As we begin to expand outside of NJ into NY, CT and MA we continue to receive the same excitement from our distributors, retailers and customers…We are certain customers will continue to come back again and again for our sangria….YEAH BABY!
When you get to a point in your chosen profession where you stop
learning new things and you find yourself doing the same thing day in
and day out…well, that’s never a good thing. You’re not being
challenged…you’re not challenging yourself. You get complacent and
lazy. That’s when bad things happen. We strive to ensure that does
not happen at Senor Sangria.
At this point we’re pretty confident that Senor Sangria is good…damn
good…awesome, if you ask me. Even so, we’ve started investing money
drilling into our formula and our practices to find out exactly
why it rocks. We want to be able to replicate this success with
future products (yes, that’s right folks!). We love to experiment and
do crazy things, like testing our products to see how they stand up to
harsh environments. We bake bottles in the sun, freeze them, then
bake them again to see how they taste. We want to know what happens
if a bottle or case or [gasp] pallete is left out for a month in the
summer…or the winter. This type of R&D is crucial to our success.
In a sense, we feel like a craft brewery. We put a lot of time,
effort, and passion into what we do. We want to ensure only the best
gets to our customers. As we gain more and more experience in this
industry, we find that you can never analyze your methods and
procedures enough. So we are constantly testing our boundaries to
provide the best possible product from production line, to the
warehouse, through distribution, to the shelves, and most importantly
to your home!
On Saturday, January 28th we participated in a charity event organized by the family of Gerard’s Wine and Spirits located in Point Pleasant, NJ. We absolutely love this family! The mom, dad, and son are so nice and friendly! The support we have received from them is amazing! We are so grateful for the opportunity in getting to know this family and can’t thank them enough for exposing so many people to our product.
Many of the folks at this event have already tried our Red Sangria, but hadn’t had the opportunity to try our White. We definitely pushed our White sangria very hard, because a lot of them weren’t aware of it. We received so much positive feedback and everyone promised to buy a bottle of White and a bottle of Red, the next time they take a trip to their local liquor store. We also made friends with some wonderful people, who were also in the beverage industry. Hearing about their experiences really helped us become more knowledgeable and we appreciate them being so open and honest.
This was a great event for more exposure and increasing our confidence level. We have always been passionate about our sangria because we know it’s great product, but after this event we are confident that our product is here to last. We are forming a following of dedicated loyal customers that will continue to grow with us. Thanks again to the Gerard’s for including us in this wonderful event.
Hello, friends, fans, and first-time followers! The 2012 Sangria Season is upon us, and like last year and the year before it, I expect it to be our toughest year yet! And I need your help! (more on that to come…)
We expect to see continued demand for our product, which means yet again reaching production volumes never seen before. While it will be challenging enough to meet those demands while maintaining our quality standards, it is also our intention to continue our aggressive expansion into more states. Specifically, Western CT, Upstate NY and MA. I’ve already been to MA a few times and there are a lot of great distributors psyched about our product. What’s sweet is I’ve noticed the MA market is similar to NJ – a state we are somewhat familiar with – so we’ll be looking to replicate best practices for that market.
CT and NY are also giving good vibes. In CT we’ve got Star Distributors lined up to cover western CT (Fairfield and New Haven ). Another distributor, A Gallo & Company, will cover Litchfield County. That gives us 3 of Connecticut’s 8 counties, which is a helluva good start. Just recently on a drive we dropped in on 6 liquor stores to do gather some info. What are the competitors? What is the top selling sangria? What do people want? It was awesome to see that everyone we spoke to gave rave reviews on Star Distributors. And of course we went bearing gifts. We left one store owner with a bottle of white and a bottle of red (not a bottle of rosé instead…) and our business card hoping to hear back with his comments. Down the road from there, I stopped for some grub at a Mexican joint and started chatting with some guy that worked with the power company. After some obligatory opening weather commentary, he asked why I was there and he got our story from the very beginning. After hearing me out, he also left with samples to share with friends and family (Winning!). Bottom line, if you run into us driving through your state, there’s a damn good chance you’ll walk away with some libations!
Right…so how can you help me??? I’m going to be putting a ton of miles on the old odometer to make this happen this year. I need some driving music recommendations from our Sangria-Head community! Of course, I have my favorites and I can always ask Siri for her thoughts, but I want your input!
We have been reflecting quite a bit on 2011 as we begin our 2012 sangria season. While looking back on the past year, we ask ourselves; did we accomplish everything we set out to do??? And my answer is HELL YEAH!
Below is a list of our 2011 New Year’s Resolutions for our company and promises we made to our loyal followers. While, there are a few we didn’t achieve, we definitely tried our best and will work towards achieving them in 2012.
• Increase online communication… Using Facebook, Twitter and other outlets to share what’s going on with our company
• Listen to our customers… Find out what our customers are saying about our product
• Make our sangria available by the gallon… A few folks have suggested we add this as a resolution
• Bring our white sangria to market… This is something we’ve been teasing everyone about for the past 6 months
• Own the NJ sangria market… Basically when people think about bottled sangria in NJ we want them to think of our name
• Create more videos… Yup… that means you’ll see me more often… I don’t know if that’s a good thing…
• Create Senor Sangria Swag (t-shirts, hats, etc…) for people to buy online
• Double the number of locations in New Jersey that carry Senor Sangria
2011 was a great year for Senor Sangria!
• We added 3 distributors in NJ to our Senor Sangria Family!
• 20,000 cases of our White and Red Sangria were sold because of the efforts of our talented sales force and the motivated employees at Short Point, Peerless and Kramer distributors…YEAH BABY!
• Our sangria can be found in 900 + locations across NJ
• Our White Sangria has been on the shelves since June 2011
2011 brought us closer to really understanding why our consumers like our product and our brand. The support we’ve received from store owners/employees has been overwhelming. Everyone is so animated with excitement about our product, which really pumps us up because this is exactly how we feel. I know that lots of folks would like us to expand quicker, but like we said at the beginning; we are a home grown company and will concentrate on one store at a time and one city/state at a time. It may take a while, but Senor Sangria will arrive in your city/state, this is our vow to you!
At the end of October, we participated in the NJLSA (New Jersey Liquor Store Alliance) Tradeshow. This was our 3rd year at the show and we have always used this as an opportunity for leads and getting the word out about our company and our product. This year was a whole different experience, now that we had Shore Point and Peerless distributors on board. Lots of folks already knew about us and the feedback we received was humbling. Shore Point was also at the trade show, so our booth was right next to theirs. We were surrounded by all their fantastic staff and the love we received was tremendous. We really felt like part of the family, which makes this journey we are on….so much better! I started reflecting on the year to come and couldn’t help but get excited. Our brand will be so much stronger in 2012 and we can only go up from here! We would like to thank our distributors and our loyal customers for your continued support! We wouldn’t be here without you!
One of the things that we always look forward to year after year is the continued establishment of our reputation. Repeat wine tastings are an awesome way to gauge this, because it puts you in front of the consumer for a brief, but almost intimate one-on-one. When they walk up to your table, you don’t know if they’ve heard of your product, if they like your product…heck, have they ever tried bottled sangria in the past, if so did they hate it? So while it’s obviously a great platform to advertise and promote, it’s also a litmus test of sorts for us. Earlier this year we showed up at the Wine Library supertasting, our third year running. When we were setting up, we found ourselves thinking back to our first year at this event. We definitely had no clue what to expect. Nervous as hell, is probably a better way to put it. Think about it, here we were, this never-heard-of bottled Sangria producer nestled in amongst table after table of all these fine wines. All these wine connoisseurs were swirling their glasses, sniffing the bouquet, and ever so daintily sipping. And then there’s us…shaking our bottle vigorously and pouring over ice! Quite the contrast…
Well, it turned out there was no need to fret; we enjoyed a very warm reception. And this year, we had folks coming up to our table telling us how much they loved Senor Sangria. Lots of folks recognized us, and many knew about us because a friend introduced them to our sangria. This was great to hear…an affirmation that we are definitely doing something right. Case in point, a couple came to our table to tell us how they came to love Senor Sangria. One day they came upon our bottle in their house. The couple was confused, because they honestly didn’t know how it got there. Some might question whether this is a good thing (“Honey, did you buy this booze? I don’t think I did…”), not the case here. After some deliberations amongst the two, they remembered that some friends brought it over some time ago. With the bottle’s origins confirmed, the next step was of course trying it. But…sangria in a bottle? The couple admitted to being cautiously hesitant. How can sangria in a bottle be good? The verdict?
“Wow, this sangria is really good!”
Before we close out, I wanted to loop back and give a much needed shout-out to Wine Library in Springfield, NJ. If you live close enough to check out their store, it is well worth the visit. It’s basically a gigantic vault of everything wine. Not in the area or don’t have the time? No problem, Wine Library has a massive online
presence (in fact, when you type “wine” into Google, they are on the first page of results). No access to the Internet (?) or don’t trust it? No problem. They’ll take your order over the phone as well (888-980-WINE).
Man, we are on a roll, first Shore Point, then Peerless, and now please help us welcome Kramer Beverage to the Senor Sangria Family. We are very excited to have them on board. They will fill the final gap for our coverage in NJ. We were definitely a bit spotty in South Jersey, but not anymore. Kramer Beverage will cover Camden, Gloucester, Salem, Atlantic, Cumberland, and Cape May Counties. Finally these areas will get the attention they need and deserve. We are a little bummed they will be starting in the fall, but confident they will close plenty of accounts. We are definitely anxious for them to get a taste of the Spring and Summer rush. This addition is huge for us! Having the exposure from another distributor and sales reps who are stoked about the product they are selling will greatly increase our sales. Welcome aboard Kramer Beverage and Cheers to an exciting year ahead!
Since, February to September we had a production run every month. There hasn’t been one bottle of sangria that has sat in the warehouse. Our sangria has gone from the warehouse straight into the store onto their shelves. Demand has definitely kept up with production. Even though we have noticed a sales decrease, in the months following, we are getting really excited for the holiday rush. Spread the word to friends and family about our sangria …and heck buy a bottle for someone special in your life! I couldn’t think of a better gift during the holidays!