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!
When I think about how far we have come and how much bigger Senor Sangria will become, I sit back in awe. I also realize there is no way this would have come true without my wife Maria supporting me and standing by my side each and every day. Some of you may not know this, but she sparked the idea one night while walking back from a barbeque at my buddy Mike’s house. She also came up with the company name. She gave me the confidence to believe I could make this happen and would have great success…..I am so glad I listened to her, because she was soooo right. I know I don’t say this enough, but I want you to know I love and adore you. Thank you for everything you do; you are my anchor and my rock! I know it’s not easy being married to a man who always has sangria on the brain, so I am grateful that you are by side through this adventure; and look forward to many more years of happiness together.
I wanted to take a moment to piggyback a recent post that celebrated our newfound success in Hoboken. There is one eatery in particular that has gone the extra mile in both serving and promoting the Senor Sangria Brand. That is the well-known and heavily frequented Benny Tudino’s. Established in 1968 and known for their gigantic slices of pizza (see pic below), Bennys has become an institution on Washington St (622 Washington St to be exact).
While Benny Tudino’s has become well known in Hoboken and beyond for their pizza, they also boast an extensive menu of Italian Classics. It’s a great place to sit down, take a load off, and enjoy a solid meal. And now, it’s a great place to enjoy that meal with the perfect pairing, Senor Sangria…by the pitcher! Not only that, the folks at Benny Tudino’s are getting the good word out to their patrons. No more than two weeks after delivering our first order, we found ourselves delivering another 6 cases! Awesome!
It gets better. The management at has also been gracious enough to allow our friends at Peerless Beverage to put up posters, allowing us to promote our product within their business. A huge plus. Many thanks to the folks at Benny Tudino’s!
Hoboken is an amazing place. It is the birthplace of baseball, with the first officially recorded game taking place in 1846 at Elysian Fields (now marked by a landmark at the intersection of 11th and Washington). Frank Sinatra, Hoboken’s most famous son, was born here in 1915. Companies like Maxwell House, Lipton Tea, and Hostess at one time maintained a major presense here as they developed into companies that have since become a foundational part of this country’s food and beverage industry. Heck, even Blimpie opened its first restaruant here. And don’t get me started on the fresh mozzarella.
As usual, I find myself digressing to food and beverage. And in the case of Hoboken, why not? Hoboken – roughly two square miles officially, but realistically one square mile of developed space – has become well known for its dense concentration of bars, restaruants, coffee shops, delicatessans…the list could go on. I remember it all to well, having lived here before my Senor Sangria days. I frequented places like Black Bear, Benny Tudinos, and East LA. Others, like Duffy’s, have sadly since closed their doors; but, they are most often replaced by yet another bar or eatery.
This is the reason we have been wanting to get our product into this market since the beginning. And while Senor Sangria was being sold in 2 bars and 2 restaruants, we never really thought we would gain any substantial coverage. That all changed when we brought Peerless Beverage on board. Now that they are marketing and selling Classic Red and Classic White, we are at 12 locations and still growing! It’s all very exciting to see our brand continue to expand, especially since this is the place where Senor Sangria was born. Our commitment to making a premium product with an authentic taste does sell itself to a certain extent. We see that as more and more bars and restaurants are eager to get us on the menu; but, it also takes a motivated distributor that has the expertise and experience to penetrate a market like Hoboken. Big thanks to Peerless for taking us to the next level in Hoboken.
As we notice a decrease in sales with summer 2011 coming to an end, we have been reflecting on this past sangria season. In my wildest dreams, I could never have imagined we would have been able to expand our footprint in the state of NJ as much as we have in such a short period of time. This is due to our dedicated sales force, the folks at Shore Point and Peerless and of course we can’t forget our very loyal customers. If it wasn’t for all of you Senor Sangria couldn’t be found in over 700 locations. The love and support we have received is overwhelming and we are so grateful to all of you. Cheers to a great 2011 and an even better 2012.
8 months ago, our number of accounts hit an all-time high…241. We were excited to say the least. But what has happened since has been nothing short of, well, legendary. It is safe to say that, 8 months after that all-time-high, we now have a new favorite number. 700! That’s S-E-V-E-N ZERO ZERO baby! I’ll go ahead and let that sink in…
There is no way to describe this growth outside of explosive. And this is not just a wave of one-and-done orders. The quality of our product is retaining customer loyalty, and repeat customers are driving increased volume. We have already tripled our 2010 production, and we still have more sangria season ahead of us!
As thrilled as we are, we are already taking bets on what our favorite number will be next year. Taking our continued expansion plans in NJ into account, we project that we will double our sales next year. And that’s just in New Jersey. We’ve have room to grow, if you know what I mean!
700, baby! Cheers!
We recently and proudly announced that we brought on a new distributor, Peerless Beverage, to show some much-needed love to Northern New Jersey. That’s great news for NJ Northerners, but what about the Southerners??? South Jersey, we are not resting until we reach everyone of you. We are not satisfied by any means and that is why we are in discussions with a number of distributors to cover your area. Our goal is to make Classic Red and Classic White available to each county in South Jersey by the end of the year!
I know we’ve said this before, but this time it will really happen. We have always been focused on expansion and growing the brand, but it has taken a bit longer than we expected. What is adding to our momentum now is the fact that Senor Sangria’s reputation is spreading throughout the local industry. More and more distributors are learning about the quality our products offer and the overwhelming positive response from consumers. Quite frankly, Senor Sangria is becoming an exciting offering to add to anyone’s portfolio. We are psyched because we will be in a position to cherry-pick from a pool of motivated distributors that will not only blanket New Jersey as a whole, but also ….. begin our expansion outside NJ! That’s right, we’re looking to officially be positioned to break into a new state next year!
I know this summer is fading, but I can’t help but get excited already for what’s to come. South Jersey and beyond, we’re coming your way! Stay tuned for more to come!!!!
We’re on the move again! Our ongoing expansion efforts recently led to the inking of our second distributor. Peerless Beverage Company recently joined the Senor Sangria family and will bring Classic Red and White to Northern New Jersey, an area that we felt was not getting the attention it deserved. Peerless will add Hudson, Sussex, Union, Bergen, Essex, Morris, and Passaic counties to the Senor Sangria Map, we’ll finally be doing these areas justice!
Being a company built and founded from the ground up, we here at Senor Sangria are thrilled to have brought in a well-established, family-owned company with an excellent reputation. Peerless Beverage’s history reaches back to 1933, when Charles Salzman and Jake Beim decided they could succeed combining efforts to sell beer following the end of prohibition. 30 years later, Rich Salzman and Norm Beim officially created Peerless Beverage. Today under the direction of the third generation of Scott Beim and Chuck Salzman, Peerless operates one of the largest distributors in NJ. In fact, I am proud to report that after leaving some samples behind with Chuck, I received an email while out with Maria that he and his wife gave a big thumbs up! Big thanks to Rich and Chuck!
So Peerless has been doing their thing for only a few weeks now, and we’re already more than impressed with their level of effort. Their reps are motivated and excited to carry our labels, and after seeing the positive reactions from beverage and store managers, you can almost see them licking their chops. Make no mistake, these guys are a competitive bunch, and now they’ve seen for themselves that Senor Sangria is a product with a quality and consistency that almost sells itself. We’re psyched to see where they can take us through the remainder of this summer season and beyond!