What is your strategy for promoting your business?
Having people taste our spirits is the best way to get them to purchase them. We do our fair share of in store demos. We also offer tours and tastings at the distillery. We work with a PR agency, and we actively use social media and e-newsletters to communicate with our spirits-loving community.
What else sets Greenbar Distillery apart from other distilleries?
Our most unique quality is our perspective. We came to the industry as outsiders and as enthusiastic drinkers. Our approach to making spirits is informed by this history. We make spirits by making cocktails first. How can we make this daiquiri better? What is missing? Working backward, and from the drinker’s point of view, helps us figure out how to make better spirits. We also aren’t beholden to tradition or rules (unless imposed by the government). This allows us the freedom to solve problems or find solutions in unusual yet effective ways.
“Owning a business is one of the best things women can do for themselves. I can’t recommend it enough. You can look around and say I created this!”
What challenges have you faced as an entrepreneur?
All the usual ones: Cash flow. Employees. Marketing. But also specific ones to the California spirits industry. Did you know that we can’t sell our handcrafted liquor to the public? Wineries and breweries can. Spirits makers often have to sell to a wholesaler, who sells to a store where you can purchase what we make. It’s unfair and a hurdle to connecting with our fans. It’s a burden that puts us at a competitive disadvantage.
Have you had any challenges as a woman distiller, if so, how did you address it?
Owning a business is one of the best things women can do for themselves. I can’t recommend it enough. You can look around and say I created this!
That didn’t quite answer the question but I’ve always been the practical sort and looked at challenges as just challenges, not challenges because I was a woman. Running a distillery is a difficult endeavor regardless of being male or female.
What advice do you have for other aspiring entrepreneurs?
You can’t do it all by yourself. Hire hard and manage easy. Whomever coined that phrase was really smart. Every time we’ve compromised on a hire, it’s bitten us in the behind. There are still teeth marks back there. Though it’s harder than ever to find great talent, I’d strongly advise patience until the right candidate comes along.