|When I sat down and began to consider this year thoughtfully, after a few moments, I found myself smiling. I thought, how much more can the world throw at us, our Company and our beloved industry? It has been almost comical with the consecutive and sometimes simultaneous issues that have confronted us and that we were challenged to overcome. Still, it has been a deeply satisfying year as in spite of Covid, Tariffs, Euro-dollar fluctuations, Logistics issues, Personnel shortages, rising costs, along with good old fashioned Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt, we managed to not only have our best year ever but we made strategic moves to improve our market position for the future.|
|Our enduring faith in ourselves and our teammates, as well as our total belief in a future that is much greater than our past, drives us forward.We are no longer a small Company. While we have been moving towards this milestone over the past few years, I was confronted with the reality and the challenges of managing a strong mid-sized distribution Company. Our leadership team experienced both personal and professional challenges this year that exposed some cracks in the foundation that needed to be addressed. My personal wake-up call came from the relentless daily demands of our distribution business and its impact on our team due to our lack of a strong training process and the “sink or swim” environment that we created. I realized that we needed to get back to focusing on processes, communications, trust, and infrastructure. Myself, along with the leadership team came together to have hard and honest conversations and to commit ourselves to sealing these cracks and moving forward with an even stronger commitment to always doing the right thing and living within the values we have always strived for in our company.The larger we become as an organization a more determined and consistent level of clear communications will be required, along with solid business processes that set our employees up for success and our customers up for a great experience from Woodberry Wine. I look forward to shepherding our Company through this next phase, and to set ourselves up for our next five years of growth.While most international travel was still limited or curtailed and we saw very few of our import and domestic partners in the market, we did push forward with our own sales team’s sales education and sent 3 different groups of four individuals to both Napa Valley and Willamette Valley. These professional experiences broaden our team’s wine knowledge, builds relationships with our important suppliers, and creates lifelong bonds and memories with our team. We look forward to creating more opportunities for our team this next year.Our portfolio has also seen some exciting additions ; Andrew Murray, Mastrojanni, Quinta da Paral, Fattoria Pagano, Alma Rosa, Casa Santa Barbera, Caves Durand, and Maison Darragon were all launched in Michigan this year. Additionally, we acquired a Michigan based Italian import Company’s portfolio, which added 14 new brands that have quickly gone statewide with our strong sales team. We also made the strategic decisions to part ways with some brands that weren’t selling well and allows our sales team to focus on the wines that are responding well with our customers.While our sales strengths in working with restaurants is undeniable and remains a focus for our Company, the momentum that we have built in our retail business continues to fuel our growth. Currently, 58% of our business comes from retail, while 42% comes from restaurants, which is almost the exact opposite for our Company in 2019.We have made the Strategic decision to move our sister company, Kindred Vines Import, to an east coast based warehouse which will have the benefit of improving Woodberry Wines overall operational efficiency while at the same time giving Kindred Vines access to far better logistical options as it grows its national footprint. We have outsourced some key marketing functions, as well as several basic monthly financial tasks in order to bring additional expertise to the Company as well as provide our internal resources to work on more impactful tasks needed to improve our business.Our final report card on the business shows that revenues were up 18% over 2020 and 14% over 2019. During the second half of the year we consistently set record sales months, due to the heroic efforts of our sales, warehouse, and back-office teams and we finished the year with over $10M in sales. In 2022, while growth will be important, we will be decidedly focused on infrastructure improvements and ways to execute on our mission as a Company, which is to be our customers favorite distribution partner.I look forward to seeing you this next year. Please send me an email or a text if I can help you in any way.|
Dan Glisky, Jr.
CEO and Managing Partner
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