Thursday, July 06, 2006

Beat the Heat

This weekend is another Passport Weekend. This time it's called "Beat the Heat" and it features spicy food with chilled wine. We are serving hot chicken wings with our Amoureaux, which is a Vidal/ Muscat blend, and slightly sweet. Should go really well together. John and I are really into hot wings, and although beer is usually served with hot wings, I think wine is a better companion.

The other four wineries are serving wonderful food too. Tickets are $20/person unless you made a reservation before July 1st, then they were $15/person. You get a glass and you get food and wine at each winery and if you go to all 5 wineries you get entered into a Ste. Genevieve getaway weekend package drawing.

John and I will be there on Saturday; 245 Merchant Street, Ste. Genevieve, Mo Come by, meet us, taste some wine and hot wings, and Beat the Heat!


travelguy said...

You have a nice, gentile way of expression that makes me feel your winery must be great. The tickets to tour/eat/drink at all five local wineries sounds like a good idea. I can't make it for this weekend or the next and I wonder if this kind of event is held at other times of the year - especially the autumn when leaves might be turning.

Elaine said...

Thanks for the compliment. We do have another passport weekend planned for November 18th and 19th. We are calling it a "Girls' Weekend" mostly because that is a big hunting weekend here, but there's no reason why a "travelguy" can't come too. ;) Plus, if you are single, what could be better for you than hanging out with a bunch of women drinking wine?

travelguy said...

After I commented in this post, I read further back in time to your late June posting about hoping that your distributor keeps the orders coming in. I'm posting a comment here so you will see it for sure. I want to offer a word of caution about dealing with WalMart. They are a huge operation and may not be shy about exercising their buying power. Any big customer like that is tempted to "beat you down on price" or to trap you into a bad situation (details later in this post). For any business, but especially for a small business, it is important to keep control of the distribution channel in YOUR hands. It may seem counter-productive but it is often a good idea to restrict the sales you make to big retailers so that not more than 25% to 30% of your sales goes to any single customer.
Now the details ... Here is a story of how not doing so can really hurt. A small manufacturer of a quality product was just beginning to get recognition and the first stirrings of profitability. A large retailer (not sure if it was WalMart) approached him and said that they really liked his product but they would need to have the assurance of steady supply at a much higher volume level in order to take it on as a stock item. Would the manufacturer be willing to expand his plant to be able to fill the need? Without thinking through the possible outcomes thoroughly enough, the manufacturer prepared up a business plan worksheet based on the current price and the promised level of purchases and he also factored in the learning curve benefits he expected to get at a higher level of production. When he took his plan to the bank, he showed them the enhanced profitability and cash flow that would be used to pay off the loan and offered to pledge everything as collateral. He got his loan. He built his plant. He hired his workers. He stretched himself very thin to build a nice initial inventory that would reassure the retailer of his ability to meet demand. He asked for the first order.
He was shocked and dismayed when the retailer said they were prepared to place the order but the price needed to be 30% lower. When he said he had thought the price would be the same and that he would not have sufficient cash flow at the lower price, they "kindly" offered to look at his books, determine what price would get the manufacturer to breakeven and adjust the price to that level. They had him! Because he had no alternative (they would have been 95% of his sales from the new plant), he agreed and the benefits of all his hard work and all his pledging of his assets went to increase the bottom line of the retailer. I urge you not to let this happen to you.

Elaine said...

You are not the first to warn us about Wal-Mart. Thanks for the advice. We are definently excited but also cautious. We will keep your words in mind.

travelguy said...

I got back from lunch to find the comment you made after my first post. I laughed out loud. It had just the right amount of tognue-in-cheek flirtiness. However, since I am both happily married and an avid deer hunter, I'll have to pass it up. Thanks anyway. By the way, the first weekend of deer season is November 11, 12 this year I believe.

SARA =^..^= said...