SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Thomas Vogele, formerly of Michael Mondavi’s FOLIO Fine Wine Partners, and marketing/advertising veteran Steve Reed announced today the launch of DrinkSpace, a new Washington-based agency for boutique alcohol beverage producers. The new company will provide much needed sales and marketing expertise to producers, helping them navigate the myriad hurdles small wineries, breweries, cideries and distilleries encounter in the U.S. alcohol beverage industry.
“Our goal is to provide vital sales and marketing direction and a voice for the small to mid-sized producers that they just don’t have right now,” said Vogele, who believes this approach will resonate with small producers. “This will give them the time and bandwidth they need to grow their brand in a strategic, methodical fashion in the alcohol drinks business.” A native of the Seattle area, Vogele is a 22-year industry veteran, having worked for titans E&J Gallo Winery, Trinchero Family Estates and Robert Mondavi Corporation. Most recently, he was the National Accounts Director, Off-Premise & Duty Free, and a Partner at FOLIO.
Reed has 23 years of experience as a marketing executive; 12 years ago he started Vision Media, partnering with clients like Verizon, Supercuts, AOL and Guinness. Reed said, “Our primary focus on the marketing side of the DrinkSpace equation is to bring our vast background in social media, public relations and traditional advertising to our partners to drive brand relevance and sales growth. Our relationships will allow our producers to take the daily marketing tasks off of their plates to allow them the freedom to focus on brand strategy and growing their business.”
“When Steve and Thomas came to us with their DrinkSpace proposal – which has them functioning as our national sales team – we were thrilled at the prospect of being able to grow our brand across the U.S. without adding a full-time employee,” said Olga Keever of Napa Valley’s Keever Vineyards. “DrinkSpace provides the perfect solution for us.”
“I think the biggest challenge for a small producer like me is managing and growing distribution,” said Justin Wylie of Va Piano Vineyards in Walla Walla, Wash. “Having DrinkSpace on board will allow me to expand my brand without sacrificing any of the time I devote to growing grapes and making wine.”
In addition to working with wineries, DrinkSpace also partners with small batch distilleries. “Taking a successful but small distillery to the next level isn’t easy,” said Kirby Kallas-Lewis, founder and distiller at OOLA Distillery in Seattle. “I’m so impressed with the combined experience of Steve and Thomas – pairing up with DrinkSpace is a very exciting concept and awesome opportunity.”
Vogele elaborates, “The three-tiered distribution system in the U.S. is very difficult to navigate. The marketplace is a diverse collection of regions with variations in distribution and regulation from state to state. The wholesaler has emerged as a power-center, a gatekeeper to the marketplace. DrinkSpace is a full service national agency with deep relationships at the wholesale level and will help give its partners a voice and much needed sales growth.”
Vogele and Reed are not alone in their thinking. Larger corporations, including industry giants Terlato Imports, Kobrand Corp, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and FOLIO are also partnering with independent producers to assist in the handling of sales, marketing and logistics. “Smaller, independent producers may not have recognized the challenges they face in the marketplace and, despite having a successful brand image, require outside expertise at the delivery end. DrinkSpace is designed to provide just that,” said Reed.
To set up interviews with Reed and/or Vogele, contact Valerie Anderson (email@example.com, 425-882-3400) or Lee Keller (firstname.lastname@example.org, 206-799-3805). To learn more about the company, log onto www.drinkspaceusa.com.
About DrinkSpace: DrinkSpace is an innovative full service solution encompassing brand marketing, public relations and social media, national sales management, supply chain management and logistics management. DrinkSpace’s team provides its partners vital influence, direction and voice in the alcohol beverage industry.
Learn more at www.drinkspaceusa.com or contact us by phone at 425-952-3939.