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stillcreek

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About stillcreek

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    http://stillcreekdistillery.com

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    Male
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    Houston, Texas

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  1. stillcreek

    Ownership Structure

    Depends on what your doing. Are you building a distillery or building a brand? Big difference. Distilleries are hard assets, brands have to be built up and can me moved around, outsourced etc. A brand doesn't have a value until it has a share of the market. As for as having bar owners/investors as partners, Texas has a 3 tier system, actually 4 for on premise. This would be a violation or tied house. As a manufacturer I'm not allowed to even own property that has a tenant with a liquor license. Lots of abuse goes on within the State as in Distillery, Distributor and Retailer all being owned by the same people just not on paper. Usually the license is held in a family member or fraternity brothers name. Additionally In Texas, unless you have a ton of capital or lots of resources it's dang near a loss to go through the 3 tier system as a lot of people are going the tasting room route or sell in bulk as the margins are greater. If your not putting any skin in the game other than sweat equity I don't know what that's worth, not much as a shareholder/partner. The model i used might be a good fit as it was set up to protect a silent investor/partner that wanted to remain off the LLC for personal reasons and maintain protection of their investment. I drew up a line of credit with a right to convert to equity. Check with your attorney on that route. Equity would be base on loan amount with a cap, venture capital approach. Sweat, leadership, and creativity is fine but investors only care how your going to pay them back. Also if your not producing the conversion option would give them a right to remove you. How are you going to get paid? Are you going to take a salary or percentage based on the gross? What are your forecast for sales? If your planning on generating revenue from the retail end, you'll need to be picked up by a distributor, the next challenge is getting it to the shelf. A lot of the mom and pops don't want to deal with unknown brands and the big chains are littered with Texas Brands and so called Texas brands. The big chains will turn you on in a store or two and then let you push the product and allow expansion from that point forward. Plan on spending about $150.00 per tasting. If your doing on premise about $300.00 to $400.00 as your having to pay promotional people and buy your product back as house prices. Another route is you could do an IPO to raise capital, there is a law firm/accounting firm/marketing firm in Houston that can take you public and probably raise 1 million plus of capital. You'll need roughly 150K out of pocket in order to raise that 1 million plus. They acquire and set up a dormant shell company, file on the OTC Pink Sheets and put the market makers in place, (think wolf of wallstreet) and run with it. They handle all the filings and constant press releases. You incorporate in Nevada and/or Panama as Panamanian corporations apparently don't have to disclose who the investors are, (that's a whole another can of worms). The upside is that if your serious and want to raise capital it's a possibility, the down side is last i checked the firm will charge you roughly 17K per month in their fees for the record keeping and SEC compliance audits/statements.
  2. stillcreek

    Howdy from Texas

    Van we could have leased you our little distillery down the road. 5 acres just built out the tasting room to about 90% all the equipment, turn key and none of that stuff your dealing with. Just renewed the license and not really doing much with the facility.
  3. stillcreek

    What part of the Business Plan did you struggle with?

    That's a start - figure out what it's going to cost you on a per bottle/case basis - hard fixed costs - estimate your variable cost which will come down on volume - Cost of fixed assets and all that other fun capital budgeting stuff - Once you work all the numbers out the biggest challenge will be distribution - Getting your product to the shelf and how? Seems to be the area that chokes most of us out of business. Research your state laws and systems, what you can do and what you can't. More than likely as a small guy you'll be in competition with your distributor or liquor chain. Zoning and permitting are the easy parts. It would be wise to visit with the local fire inspector - a few guys have been up and running for years when the fire marshall paid a visit and required substantial improvements.
  4. stillcreek

    We now have a property!

    Congrats - I'd leased you one down the road - Check with the Fire Marshall soon since your inside the City limits - one of the distilleries just got hit with a ton of improvements after about a years operation - you avoid that stuff being in the county - another one got hit with having to build a blast proof room for their grain processing - Big Thicket was close to you - they had a nice place
  5. stillcreek

    Vodka startup

    Vodka? Why? Only 1K brands out there - It's all marketing - hard to compete in the 3 tier system - PM me if you need more details - Get ready for a rough ride in Texas
  6. stillcreek

    Recall plan

    Good to know - we had to recall out first order - It became a mess when we were audited
  7. stillcreek

    Lead Time

    Those are the least of your problems - Your biggest challenge will be dealing with distributors and trying to get placement. You'll learn quickly that your probably in competition with your distributor and your retailer.
  8. stillcreek

    Distillery for Sale - Texas

    Never met him or seen him, he stays really low key, personally I'm rarely at the distillery. We had talked about doing some charity events if we ever finished the property and extend him an invite. We've used some local craftsmen that know him and said that he doesn't drink or ever has. - Mr. Norris just built a 50,000sqft bottling plant for water across the street from his ranch. http://cforce.com/
  9. Previously listed for lease and no responses - Looking at selling off the distillery - turn key - roughly 40K, great location in the country but close to major college town and about 10 million people within a two hour drive. long term lease available on the property with lots of room to grow and expand. Distillery building is 1,500. square feet, tasting room, unfinished is roughly 700sqft. 5 acres perfect for concerts and events. Five minutes from Chuck Norris's house and C-Force Water - we use the same aquifer.
  10. stillcreek

    Hello from Brookshire, TX

    Our distillery is in Anderson, close to College Station about 10 minutes from Chuck Norris's ranch and his CForce bottling plant. We make Vodka out the same water Chuck Drinks and sales. Your better off messing with Whiskey for profit and distribution, even specialty Spirits. We've been at it since 2013, We're at a point that it would be better to sale or lease and contract back to make the product. The plant and operations part is a lot of headache and liability, all the energy goes into marketing. Have you visited with distributors? Do you have a wholesale price point and a shelf price point that your targeting? Your going to need to be priced at Titos or below on the shelf and it's an extremely hard sale. I'm not sure how familiar you are with Specs or the inter workings. talked to other distillers first hand. The laws and system are stacked against you in Texas unless your well capitalized and can afford to push and market, we're grass roots so it's a challenge. After its all said and done i estimate we lose about $6.00 a bottle selling through the 3 tier system and the big chains. Sounds bad but i know of one brand that lost about $120.00 a bottle. They were publicly traded and after reading their financials thats roughly what it was. PM if you have any questions?
  11. stillcreek

    Hello from Brookshire, TX

    Great another Texas Vodka. George if you have your TABC out of the way and paid the fees you've done it backwards. The TABC license has to be renewed every two years, make sure the clock hasn't started. It's a tough business in Texas due to the 3 tier system and competition for distributors and market share. Still dragon is a good bang for the buck we've have two systems for 4 years.
  12. stillcreek

    Distributor and wholesaler markups

    Hayden I'm in Texas and deal with all these guys. There is no formula as you can't control the retailers price. $24.00 dollar Texas Vodka is a hard sell I know first hand. You need to be less than $20.00. My product sales from $16.99 to $22.62 and wholesales for the same price. Your going to need to wholesale for $8.00 or less. Your a vodka your nobody everyone is a vodka. Even at an $8.00 wholesale there is not guarantee the retailer is going to price you fair. You might be on the shelf at $24.00 and the guy selling at 10.00 is on at $19.00. At the end of the day we probably lose $6.00 a bottle for every bottle we sell. Plan on doing a lot of tastings if your in Specs and budget about $140.00 per tasting - You have to buy your liquor at retail and then pay a tasting company about $35.00 to $45.00 per hour, hope the girl shows and doesn't text on her phone the whole time. Not sure what your talking about regarding TABC tax on small scale distilleries. Distilleries don't pay tax to the TABC unless they're donating product to a charity or selling in the tasting room. The tax is picked up by the Wholesaler. FYI the wholesaler is going to take 25% to 50% margin yes I said 50%. your $15.00 product is going to end up on the shelf at around $40.00
  13. We've got a small distillery in Central Texas, kicking the idea around of leasing out the distillery. The main building is approximately 1,500 sqft with a separate building built for a tasting room 640sqft that is unfinished. Nice 5 acre property with a small lake, rolling hills in the area. Lot's of Saturday, motorcycle/sports car traffic. Great set up for tastings, concerts, festivals etc. limitless potential. 60K college students 20 miles away and roughly over 7 million people within an hour and half radius. This would be for a 5 year triple net lease with a 20K - 25K deposit held in escrow. We would still retain our brands and develop new ones, just thinking about getting out of the operation end of things and focus more on sales and marketing. Permits are current and would have to be assigned or new ones applied. This is a turnkey small distillery, nothing fancy but 4 years of hard work already in place.
  14. stillcreek

    Margins and Laid in Costs

    Base on distributor margins - Is the general markup your seeing before or after laid in costs? Example - Distributor requires a 30% margin. - retailer marks up 40 points. Mfg Wholesale = $10.00 - Wholesaler marks up 43%, (30% margin) = $14.30 - Retailer marks up 40% (29% margin) = $20.02 or $19.99 shelf price or Mfg Wholesale = $10.00 - Wholesaler adds .75 laid in costs marks up 43%, (30% margin) = $15.37 - Retailer marks up 40% (29% margin) = $21.52 shelf price. What's the bottom your seeing a distributor willing to go on a minimum margin or per case price after laid in cost?
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