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jbrookeiv 02-23-2011 04:43 AM

Thinking of opening an online homebrew supply store, need help finding wholesalers
 
Hey guys,

I have built and managed an online store for the company I work for over the past 6 months, and would like to use these skills to open up a small online homebrew supply store. Eventually, my goal is to open a retail location once I determine that the business will most likely be successful, but for now I'd like to operate the business from my home online. My dream is to one day own my own business, and I think this is a great option.

Now, on to my dilemma:

Unfortunately, I can't find a wholesaler who caters to people like me. Both LD Carlson and Crosby & Baker require a retail location, which I think is pretty ridiculous. Do any of you know of a wholesaler who would sell to an online-only homebrew supply shop. Most of the places require a pretty large minimum order the first time, which isn't a problem.

Thanks for any input. Also, I am definitely not trying to encroach on any of our sponsors. My goal is to serve my region, which is severely lacking in homebrew suppliers. I just need to get the business running well online before I can justify a storefront.

rockfish42 02-23-2011 05:48 AM

http://countrymaltgroup.com/
North Country Malt for all your grain needs
White Labs doesn't require a store front AFAIK either.

jbrookeiv 02-23-2011 02:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rockfish42 (Post 2672552)
http://countrymaltgroup.com/
North Country Malt for all your grain needs
White Labs doesn't require a store front AFAIK either.

Thanks, I just shot North Country Malt an email about it.

Anyone else?

skeeordye11 02-23-2011 02:34 PM

You may want to ask Ed at BMW. He started his setup without a store front. He may tell you to f off since GA isn't too far from FL, but it can't hurt to ask? He is a nice guy, but I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't want to help you. He's on the forum so you could PM him right from here.

CoolHandLuke 02-23-2011 02:38 PM

.

remilard 02-23-2011 02:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by skeeordye11 (Post 2673209)
You may want to ask Ed at BMW. He started his setup without a store front. He may tell you to f off since GA isn't too far from FL, but it can't hurt to ask? He is a nice guy, but I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't want to help you. He's on the forum so you could PM him right from here.

My recollection is that he intended to start with a store front, used one of the normal distributors that require a storefront, a competitor(s) complained, distributor offered the online only arrangement.

jbrookeiv 02-23-2011 03:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by remilard (Post 2673277)
My recollection is that he intended to start with a store front, used one of the normal distributors that require a storefront, a competitor(s) complained, distributor offered the online only arrangement.

Interesting. Even if I opened a storefront, there isn't another homebrew store within ~30 miles, hence the reason I think a store would be successful.

tchuklobrau 02-23-2011 03:22 PM

But is the demand there to make the storefront successful? Nearest hbs to me is 50 miles but i dont think enough people brew in my area to make it a good idea. With the negative thoughts done now, good luck on this endeavor.

jbrookeiv 02-23-2011 03:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tchuklobrau (Post 2673392)
But is the demand there to make the storefront successful? Nearest hbs to me is 50 miles but i dont think enough people brew in my area to make it a good idea. With the negative thoughts done now, good luck on this endeavor.

That is the question, which is why I'm trying to start online. My idea is to offer free local pickup, which would help me to get an idea of what type of customer base there would be here.

billf2112 02-23-2011 03:45 PM

Do you have a local indoor flea market in your area? Get a both there and you have a store front. They are generally cheap (although limited on size), but it is just a temporary front for your future real store.


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