The Tasting Panel magazine

October 2013

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Page 142 of 152

Empire State Savvy THE SOUTHERN WINE & SPIRITS NEW YORK EXECUTIVE TEAM HAS SALES DOWN TO A HIGH-TECH SCIENCE by Lana Bortolot / photos by Doug Young C ombining some 90 years of experience, three senior executives led Southern Wine & Spirits' New York (SWS of New York) division to become a $1.2 billion powerhouse in a mere eight years, as estimated by Impact Databank. Driving this phenomenal growth are Executive Vice President Lawrence Goodrich, a 36-year veteran with Southern, industry pro Matt Munn and Jim Beam alum Larry Romer. Building upon every supplier relationship they had developed over years of "running around the wine and spirits world", they built a thriving business in the New York Metro market and the wide girth that is Upstate New York—and they did it, initially, the old-fashioned way. "As we ramped up our business in 2004 and 2005, we got on the phone 24 hours a day, reaching out to every supplier we had ever dealt with in the course of our careers," recalls Goodrich, who is also New York's Executive Vice President, General Manager. "It was extremely challenging, and it took many, many meetings by each of us individually and collectively—over several years—to share with suppliers that we truly have unique capabilities to do what's best for the brands." They shared a vision with suppliers of establishing the best sales force in the business, and then set out to fulfill that promise with virtually all new talent. "We hired people who took a leap of faith because we had nothing to sell, really . . . and everyone here over-delivered to prove we're going to be the best," Goodrich says. "It was infectious. It will never be repeated again—we grew so quickly. We went from nothing to shipping 13 million cases a year in eight years." 142  /  the tasting panel  /  october 2013 TP1013_104-152.indd 142 9/23/13 10:37 PM

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