I have got a friend who is opening a distillery in Lexington, SC. Awhile back they asked me if I had any tips for their business and how to make their launch successful. I mentioned the normal things such as locally-sourced products, unique flavorings and passionate promotion but I also told them to checkout Cedar Ridge Vineyards Winery & Distillery in Swisher, IA.
Why did I tell them to checkout Cedar Ridge? What makes them a company to study? Well, just about everything. Although I’ve never been to Iowa, let alone visited their winery, Cedar Ridge seems to be doing just about everything right.
They are a family owned business that seems to be truly passionate about their business and their products. Cedar Ridge maintains a beautiful location that produces well respected products. At their facility, they offer in-house tastings, pairings and tours. They consistently book weekly entertainment. They organize various planned events throughout the year and most of all they promote themselves well. Their website is great looking and they have the best, most consistently readable emailed newsletter I’ve seen from any distillery. Yes, these are things that most distilleries do but most don’t do it consistently; Cedar Ridge does.
Good communication with your audience is something too many small business forget. An informed customer is a happy customer and inspiring customer passion is not easy to do but people are doing it, so why not learn from them?
Anyway, enough of my soap box. Check out Cedar Ridge and see what they do better than most.
Cedar Ridge makes an award winning Dark Rum. You should be able to order it online at Binnys.com.
True Dark Rum is barrel aged, not spiced. At Cedar Ridge, we honor tradition by mellowing our twice-distilled spirits in charred oak whiskey barrels. When it comes to Dark Rum, age is beauty! Recently awarded a Gold Medal from the Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition. (40% alc./vol.)