Sorel: The Story Continues

Sorel is a startup spirits venture from a company called Jack From Brooklyn. Jack Summers and his partners, Alan Camet and Rich Nazario, run it.

If you are a regular reader of Booze Business, you know that I’ve been following the adventures of Jack and his associates and have written about their efforts on a number of occasions (see April 27, June 5 and June 13th postings this year). It’s a blog meets startup meets reality show.

Well, the summer has gone by and I spoke with Jack Summers about what they have been doing. Here’s the conversation:

Booze Business: How’s it going jack? What are you guys up to?

Jack: It’s been crazy…but, fun crazy. During the day, we’re out selling and delivering; in the afternoon and evening, we’re doing events, tastings and talking to on-premise buyers; and, in between, we’re making Sorel.

BB: That’s right, I forgot, in New York you can self distribute. What happens as you grow and enter other markets? There’s only 24 hours in a day.

Jack: Well, we’re working on a implementing a distributor strategy focused on the northeast to start.

BB: How’s it working out?

Jack: Over the summer we signed on with Fedway in New Jersey. It’s a test situation for now, but I know we’ll knock it out of the park. They’re good people and they know how to nurture brands. Also, we just signed on with MS Walker in Mass with a large opening order and great support from their sales people. We’re also working on Conn and New York. We’ve got some irons in the fire but all options are open. Saturation is key. Saturate, expand, repeat.

BB: What else is happening?

Jack: It’s all about the product. Lincoln Center asked us to help launch Latin Film Festival with Sorel sangria. The French Consulate requested we create a signature cocktail for an event. Two brands asked us to be their official sponsor for Fashion Week. I’m seeing Sorel becoming a staple on cocktail menus. People taste it; they love it and buy it.

Reorders are strong. The reviews have been great. Wine Enthusiast gave us a 91, which means they characterize us as “top shelf.” Check this out – their review called us “addictively sippable.” In addition to cocktail applications, we’ve discovered that many chefs in our on-premise accounts are cooking with it.

BB: I hear you’re being referred to as the next St Germaine.

Jack: We get that often and it’s both flattering and humbling. We hope to emulate their success. But, I will say, Sorel and Champagne or Prosecco is a popular item. We call it the Ariana in tribute to the great review we got in the Huffington Post.

BB: Last question. I hear rumors that some serious spirits players are sniffing around. Any comment?

Jack: No comment. But, any startup would be foolish not to listen to what people have to say or offer. When the time is right, and depending on what’s said, we’ll listen. We’re in no hurry. We’re here for the long run.

BB: Thanks Jack. See you soon.

Jack: My pleasure.

My goodness… a startup spirits venture with a strategy and focus. What’s this world coming to?



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