Napa Sonoma SBDCSanta Rosa and Napa, California

"Making it to the business start-up class was a great stepping stone into the world of small business, then having the ongoing support of a certified SBDC Business Advisor and help has been invaluable." 

Ashby and Timo Marshall

The Distillery’s plan is to be a small scale, artisan craft distillery and will produce and distribute high end, premium spirits and liquors in the US, including, but not limited to Gin, Traditional English Sloe Gin, and Whiskey. The Distillery will occupy at least 4-6,000 feet of warehouse space in Sebastopol area of Sonoma County. The new business has secured financing and is in the initial start-up phase with the lease of a location in the Barlow Center of Sebastopol and renovations underway and is set to open in Jan 2013. The purchase the equipment needed for the operation has been ordered and set for deliver from Germany in October.

Clients attended a “So you want to start a business” classes, a three evening session in writing business plans. At the start the challenges the clients needed to address were: 1. Complete a detailed business plan with several years of projections. 2. Keep in mind that some of their products required time to establish value. 3. Secure financing upwards of one million dollars. 4. Find a suitable location; acquire permits and approval from local community. 5. Make money within 18 months.

Met with clients to refine their business plan, sales projections, thoroughly refined a cost analysis to include inventory storage and product evaluations past three years. Discussed several locations in Sonoma Co. along with square footage requirements, future expansion, etc. Then tackled permits and city council relations and requests for new entity within new development area of Sebastopol.

The clients now have a fantastic eight-year business plan with practical and modest sales projections, a marketing budget; they have secured 1.2 million in private funds. They also have ordered special equipment from Germany, set for delivery in Oct. Since signing their lease in a redevelopment area of Sebastopol called the Barlow Center, one of the older buildings burned however it has not affected their remodel. One of the photos shows Ashby and Timo with their hard hats at their new site location.

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Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA or HSU Sponsored Programs Foundation.