It gives me such great pleasure to have you here reading the very first OTBX Journal entry. It’s taken a lot of time and effort to be able to type out these words, on this website, while sitting in this place my partners and I have created. It’s been a huge endeavor of regulatory paperwork, arguments, celebrations, sawdust and paint fumes.
And all that effort, while exhaustive, appears to be completely worth it. In the few short weeks since we’ve been open, we’ve received great feedback and lots of repeat customers. We’ve made lots of new friends and sold a lot of beer and wine, which I suppose means we must be doing something right. Business is booming and we owe it all to you.
So, now that our flag is firmly planted and we’re off and running, I thought it might be nice to share a bit of the journey that brought us to where we are now.
This whole thing started as a conversation with four friends about how tough it was to find consistent high-quality beer, in a consistent high-quality environment in Huntsville. We started from a wide-range of viewpoints and experiences. A software CEO, a medical-sales professional (as well as a former brewery owner), an attorney and a marketing consultant. We were each equipped with a talent for drinking beer, but we weren’t too sure we had the chops to be as successful at selling it. But we were willing to try.
We talked, planned, shared large bar tabs, planned and talked some more. Months went by as we wrote a business plan, scouted locations and talked to friends – testing their reaction to our concept of a retail location for craft beer and fine wine with a “Southern, Craft, Culture” theme. What we wanted was a unique location for on and off premise service of beer and wine. A location that would allow for character, personality and a memorable experience where we could highlight the great craft beers being made in our city, state and region.
All that sounded great, and people loved our concept, but we got bogged down. We became very good at meeting and talking without really making much progress. Then one day everything clicked. The right location (owned by an amazing landlord) appeared. The right carpenter to create our interior appeared. The right people to run the daily aspects of the business became available. Most importantly, the right financing was approved!
So we got to work. Tons of blood, sweat and tears later, we opened the doors. Since then we’ve had our heads down, working crazy hours to make sure we deliver the best for our customers. We’re tired and running on fumes most days, but we’re having a great time.
To Derek, Matt and Don Alan, I say a big thank you for believing in the concept and trusting your instincts that we could make this happen. To Chase, Tim, Ed and Tucker, I say thank you for joining the new dream team of beer and wine experts in Huntsville.
To our loyal customers who’ve already made us a success, I say a huge thank you for your business. We seek to out do ourselves in service and quality every day. Your happiness, satisfactions and friendship means everything to us.
See you soon.