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Here at FresYes, we love celebrating the birth of new, locally owned businesses that have something new and unique to offer. This week, just in time for the holiday season, we bring you the story behind Brix + Barrel, a brand-new online wine company designed to connect high quality, small-batch wineries with consumers looking to purchase exceptional wines.
Read on to learn more about why you may want to set aside some of your holiday gift budget for shopping Brix + Barrel.
FresYes: Trevor, tell us a little about yourself and your experience in the wine industry.
Trevor Clinard: I grew up in Orange County and went to school at Cal Poly SLO where I studied business and finance—but deep down, I’ve always had an entrepreneur’s spirit. After a career in finance and working in the business world in Southern California, our family made an effort to slow down our pace of life, and moved to the Central Valley.
I accepted a position as supply chain manager of the seventh largest winery in California, O’Neill Vintners and Distillers. For years, I was able to learn about the wine industry on the job, as well as in the classroom, graduating from UC Davis’s Wine Executive Program in 2017.
Most don’t know what a supply chain manager is (and that is a healthy thing). However, for those who are curious, I worked with every department in the company, and alongside vendors, to create computer models and systems to predict how much wine you (the consumer) will buy—and how we can deliver it to you right when you want it. I dreamt in Excel formulas and the position gave me an amazing vantage point.
I was able to see how diverse the wine industry was: on one side you have a boutique winery making 1,800 cases of wine and selling it through a small tasting room, and on the other side you have bulk wineries that produce 20 million cases of wine and sell it through an army of sales professionals and distributors.
Years later, my vantage point married my curiosity and I launched Brix + Barrel—an online wine shop designed to help you uncover emerging wineries you just can’t find at the grocery store
Tell me about Brix + Barrel. What sets your business apart from others?
There is a natural bottleneck in the wine industry. Over the past few years the population of wine distributors has shrunk, and the population of wineries has exploded. This means today’s distributor is forced to focus on larger wineries with plenty of inventory, pushing the small-batch, craft wineries out of the standard distribution game and away from the consumer.
I started Brix + Barrel to help connect the high-quality emerging wineries of California to consumers. I source from wineries regardless of regions, focusing on the quality of wine and team that produces it, helping consumers discover wines they would not find just anywhere—with an easy online shopping experience we have all grown to expect in other products… except wine.
Though I started Brix + Barrel because I saw an opportunity, I made it for those who believe this world can be hectic. There are bills, hard deadlines, crazy carpools, tough tragedies, and long nights.
But I believe that, if you can find time to pop a cork, turn it all off, and look across the table, you might realize how great all the little things are.
If someone is relatively new to drinking and learning about wine, what wines would you recommend they try first from your offerings?
My two personal favorite wines are Desparada Suitor Italian Red Blend and the Robert Hall Cavern Select Grenache. These are bold reds that are perfect for turning a random Tuesday into a special occasion.
Really, I would recommend trying anything from the site. Everyone has their own favorites, and each Brix + Barrel purchase is guaranteed. If you don’t like a bottle, we simply refund you and help find something else you might enjoy more.
With the holidays coming up, do you have any gift sets or specials perfect for giving or receiving this season?
Any of our wine can be customized with a personal message and premium packaging, making it a great gift for someone next door or across the state. For Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, we are offering FREE SHIPPING on all purchases—no discount code necessary.
If you own a business and would like to send wine as a gift to vendors, clients, or potential clients, we would love to work directly with you to add personal messages and branding to our premium packaging. I would love it if, as a culture, we sent fewer fruit baskets and more wine this year.
Anything else you’d like readers to know?
We might be online, but we are a local, Central Valley business. Our office is at the Bitwise Hive in Downtown Fresno, most of our work days are fueled by Hi-Top Coffee or Kuppa Joy, and we love to connect with the local community. If you have any questions, don’t know what to buy, or have any special occasions you might need wine for, reach out to us directly at email@example.com. We might be able to chat about it over a glass of wine!