The Month End Podcast

Episode Sixteen: David Crooch • Ritual Beverage

November 16, 2021 David Crooch Season 1 Episode 16
The Month End Podcast
Episode Sixteen: David Crooch • Ritual Beverage
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

The Month End provides emerging inventory based brands real life knowledge in the accounting, finance, and operational world. Our guests are not only similar brand founders and owners, but key stakeholders and contributors to the industry. Each episode provides a glimpse into the vast experience and insight from its guest’s unique background in a casual, conversational tone.


• • •


In episode sixteen, Accountfully's Managing Partner, Brad Ebenhoeh sits down with Founder and CEO of Ritual Beverage Company, David Crooch.  He tells us why (and how) he and his cofounder - two cocktail enthusiasts - decided to launch a non-alcoholic beverage company; from initial conversation, to award winning non-alcoholic Tequila.  On the CPG business side, we take a journey through his detailed sales channel strategy and learn how he manages and plans for the margins of each. This is a robust episode full of inventory management and small business development knowledge-sharing that you don’t want to miss.


SHOW NOTES and VIDEO RECORDING:  http://www.accountfully.com/podcast​​

 

The Ritual Beverage Website:  http://www.ritualzeroproof.com


• • •

 

MORE RESOURCES

 

More CPG Resources:  http://bit.ly/Accountfully_Resources​

 

Become part of the in-depth conversation with fellow CPG business owners - Join The Accountfully Alliance Groups:

     Facebook: http://bit.ly/Accountfully_Alliance_FB​

     LinkedIn:  http://bit.ly/Accountfully_Alliance_LI​

 

Use the power of your inventory to grow your business -

Download The Inventory Handbook:  http://bit.ly/TheInventoryHandbook​


For more small business and CPG- focused resources, visit Accountfully's resources page, where you will find helpful articles, guides, eBooks and more.
• • •
Follow us on social media and join our Accountfully Alliance groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Brad Ebenhoeh:

Welcome to the Month End, and CPG community chat. The Month End will provide emerging CPG brands real life knowledge into the accounting, finance, and operational worlds. Our guests will be key stakeholders from those same brands as well as other key contributors to the industry - all of which have vast experience and insights that will be shared with the audience. Episode 16, with David Crooch from Ritual Beverage. David is the CEO of Ritual Beverage. David, how you doing today?

David Crooch:

I'm good, man. Thanks for having me on here.

Brad Ebenhoeh:

Right. So very exciting. You know, the world of non-alcoholic liquor, wine, beer world is keeps expanding, so excited to have you on to chat about Ritual. So give me a little background on Ritual Beverage and where you guys came from, where you're at now, and just give us a little idea of of the brand at the end of the day.

David Crooch:

Yeah, of course. So Ritual started with with my best friend and business partner, who's a full time novelist, wanting to just cut back and drink a little less. We both love our cocktails, love having a few drinks at night. And he was trying to create something that would would stand up would would make mark a moment, you know, make a make a meal better, enhance the evening, but not feel like like garbage the next day. And I was at his house one night for just a night of hanging out. And he had a you know, slew of interesting ingredients on the countertop. And I was like, what are you making?" He's a good enough chef. And he goes, "try this", and gave me a drink. And I took a drink. And I said, "Wow, that is awful. What are you doing to me here? Why are you giving me this?" And he explained what it was, what he was trying to do, and I was like "Alright, I dig it - I totally get the notion." And it kind of stewed with me for a while. And I have I have a background as an entrepreneur in CPG. And towards the end of the night. I said, "you know, if that drink could actually approximate the flavor profile of known spirits if that could be analogous to a gin, or whiskey or tequila, we'd be on to something." Then we would have Almond milk, the Impossible Burger, we'd have the ability for people to still enjoy the activity they enjoy, make their cocktail, have it - minus the alcohol, minus the calories. And that just set us off on this on this path of can this be done? Can we can we go to the right distillers and flavors? Can we get all of the right pieces together to create a true liquor alternative? And that's exactly what we did with Richard Wolff who made it happen.

Brad Ebenhoeh:

Awesome. So now you're selling. What? Whiskey, Gin, Tequila, Vodka, non-alcoholic, right?

David Crooch:

Yeah, gin, whiskey, tequila and rum alternatives. Yeah.

Brad Ebenhoeh:

What is the - what is the like that the top seller?

David Crooch:

You know, it flip flops seasonally between tequila and whiskey.

Brad Ebenhoeh:

Nice.

David Crooch:

Rum is brand new. It just want to Nexty award at Expo East natural food show. It might be my favorite, but it's also the newest. So there's a there's a there's a novelty factor there. And then tequila just won a platinum medal with 98 points through BTI. That is crazy. It's the highest rated quote unquote "tequila" they've ever they've ever rated the highest rated spirit alternative of all time, and higher than any traditional real tequila. It's one of the top 12 items of 1000s they've ever ranked. So very, very proud of the products.

Brad Ebenhoeh:

That's crazy. Crazy. Good. So good stuff. So clearly he was that tequila seasons kind of wrapping up. But going into whiskey season then with the cold coming and the sweater up there in the balmy Midwest, right?

David Crooch:

Exactly. Yeah, I'm sweatering today. And the whiskey sounds fantastic right now.

Brad Ebenhoeh:

There you go. So you're so you're, you're the CEO. So like you guys been in business in what - 2, 3, 4 years now. Is that right?

David Crooch:

Yeah, we our first sale was online, September of 2019. So we kind of just crossed over two full years of sale. Prior to that we you know, a good year and a half of R&D development, getting everything buttoned up, and then to market in 2019.

Brad Ebenhoeh:

Awesome. Awesome, awesome. So CEO. That's your role. What are you focusing on now? What did you focus on? What key hires have you made kind of the last 2,3,4 years?

David Crooch:

Yeah, that's such a fun journey. You know, you start off it was it was myself and two co founders, Marcus and his wife, Gigi Sankey, and you do everything - you know, you wear every single hat, you're involved in every single part of the business, and you slowly begin to hire and let pieces of the company slide off on other people. And we have done we've done a really great job in hiring. We have a 14 person team now. That is every single person is a rock star. You know, there's the trust we have in our teammates. Is is the way we're able to grow and get as much done as we can with 14 people. So I My background is CPG. I love the sales process. So I'm still heavily involved on the sales side of things. But it's also time that take that larger step back, look at the entity as a whole; look at where this thing is going and make sure that we're making all the right decisions for both the brand, and this whole entire category. And we feel a real responsibility for growing this, this brand new category, because it is so important. And then as leaders in this category, it's up to us to make sure that people's first experience is the right one. So that's my focus now is really driving the company forward, and trying to maximize the efficiency of all the employees.

Brad Ebenhoeh:

Yeah, it's really fascinating as myself, I enjoy, you know, drinking some cocktails and some beers and stuff. But it's interesting - what you just said is an interesting point, because the first time we drink something in a new space, or a new, you know, product line, or, you know, it's kind of like, if you have a bad experience, like, even if the ones the add on ones are better, you know, you look at like the, you know, the, the, the White Claws, right, and now everybody compares them to the White Claw, right? And, and so that's an interesting situation. So from a sales perspective, sales channels. So where do you sell your products at? Like, online, but we're out and kind of what do you what are you targeting moving forward?

David Crooch:

Sure. So you know, that the plan for this has always been retail, liquor and grocery. And that's, that's, that's where it's gonna win. But pandemic hits, and we were just rolling out into one major retailer, and everybody else, as you will know, largely stopped taking sales calls, and definitely stopped trying to build brand new categories inside stores where there's going to be zero discovery. So we, we really pulled back and focused on direct-to-consumer sales, straight through our own website. And of course, on Amazon, which is really how every brand should start. You get the opportunity to speak directly to your consumer, you learn your own voice, and the voice that works for that consumer - learn who they are, what they like how to get ahold of them. And then build out from there, take that same message into brick and mortar retail. So we've had terrific success on Amazon capturing at one point in time 43% of non-alcoholic sales on Amazon, which is amazing. And very equitable sales on our own website, you know, getting a better customer experience navigating through the site and learning all about the brand and the many facets of the company, and then getting to getting to end with with our bottle in your cart. But now it is a retail rollout focus. We just launched in about 140 Whole Foods, which is very exciting for us. The Whole Food consumer and our consumer has a whole lot of overlap and Venn diagrams basically a circle and that's what we're looking for people who want to want to have a good life and experience everything they want to experience but not miss out on anything. And that's what we that's what we offer here Ritual. We're also launching into a handful of Kroger banners nationwide next year, which is which is very exciting. And even more exciting than both of those things, is that Whole Foods is really kind of championing this entire category. They realize how important it is. And they're putting out a "better for you end cap" in all 510 stores for January and February of next year. So for dry January, you'll be able to go to any Whole Foods even if they don't have a spirits department and find ritual on the shelf.

Brad Ebenhoeh:

Yeah, it's a it's a completely new journey for the customer of online shopping for liquor. It's not liquor is - "Wait, I can buy this online?". And additionally, like you know, I live here in South Carolina and they have ABC stores that you can buy them in a grocery store. If you go to Whole Foods You see this non alcoholic liquor you're like, "Wait, this is weird". But yeah, very cool. Well, congrats so far on all that so from a aspect of relating to, you know, enjoying your, or the sales channels that you have, like what you know, you say that like going direct to consumer, you're able to kind of communicate directly to customers, able to basically get feedback directly from them. Now that you're expanding into retail, I guess two part question. Do you have like a favorite that you enjoy tackling? Are they all them? And then number two that how do you assess the success of each of those? Like do you have specific metrics that you look within each sales channel or are as a shared metrics? Or do you kind of see how to complement each other's just kind of give me a little background on your experience with that?

David Crooch:

Sure. Yeah. So we're constantly reviewing the data. We're we're a very data driven company. So every every month we're digging in as deep as we can on all things eCommerce. We're looking at our own website sessions versus versus Amazon. Conversion rate on our own website versus Amazon. Average order value between the two. Number of

orders:

Are they up? Are they down? What bundles people buy and what different products are coming together to work? Both just within our own products on our own website, or within the full cart situation for Amazon. So that's that's, that gives a lot of data, we get to understand kind of consumer buying habits at that point in time and kind of where they're leaning and why they're they're purchasing. When it comes to in-store traffic. It's all about shelf velocity, it's all about moving products off the shelf, no one wants to have a product just sitting there and not getting sold. When your products 28/29 bucks, the store needs that thing to move, they give you a little bit more grace period, because it's not a $2 item. But it needs it needs to fly. And that's at the end of the day, the the retailers are happy, if you do two things, right. If you support them, they make a lot of the revenue and not selling your products and make your revenue because you chose to buy into whatever program they deemed to be very effective. And your products are churning through their their system. That velocity just helps everyone it helps the brand, it helps the distributor, it helps the retailer everybody wins when you're when you're moving fast. And to make that happen, you put together you know, whatever the whatever the perfect marketing plan is for your company and for your products and some combination of digital and an on premise in and out of home experience that everyone can can walk into a door knowing that your product exists. And having seen it before and being comfortable making that purchase.

Brad Ebenhoeh:

Are you looking at different like margin analysis by sales channel like specifically like Amazon's you know, business models essentially different than your Shopify website different than your on-prem? Are you looking at different numbers and if so, which ones?

David Crooch:

so, so constantly. So there's a there's a give and take to it, Amazon is our worst margin across the board. It's for a few reasons for the fees that they take. And we have significantly different packaging for Amazon, we have our own exterior box that's protecting glass, it's not cheap, it's branded, right, if there's more COGS going into an Amazon or any kind of eCommerce sale than there is brick and mortar, but you get a phenomenal experience. You get to interact with the brand, you get to have a conversation, there's an advertising play there that makes it worth it. That kind of marketing play makes that lesser margin a good deal, at least for now. Right? Absolute best margin is our own website. And we still have higher COGS, but significantly less people in the middle of that taking a piece of the pie. Probably the best overall customer experience too, because you get to have every question you could ever have answered right in front of you on your phone, computer, tablet, whatever it may be. Next best is a retail margin, we have some some retailers that we sell direct to. So we're cutting out the distributor incidences or we're using the clearing house that is kind of a pseudo distributor with a much much better margin as well. That's phenomenal. And then you go full distribution, full sales team takes a significant hit and you got to be prepared for that you're going to be ready and understanding that your your $28 item is going to give you a you know $13 back.

Brad Ebenhoeh:

Yeah, it's it's completely different. Gross Margin analysis, contribution margin analysis by sales channel. Are you guys does the big natural food distributors? Do they actually distribute you guys? Or is that do you guys have like drink specific distributors?

David Crooch:

So that's been a really, really interesting process that we've been going through this whole time when I started this, I have a lot of background working with natural grocery distributors UNFI a lot of familiarity, thinking, well, this fits in perfect there, this is great. What's happened is it all comes down to the preference of the store buyer. Maybe they are very happy to go through natural grocery, but if they're the spirits buyer, and they've never ever worked with UNFI or KE, they're not comfortable with that. And they would rather go through the patchwork of three tier distribution, even though it's incredibly complicated with different state by state rules, that that's the game they play, therefore, that's the game that we play. So we're doing both. We're doing natural grocery distribution, and large three tier distribution depending on the account.

Brad Ebenhoeh:

Interesting, super complex, and that that three tier system, but is what it is. So yeah, and I guess the last question or comment on kind of this kind of topic is - it is interesting with ecomm versus you know, the big big box stores in terms of factoring in shipping, freight packaging costs, like that is a whole new world the last decade versus what it was before. So, you know, what are your experiences with that or like some wins or losses within freight in, freight out, transfers, packaging, etc.

David Crooch:

You know, it's such a everything still learning process, you know? So Amazon for example; our bottles can freeze, right? So we're shipping a glass bottle to Minnesota in February, and if you leave it out on your porch for a couple days and forget about it, you get no chance so significant breakage right there. We were not accommodated for the time trying to fix that this year, of course, very different than, you know, climate controlled trucks going out of a professional distributor and landing in a warehouse and then getting distributed to the store level. Different situation. So, you know, inventory management for us is critical, we're always very aware of what's been produced, and when, and where it's going, because of the different types of packaging, is it getting put into our six pack case, wholesale? Or retail boxes? Or is it going into the the eCommerce? And does that go into Amazon or to our own website, or to a different third party seller? So have to be highly aware of kind of every bottle made, and where it's going and where it's been, which is getting more and more complicated if we're making hundreds of 1000s of bottles versus, you know, hundreds of bottles?

Brad Ebenhoeh:

Yeah, and actually, it's just moving on to the inventory kind of management topics here. A couple questions on this. Number one, I'm assuming that because you sell in six different sales channels, you probably have, you know, on the on the on the on the supply chain procurement side, a lot of different folks that you touch, you know, you don't need to go in details on that. So you have to have all this web of information, and data, and money, and inventory flow, somehow situated in a manner to help you manage your business in a proactive manner. Is that correct?

David Crooch:

That is correct. Yeah.

Brad Ebenhoeh:

And how are you doing that from like, systems or personnel standpoint?

David Crooch:

Yeah, so the few things um, you know, we we do use DEAR, which is, which is a super helpful platform, we had a third party company, build us out, a, alongside our CFO and CEO, an unbelievable model, it is this predictive model that takes everything from, from production forecasts through through the P&L, through kind of predictive forecasting of sales by by the week, by the month by the quarter, by the year, all into one, you know, 47 tab model, that is just amazing. And it's it is incredibly helpful. But what we what we do is we we complete the production forecast, which cascades into that material forecast, based on bill of materials and lead times, it's all semi automated, and integrated into that big financial model. We provide an annual material forecast to each preferred supplier, and then you kind of negotiate price breaks based on payment terms and quantity. And of course, we try to get multiple bids on bigger ticket items. When it comes to bottles, caps, labels, you know, things that are physical, we try to try to go out and shop that around a little bit, especially now as prices are going up everywhere across the board. We - when we can - can establish floor stocking arrangements with whether it's flavors or some of these physical materials just to make life easier for everybody across the board. Then create instant those POs in DEAR, and receive the materials physically. And also in DEAR, of course, and then issue payments via via Accountfully - via the via the accounting team. So it's kind of a nice, beautiful process that's all integrated into one big model that lets us kind of go to one place with 47 tabs and you get all.

Brad Ebenhoeh:

47 tabs, spreadsheets catalog. So then you guys are doing this annually or being a very, you know, 12 month looking forward model and forecasting process. So a couple things on that, that all sounds great in theory, and then in a vacuum, it works perfectly. So two things. I'm assuming it doesn't work perfectly even without looking at the last 18 months of society's lives with COVID and quarantine and supply chain issues, which is a whole other can of worms we can get into but with that being said, like how often are you revisiting it in a normal world? Right? Like, is it still monthly? You're looking at it, you know, so communicate with suppliers. So moving ahead, you may do adjust things or push things up, right? So it's a constant push and pull once you get things in place. Yep.

David Crooch:

So we Yeah, so we completed our production forecast about three weeks ago for all of 2022. That being said, we link up on a on a production and sales forecast meeting every two weeks. So every two weeks, we dive into this big predictive model, look at what we think's going to happen over the next few quarters, adjust those numbers and let it spit out any adjustments to the production forecast. You know, like right right when COVID hit. No one knew what was happening next, right? We didn't know if zombies were coming out of the sewer or if it's gonna be no big deal in a week. They had no idea. So we instantly made three models. We took our - the original model, and that was kind of the the "ideal" model. We took one that we call "slashed", and it was here's everything, everything is reduced. Everyone's budgets reduced there's less of everything. There's less revenue, there's less, there's less marketing spend, here's a "slashed" model that we can live in longer. And then here's a "disaster" model, you don't get another penny and not another bit of revenue comes in for a couple of years. What next? And we went and lived in this last model for a while. And we said, let's, let's give this a good four weeks, it's been a month, met back up in a month. Well, sales are up, okay. All right, let's stay here again, another month sales are up. And we were able to just jump right back into the ideal original model, even during COVID, after our switchover into an eComm focus. But we've kind of kept that cadence going every every two weeks, it's a significant sit down, to make sure that we're still on track, in every capacity, looking as far forward as we can, you know, ideally, is 18 months, it's usually a little less than that.

Brad Ebenhoeh:

How are you factoring in cash flow into those decisions?

David Crooch:

And that's all there as well, you know, the the cash flow part of the business is critical, you know, and running in the red is not at all uncommon. But thankfully, that gets to end to end this year, which is exciting. But making sure that cash was a part of it, a lot of those materials have to get purchased in advance, and then a lot of them it's not even terms it's, "pay us, and then we'll then we'll release the bottles" and other under hostage. So cash flows a big part of that we have to have accurate, accurate cash flow numbers. Every every meeting.

Brad Ebenhoeh:

what's the craziest thing that's happened? Like not even 18 months ago, the last 90 days, with these supply chain issues and shortages? Like from an operational standpoint, I'm sure.

David Crooch:

well, you know, our major glass supplier, just let us know that this is the last time we're making glass in the US next time it's coming from India. What? That is very different, it's a very different lead time, a lot more things can go wrong, as opposed to getting on a truck and going down the street. Now it's getting on a boat and cross your fingers. So that that's that's a big deal. And that's always a big deal. Glass is hard to find right now, not as hard to find aluminum cans, but difficult. So making sure that we have kind of backups and redundancies and every for every material, you know, no two people that can make glass multiple companies that can make caps etc. To make sure that we're never actually out of anything.

Brad Ebenhoeh:

So basically, you put together a very proactive annual forecast, you assess it every other week, you have different kinds of scenarios within each situation. You have backups, suppliers, backup areas to go in case somebody goes out of business or transfers their production to India. So it sounds like a just a very proactive, huge, fluid process that you there's no other way to say but you have to be constantly engaged in it.

David Crooch:

Yes, constantly engaging and kind of asking the question, what's our weakest point? Now? You know, are we are we brittle? And where are we brittle? And how can we get some redundancies in place and some straps and things to that to make it less, less brittle? Which is fun because at first everything's brittle - at first every single decision you make. If it doesn't work out, you're in trouble, and you start to get those those backups in place. And you get to find who you need, and that now for us that's kind of beginning to to guide us into who do we hire next? We look at look at our brittle points and look at our some of our ballers who are who are stressed out how can we take weight off of those people and, and fix some of that some of that thin ice and make sure it's a little bit thicker.

Brad Ebenhoeh:

So then you have real time access to inventory with be a DEAR Inventory and everything else you have going on, you have real time access to cash flow and just understand where you're at from a short/term long term perspective. And that helps those decisions. When you're negotiating or when you're reaching out to these suppliers, are you like able to negotiate like some for some of them like discounts or upfront payment term discounts, that then helps your margins right, even though they may, you know, make the cash cycle a bit longer? But are there any circumstances that are like kind of recommendations or advice to somebody that's out there in the CPG world? Like where like there's a couple wins or things you can get if you do you know plan more proactively as you guys are doing?

David Crooch:

Absolutely. The two ways we get we get material discounts are our economies of scale, just having more success and buying more? And then and then the pre-payments and we've done some very interesting pre-payment one one supplier. And this is how ridiculous the stuff can get. One supplier needed a certain amount of money to do something completely unrelated to what we were doing. They were having cashflow problems, we weren't okay, we will give you that exact amount of money. You will give us those bottles in advance at a significant cost savings and it worked out. Had nothing to do none of that made sense. None of it made sense. Except it absolutely worked out well for our bottom line.

Brad Ebenhoeh:

Cash is king man, right?

David Crooch:

That's a testament to get in the right investors, spending time on that making sure that you have that because when when you're always looking for the next few bucks, it becomes impossible to make those kinds of decisions.

Brad Ebenhoeh:

Awesome. So moving on to kind of KPIs you review just kind of on a, you know, weekly, monthly/quarterly basis, so just what are some high level KPIs, you know, from a financial, operational, etc, that you review kind of, you know, whether it's weekly, monthly or quarterly give us a couple of those that you you're focused on.

David Crooch:

Yeah. So we're, you know, we eCommerce is so wonderful because you do have insight into so much when it comes to KPIs. You're looking at lifetime value, reorder rate, people that are signing up for "Subscribe and Save" both on our own website and on others. Getting that average order value as much as possible is a big deal for us. Getting our own website's conversion rate up is a big deal for us. It's just such a direct way to interact with the consumer and see what they're doing. When it comes to when it comes to retail, it's getting those consistent orders and kind of there's, there's a moment in time with the retailer when you're no longer a risk. You know, they they're they're making these these very sporadic orders ordering the bare minimum of product, it's very awkward. And then all of a sudden, you get seven POSs at once that are you know, broken out every month for the next seven months. And you're you know, you're a part of the part of the bigger boys now. So for us, it's the biggest metrics are, are the AOV, LTV or making sure that we can really, really build that customer, build that basket and keep them forever. The "Subscribe and Save" number to me is one of the most fascinating, it's I've been buying things on Amazon for seemingly forever. I've never subscribed and saved to anything in my life. But there are people out there that are buying Ritual. And they want it to arrive every month, just like Wi Fi and water They want it to be a part of your life. And that's, that's a really beautiful thing. They don't want to think about it. They want it to just be there, because they need it in their life for whatever reason; because someone's always pregnant, because they don't want to drink real alcohol, because just like gluten free bread and Almond milk, they want to have a nice option for whoever they happen to be hosting. I love that. That's one of my favorite stats and the stats that grows every month, which is incredible.

Brad Ebenhoeh:

Yeah, I'm with you. And I never did the Subscribe and Save because I'm like, "Well, what if I need it before?" Then I have to order it again and then change it. Right. But it is interesting. So awesome. So basically, I guess what is what's looking forward for Ritual the next 12,18 months - anything new to come out? or any other kind of areas to tackle from a geographic or sales channel standpoint?

David Crooch:

Yeah. So you know, we're, we're jumping deeper into into three tier distribution on the liquor side, which is really fun, you know that that's kind of a state by state rollout into both major chain retail and the 1000s of 1000s of independent liquor and grocery stores out there in the country. So that's really our next big step is to kind of kind of state by state domination of this category. And really proving ourselves at retail, we've absolutely proven that we can do this in big chains, we've proven that we can make this work on eComm. And now I want to see it work up and down the street. And now that COVID is getting a little better and things are open. I want it to work on premise, I want to be able to walk into any bar in the country in order a Ritual gin and tonic and the bartender knows exactly what that means.

Brad Ebenhoeh:

Awesome, awesome. Alright, to the final kind of layer of questions, your comments, some advice from from David here. So what does one do and one don't. For you, from your perspective?

David Crooch:

The do hands down is to is to hire the right people so that you can trust in them completely. Trust is trust is honest to God, the currency that we use here to be able to be so efficient. And it works. You know, I'm in business with some of my best friends and people I just met. And we've become a family because of that trust. You can't you can't have your hand in every single aspect of the business all day long all the time as you grow, you just can't. But when you can actually siphon that off from your mind and know that your person is handling that, you can then grow and look on top of the business and let the business grow again. So I think I think trust that it's not micromanagement, but it's not a lack of leadership, either. It's just the ability to hire people that you trust, and then do it.

Brad Ebenhoeh:

I echo that from, from my experience as well. All right now, one, don't.

David Crooch:

The don't would be. Don't move too fast until you're adequately capitalized. I think that people get an idea. And they want to they want to put the idea in their briefcase with a bunch of NDAs and run around and start the process. And just just build - build up, figure out how much money you're really going to need - plan. Look forward. It's very easy to get tripped up with a lack of capital and then you're spending all of your time trying to raise funds as opposed to trying to build your business and build your product. build your brand and those are very hard to do at the same time you have to do at the same time, but get get a good leg up, get get 6,12, 18 months of capital under your belt first and then begin the process of building your brand and making your impact on the world.

Brad Ebenhoeh:

Yeah, seems like it's that one's much more proactive and less stressful, versus one that's just reactive chasing a tail that you don't know what's going on. And so try to even though as a small business owner, you're always going to have to be reactive in some capacity, if you can minimize that as much as possible the best s. Well David, this was awesome. Insight was great love the love your guys's inventory kind of planning and purchasing model and I hope the listeners love that too. So before we go out of here, best place to buy Ritual, best flavor, best cocktail, whatever, you know, give me the the sales -

David Crooch:

Yeah,

Brad Ebenhoeh:

Speak here. So.

David Crooch:

The recipe page on our website has been built out by some of the best bartenders in the country. So super fun there - but for me, so simple. Get the Ritual tequila alternative, make a Margarita or Paloma - you will not be disappointed.

Brad Ebenhoeh:

Awesome. That sounds fantastic. So David Crooch, CEO of Ritual Beverage Company, really enjoyed the chat David, thanks so much and have a good one. Hope you guys all enjoyed it.

David Crooch:

Thank you Brad.

What David focuses on as CEO
The importance of a positive first impression in a new product space
Ritual's sales channel plans
Favorite sales channels and how David assess the success of each
Margin analysis by sales channel
Retail/ Natural foods sales overview and thoughts
Lessons learned surrounding freight costs and shipping across sales channels
How Ritual is managing their sales channels and inventory systems/processes
Details on how Ritual manages their production forecast and model
How Ritual factors in cash flow across the model and forecasts
How recent supply chain challenges have played into Ritual and ways they have addressed it
David's CPG biz wins to get some supplier breaks
KPIs that David reviews, and how often
Whats next for Ritual Beverage
David's CPG "do"
David's CPG "don't"