FYI News Notes & Trends


Diageo Hosts Their Own Awards Show

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Celebrating the first Diageo Golden Bar Awards were (from left) Patrick Daul (Pacific Wine & Spirits), Ivan Menezes (President and CEO, Diageo North America), Mel Dick (Pacific Wine & Spirits), Tom Reyes (Harbor Distributing), Wayne Chaplin (Pacific Wine & Spirits), Ted Simpkins (Pacific Wine & Spirits), Steve Slater (Pacific Wine & Spirits), Harvey Chaplin (Pacific Wine & Spirits) and Ruddy Ruiz (Pacific Wine & Spirits).

Spirits, beer and wine distributors from across the U.S. were recently honored by Diageo for their performance in handling Diageo brands as well as for the roles the distributors play in their local communities.

The inaugural “Diageo Golden Bar Awards,” which took place in Chicago on July 28, included a surprise performance by comedian Jerry Seinfeld and created the aura of a gala Hollywood event. More than 20 distributors received a 24K gold award, weighing eight pounds and standing more than a foot tall. The award was produced by R.S. Owens, the same company that created the Oscar, given by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Ivan Menezes, Diageo North America President and CEO, told distributors, “You are truly an invaluable part of our business. Without your extraordinary accomplishments in bringing all of our brands to market — whether from Diageo Guinness USA, Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines or Diageo North America Spirits — we quite literally would have no business.”

There were two Distributor of the Year Awards, which went to Pacific Wine & Spirits, CA (in the Wine & Spirits category); and to Harbor Distributing, CA (in the Beer category).

Spirits Excellence Awards were given to Colony Liquor & Wine Distributors, NY (for Smirnoff); Major Brands, MO (for Jose Cuervo); Pacific Wine & Spirits, CA (for Captain Morgan); National Wine & Spirits, IN (for Crown Royal); Glazer’s of Iowa, IA (for Baileys); Coastal Wine & Spirits, FL (for Johnnie Walker); and Alliance Beverage, AZ (for Tanqueray).

Wine Excellence Awards were given to Pacific Wine & Spirits, CA (for Beaulieu Vineyard); and Southern Wine & Spirits, FL (for Sterling Vineyards).

Beer Excellence Awards went to Lee Distributors, SC (for Guinness); and Gate City Beverage, CA (for Smirnoff ICE).

On-Premise Excellence Awards were given to Reliable Churchill, MD (for Spirits); Alliance Beverage, AZ (for Wine); and Beechwood Distributors, WI (for Beer).

Best New Launch Awards went to Glazer’s of Texas, TX (for Spirits); Pacific Wines & Spirits, CA (for Wine); and JJ Taylor Distributors, FL (for Beer).

The Corporate Citizenship Excellence Award went to The United Group, MA.

The Freixenet Group has entered into a long-term distribution agreement with Chteau Lascombes, a Margaux Grand Cru Classé (second-growth) estate, classified in 1855, which gives Freixenet USA exclusive U.S. distribution rights to Chteau Lascombes wines… Palm Bay Imports has been named the importer and marketer of the wines of San Patrignano, originating in the northern Italian province of Emilia-Romagnaa…. Castle Brands Inc. has been named exclusive U.S. importer for I.L.A.R.’s Pallini Limoncello, a superpremium lemon liqueur from Italy… Deirdre Mahlan has been promoted to senior vice president and chief financial officer of Diageo North America… The Miller Brewing Company appointed Bob Littlefield as senior director, convenience stores. Littlefield comes to Miller Brewing Company following more than 25 years of sales and marketing experience, most recently as vice president of retail sales at Veryfine Products, Inc…. Constellation Wines U.S. appointed Marc Donati as vice president, National Accounts, Off-Premise… Beringer Blass Wine Estates named Bruce Herman as Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing, North America.

Haskell’s Wine & Spirits Marks 70 Years in Business

Soon after the Repeal of Prohibition in 1934 Benny and Fritzi Haskell opened a small liquor store in downtown, Minneapolis, MN. Seventy years later the single store has grown into one of the most respected beverage alcohol chains in the country. Indeed, Haskell’s Wine & Spirits was named Beverage Dynamics “Retailer of the Year” in January 2003. In addition, the chain has been cited by Esquire magazine as “the finest wine shop between the two coasts.”

0409fyi2The cover of Haskell’s 70th Anniversary store brochure/catalog features this 1938 photo of renowned boxer Jack Dempsey (left) along with store founders’ Fritzi and Benny Haskell.

Haskell’s now includes six corporate-owned stores in Minneapolis, St.-Paul, Excelsior, Bloomington, Minnetonka and Woodbury, as well as a franchise in Plymouth, all in Minnesota. There is also a licensed Haskell’s in Naples, FL, and another outlet will be opened later this year at a location in White Bear Lake, MN.

Back in 1970, chairman and ceo Jack Farrell purchased the single store Haskell’s. Farrell made his mark on the Minneapolis market with a radio show called, “Entertaining Ideas,” which discussed subjects ranging from large brunches and dinners to intimate get-togethers while always working the subject of wine into the show. He continues airing a Saturday morning radio segment today. Dan Manning, who has been with Haskell’s two weeks longer than Farrell, was named president of the chain earlier this year. In addition, two of Farrell’s sons are in managerial positions for the chain.

Coincidentally, next year marks the 70th anniversary of Beverage Dynamics, which began publishing in 1935 under the title Liquor Store & Dispenser.

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