Ep. 005: On Launching Three Beverage Companies — The Joe Heron Interview

Joe Heron Entrepreneur
Listen to this episode

Hear Joe Heron explain the keys to success in launching three beverage companies and selling two to PepsiAmericas and MillerCoors.

Listen how Joe Heron thoughtfully identified beverage-growth opportunities and then – through careful execution – set up successful distributor and retailer partnerships.

Listen as he describes how entrepreneurship provides the unique opportunity to understand what makes America a great place to live, work and “be the best you can ever be. “

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Podcast Timeline:

0:41 – An introduction to Joe Heron, CEO of Copper and Kings American Brandy Company, and Founder of Crispin Cider Company and Ardea Beverage Company.

1:53 – An overview of Joe’s career history and how his skills and know-how led him to launching his first company, Ardea Beverage Company.

3:38 – What Joe does best as an entrepreneur.

4:19How growing up in South Africa prepared him for entrepreneurship. How he learned to manage and embrace change.

5:34Joe provides an overview of his current company, Copper and Kings American Brandy Company, its current status, and how it’s unique.

7:15 – How Joe and his wife, Leslie, came up with the idea for his first company, Ardea Beverage Company (creating a new category and marketing Nutrisoda)

8:33 – Background on the success story of Ardea Beverage Company and Crispin Cider Company. “Have someone who’s got your back and who can stay with you through tough times.” Hear Joe talk about his key to finding the right beverage opportunity, and what he calls the “The Well Served Paradigm.”

14:06Joe’s thoughts on having an exit strategy when you launch a business.

16:30 — Joe’s description about the early phases of company growth. The first year is always the most adrenaline driven. Years two and three are awful years, re-configuring distributor networks, always investing ahead of the game, hiring sales people, staffing. It’s about survival. Year four is when you start to develop your wings.

18:14Joe talks about what makes his approach different: being obsessed about execution.

18:44Joe expands on the keys to successful execution in the beverage business: delivering a superior product and good relationships with distributors and supporting the distributor “selling machine.”

21:20Joe talks bout mastering your supply chain (referring to the down-stream supply chain).

24:25Joe describes what he has most learned about himself: “that I’m far more stupid than I remotely realized.”

25:25Joe talks about what it felt like selling to investors, retailers, distributors, and offers his advice. “Nail your presentation, value your company correctly, raise more money than you think you need.” “It’s not for everyone. You have to be brave, you have to be dumb and you have to move like a wolf.”

29:29 – Joe describes why his wife is the most influential person is his life.

About the author, John

John Benzick is an entrepreneurship coach and the founder of Venture Superfly. He is a Tech Partner at the venture-capital fund of Matchstick Ventures, a Mentor with Techstars Retail accelerator, an Entrepreneur-In-Residence and (former CEO-in-Residence) at the University of Minnesota, and founder and owner in two consumer product businesses. Click the button below to learn more.

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