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|Articles - August 2010|
|Wednesday, July 21, 2010|
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Twenty-five years after founding Clear Creek Distillery, which produces grappas and eaux de vie from Oregon fruits and herbs on Portland’s west side, McCarthy says his business only became profitable during the last few years, with the past year making a record $1.25 million in net sales.
Because most of Oregon’s distillers aren’t making spirits from scratch, like he does, McCarthy says they’re left to compete with big national brands with huge marketing budgets.
And even the most well-made products backed by a genuine story can be a tough sell, he says. “You have to hammer your way into the marketplace,” McCarthy says. “After 25 years, most of the sales trips I make are extremely productive, but that wasn’t always the case.”
Despite the long road to profitability, some long to follow in McCarthy’s footsteps. “I look at Clear Creek Distillery as the gold standard,” say Portland distiller Sebastian Degens, “but I don’t see them as competition. The market is large and growing and there is an interest in diversity of products.” Degens and his wife, Erika, have become the latest addition to Distillery Row with a new business called Stone Barn Brandyworks. So far the distillery has produced an oak-aged apple brandy, a pear brandy, a pinot noir grappa and brandy-based coffee liqueur.
The couple continues to work day jobs, a conservative approach that will help them continue to pay for a house and college educations for their two kids, as they focus on starting up a small business.
“I’d like to get to a point where our grappa is as distinctive as the pinot noir that it came from, and I don’t think that’s national conglomerate takeover material,” he says. “We’re just happy serving a niche of people who are like-minded and are interested in trying out distinctive distillates.”
Just a few months into business, it’s an easy and admirable aim. But considering the paths taken by other local distillers, Degens may yet learn that cranking out craft liquors comes weighted with complications.
STORY BY LUCY BURNINGHAM
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
The big news at Oregon Business is we’re getting a ping pong table. After reading the descriptions of the 2015 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon, a disproportionate number of which feature table tennis in the office, I decided it was time to bring our own workplace into the 21st century. It was a tough call, but it’s lonely at the top, and someone has to make the hard decisions.
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BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
Ten startups have secured venture capital, angel or seed funding in 2015.
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN | OB CONTRIBUTOR
Don’t just sit there. For a healthy workplace, move up and down — and all around.
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY COURTNEY SHERWOOD | OB CONTRIBUTOR
Marijuana is big business in Oregon, and it’s about to get bigger.
Friday, February 27, 2015
VIDEO: 2015 100 Best Companies to work for in Oregon
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
My daughter turned 18 last week, and for her birthday I got her a Car2Go membership. Not to label myself a disruptor or anything, but it felt like a groundbreaking moment. The two of us, mother and child, were participating in a new teen rite of passage: Instead of handing over the car keys, I handed over a car-sharing card — with the caveat that she not use the gift as her own personal car service.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
BY TAMSEN LEACHMAN | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
It is important to understand the EEOC’s priorities, and ensure that your leadership understands the shifting expectations of regulators and the heightened standards to which you (and they) may be held.
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