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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
Thursday, February 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR
Employment in Oregon is almost back up to prerecession levels — and employers are having to work harder to entice talented staff to join their ranks. This year’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon project showcases the kind of quality workplaces that foster happy employees.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
NBA commissioner: "I would love to end up having an All-Star Game in Portland. It's really just a function of ensuring that we can fit in town."
Thursday, March 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
Everyone knows cell phones and driving are a lethal combination. The risk is especially high for teenage drivers, whose delusions of immortality pose such a threat to us all. Enforcement alas, remains feeble; more promising are pedagogical approaches aimed at getting people to focus on the road, not their devices.
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The CRC is a cautionary tale about how we plan for, finance and invest in transportation infrastructure.
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Friday, February 27, 2015
BY OB STAFF
Oregon Business held its 22nd annual 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon celebration Thursday night in the Oregon Convention Center.
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The Port of The Dalles has run marine facilities since the 1930s, but they are part of a larger mission to strengthen the local economy. They focus on regional economic development with a strong bent toward adding good-paying jobs in high tech, manufacturing and other industries.
The Atkinson Graduate School of Management at Willamette University has maintained its business accreditation by AACSB International—The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Like the advent of the locomotive, the cloud creates business opportunities that simply weren’t possible before now. Get up to speed fast in May at an exciting cloud-empowered Portland event.
Registration is now open for Portland Business Alliance’s Annual Meeting, one of the largest business gatherings in Portland each year.