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|Articles - October 2010|
|Tuesday, September 28, 2010|
James Martin has his hands full these days. On the heels of an ambitious redevelopment of a downtown historic flour mill into a new wine-tasting room and cultural center, the 46-year-old entrepreneur from The Dalles is pushing a first-of-its-kind new product into the California market, hoping to pioneer the largely untapped “ready-to-drink” market for wine.Martin’s eight-employee company, Copa Di Vino (Italian for “cup of wine”), was founded in 2009 and hit the market in the spring of 2010 with single-serve containers of wine. The key to the business is packaging innovation, and the fact that Copa recently won an award in the Dupont packaging competition indicates potential.
The product is selling in 20 states, and the move into the 21st — California — is key to Copa’s future. As Martin noted at a recent gathering of entrepreneurs and investors, California has 19% of the nation’s population and produces 90% of the nation’s wine. He’s hired a Southern California sales rep and has been traveling south regularly to pitch his idea to major retailers, big wine producers and investors. He hopes to raise $1.5 million over the next few months.
The Copa idea is to offer consumers fine wine for less than $4 a glass, with the type of convenience that has made single servings of beers and sodas an $80 billion business in the U.S. Specialty retailers with busy deli sections such as Whole Foods and New Seasons Market are carrying the product, as are outdoor concert venues such as the Gorge Amphitheatre. Most importantly, the largest chain of grocery stores in Southern California, Ralph’s, began carrying Copa last month, offering the biggest market opportunity yet with 350 stores.
Martin has a three-pronged strategy for making money: sales, bottling for other wineries (he’s already established a deal with Kendall Jackson) and licensing the company’s patented packaging technology to other bottlers. He says he chose the “somewhat nebulous” name of Copa Di Vino to allow companies to become partners and to raise the brand to the profile of other first-to-market pioneers such as Kleenex and Hoover. His sales forecast predicts $75 million in revenue and $10 million in profits by 2016.
Sticking to that plan will be a challenge in this economy, but if Martin comes anywhere close, The Dalles will be a beneficiary. And even though raising money in this economy has been difficult, he notes: “Alcohol sales are up.”
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
Scott Kveton, the CEO of Urban Airship is taking a leave of absence from the company. As the story continues to unfold, here’s our perspective on a few of the key players.
Monday, July 07, 2014
BY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
Named after the 2010 experiment by Thomas Ryan, "Robin Sages" are fake social media profiles designed to encourage linking and divulging valuable information.
Friday, June 13, 2014
BY CLIFF HOCKLEY | OB GUEST BLOGGER
This article summarizes the key considerations a building owner must keep in mind when thinking about leasing to a medical marijuana dispensary.
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
The New Yorker recently published a sharply worded critique of “disruptive innovation,” one of the most widely cited theories in the business world today. The article raises questions about the descriptive value of disruption and innovation — whether the terms are mere buzzwords or actually explain today's extraordinarily complex and fast changing business environment.
Update: We caught up with Portland's Thomas Thurston, who shared his data driven take on the disruption controversy.
Thursday, June 26, 2014
BY ERIC FRUTS | OB BLOGGER
Last year, the housing market in Oregon—and the U.S. as a whole—was blasting off. The Case-Shiller index of home prices ended the year 13% higher than at the beginning of the year. But, was last year a blip, or a trend?
Tuesday, June 03, 2014
Citing the transition to catch shares management as a key to rebuilding stocks and reducing bycatch, 13 species caught by the West Coast trawl fishery today earned designation from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) as sustainable.
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
BY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER
Demand for organic food continues to soar: Last year, sales of organic food rose to $32.3 billion — up 10% from 2012. In Oregon, organic produce wholesaler Organically Grown Co. has been championing organic growing methods for four decades.
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