Pail & Cooper bringing boutique brands and independents together

08 May, 2019 by Andy Young

Victorian liquor distributors Pail & Cooper have built up a strong reputation in bringing boutique brands to independent retailers since it launched in 2017.

Co-founder, Owain Southwell (pictured above with business partner Chris Maddison) attributes their rapid growth to the diligence taken when selecting new producers.

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“All of our brands are Australian, family-owned, small-batch, premium producers that sell exclusively to independent customers,” he said.

“From Atze’s Corner in the Barossa Valley, Canberra’s Four Winds Vineyard and Giammarino in the Yarra Valley through to Margaret River’s Bunkers label, Golding in the Adelaide Hills and craft brewers Fury & Son and Capital Brewing Co. In partnering with their producers, Pail & Cooper provides insights on current market trends to guide portfolio and branding decisions, as well as developing marketing and promotional campaigns.

“We also take a collaborative approach with our customers providing category insights, advice on constructing effective wine lists, running consumer tastings and organising winemaker dinners. Every decision we make is based on being easy to do business with from a customer perspective.”

Brad Quinn (Venue Manager – Campari House) has seen the benefit from this approach, saying: “Increasingly, our customers are seeking out new and interesting producers across all liquor categories but most importantly, the end product needs to over-deliver on value for money.

“Pail & Cooper’s portfolio ticks all these boxes and their knowledge and service levels have assisted me in creating effective wine lists and in training my staff to upsell. The end result is increased margins but also improved customer satisfaction.”

Owain added: “We create a point of difference in the market, which drives sustainably high margins.”

This strategy appears to be paying off, with over 500 independent on- and off-premise customers, generating some $1.5m in revenue over the last 12 months.

Maddison said: “We want to work with independent customers who share similar values of wanting to support local, independent, crafted products as opposed to generic commercial brands.”