Pitcher This! Podcast: CPG Podcast with Darren Fox-logo

Pitcher This! Podcast: CPG Podcast with Darren Fox

Business & Economics Podcasts

Brewing up stories + business advice with leading consumer brands. On the Pitcher This! Podcast, we talk to founders and brand managers about how they got into CPG and the brand origin stories. We cover everything from product development to success in retail and leveraging marketing for growth. We’re excited to discuss the inspirations, challenges, and memorable moments along the way.


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Brewing up stories + business advice with leading consumer brands. On the Pitcher This! Podcast, we talk to founders and brand managers about how they got into CPG and the brand origin stories. We cover everything from product development to success in retail and leveraging marketing for growth. We’re excited to discuss the inspirations, challenges, and memorable moments along the way.




Fostering a Healthy Work Environment With Esther Weinberg of The Ready Zone

Esther Weinberg is a business growth expert as well as the Founder and Chief Leadership Development Officer of The Ready Zone. She uses over 20 years of experience to assist leaders during periods of reorganization and rejuvenation with her consultancy. She has worked with international brands such as Disney, Microsoft, Sony, and more. She has written an ebook on her ideas titled, Better Leaders. Better People. Better Results., and is a frequent keynote speaker and podcast guest. In this episode… There have been many pushes in recent years for improving work environments. These trends have manifested in different ways, but all of them seek to relieve the monotony of the average office. Unfortunately, these ideas often fail to treat the underlying causes. Esther Weinberg has redirected her career toward helping people make these changes. She is the Founder and Chief Leadership Development Officer of The Ready Zone, where she challenges other leaders and executives to address the subtle issues in the workplace that inevitably lead to greater problems. Her advice has had a tremendous effect on her clients and now it may even help you. In this episode of the Pitcher This! Podcast, Darren Fox discusses work environments with Esther Weinberg, the Founder and Chief Leadership Development Officer of The Ready Zone, and how they can be improved. The two go through the common pitfalls that many companies make, the importance of trust within organizations, and the growing emphasis on mental health. They also touch on how to maintain social relationships despite the difficulties of remote work. Stay tuned for more!


How To Grow a Sustainable Brand With Liz Skalla of GIVN

Liz Skalla has been with GIVN, a sustainable water company that focuses on human rights, for six years as a member of their Board of Advisors, Co-founder, and EVP. With a passion for building and mentoring companies, she has proven herself as a leader of brands. Liz has consulted for international brands such as Philips Healthcare, Guggenheim Aviation, and Tampax. Her first project, PiecesofThere, was acquired by HealthyCollegeSnacks in 2016, giving her experience that she now uses to mentor other brands. In this episode… Building a sustainable and conscious business comes with its own advantages and challenges. For one, production costs are often higher so it’s difficult to rely on affordability. Instead, it becomes important to lean into the ideals behind the company and show off what sets the brand apart. Liz Skalla knows all about the struggles of building a brand, having started one herself and mentoring countless others. For over six years, she has helped GIVN weather several difficulties and still continue to grow into new fields. The experience has given her key insights into the industry that she’s keen to share with others. Darren Fox takes some time to interview Liz Skalla, the EVP of GIVN, to talk about what it takes to grow a sustainable brand. They start with the company's story and how they found success early on. They then shift into the specific marketing strategies they used to survive their greatest trials. Outside of GIVN, they also discuss topics such as B Corporation certification, brand development, and how to reach an audience.


How To Boost Your Digital Content and Marketing on LinkedIn With Steven Jack of BuildingPoint

Steven Jack is the Director of Business Development and Strategy at BuildingPoint Midwest and Gulf Coast, a company that helps improve productivity for construction teams through advanced and intuitive technologies. Steven has over 20 years of experience in e-commerce media and content, including specializations in WordPress, Mailchimp, and SEO. He has also previously worked at Idea Marketing Group in publishing and editing, among other roles. In this episode… Social media has become an essential part of marketing, but which platform is best for your company? Different businesses have found success on all of the major apps. Each one has a distinct demographic that can be reached with the right kind of content. For most B2B brands, LinkedIn marketing offers both professionalism and an audience that’s actively looking for the next big thing. BuildingPoint is a construction technology provider that has started to produce content primarily for LinkedIn with great results. In this episode of Pitcher This!, Darren Fox talks with Steven Jack, the Director of Business Development and Strategy at BuildingPoint Midwest and Gulf Coast, to talk about marketing on LinkedIn. They discuss the key ways to build and maintain a social media presence along with which kind of content thrives on the site. Steven also touches on digital and print media and the significant differences between the two.


Growing Profitable Businesses Through Sales Enablement With Jason Kammes of Brand Wings

Jason Kammes is the CEO of Brand Wings, a marketing automation platform that improves brand consistency and overall sales. He started the company to tangibly equip businesses with the tools they need for winning more deals and staying on brand. Prior to Brand Wings, Jason spent approximately 20 years at the Fujifilm Graphic Systems Division, rising through the ranks until eventually becoming their Director of Product Management. He received his bachelor's degree in industrial technology and printing management from Illinois State University. In this episode… It can be incredibly rewarding to help other businesses achieve their goals. While some companies indirectly contribute toward this ideal, others have the pleasure of helping build fellow brands in a tangible way. But, it’s challenging to find corporations who are willing to lend a hand — so Jason Kammes started his own. Brand Wings is a sales enablement platform that helps businesses grow through marketing automation. Jason and his partner have found success in their startup while helping clients find their version of success in sustainable ways. It’s taught Jason a variety of lessons in marketing, growth, and more. Darren Fox interviews Jason Kammes, the CEO of Brand Wings, to discuss sales enablement and how to market your brand. On this episode of Pitcher This! Podcast, they talk about Jason’s own career and what led him to start the company. They also discuss the best marketing tactics for growing your business, the challenges presented by different industries, and finding inspiration through challenges. Stay tuned!


Breathing New Life Into American Manufacturing With Jason Azevedo of MRCA

Jason Azevedo is the Chief Strategy Officer at the Manufacturing Revitalization Corporation of America (MRCA), which seeks to breathe new life into American manufacturing. He is also the CEO at Advoque, Instrument Graphics, and Mosaic. Jason is an expert in the field of business development, having worked on projects with global brands such as Costco, Disney, and Target, among many others. In this episode… As the decades have gone on, the once vibrant landscape of American manufacturing has slowly diminished. Many foreign countries offer cheaper production, making it increasingly difficult to choose domestic manufacturers. There are many who are still doing great work, and even more who just need a few changes to truly excel. Jason Azevedo and his brother have felt compelled to be a part of the resurgence of American manufacturing. They both help run the Manufacturing Revitalization Corporation of America, or the MRCA. Together, they have been able to support and improve multiple plants so they can be more successful than ever. So how do they do it? In this episode of the Pitcher This! Podcast, Darren Fox has a detailed conversation with Jason Azevedo, the CSO of the MRCA, to go over manufacturing in America and how they are revitalizing the industry. They talk about why Jason and his brother started the MRCA and the work they do in plants. They also discuss how they make their employees happy and ultimately help them be more productive.


Using Video to Tell Your Business’ Story With Ian Garlic

Ian Garlic is the Founder of STORYCREWS.COM, the ultimate resource for video storytelling. Ian has built a career in multiple forms of media, including his online video marketing consultancy. He has worked with service-based clients, from lawyers to SaaS companies, to blend SEO with storytelling and engage new customers. He is also the CEO of authenticWEB, which works specifically with smaller businesses. He hosts The Garlic Marketing Show podcast, runs a blog, and speaks at events to help businesses gain more leads, better clients, and higher sales. In this episode… For digital marketing, it’s important to stay up-to-date with current trends and technology. While you don’t have to be the most innovative business, the expectations for online companies are quickly changing. Customers want to learn about your brand in the easiest, most direct format possible. And few formats are better for this than video. Ian Garlic has built his career around using video to help businesses reach new audiences. It’s not only a marketing tool, but a way to tell your brand’s story and succinctly communicate what makes you different. Ian has honed this approach and has seen it work well for his clients. He brings SEO know-how, marketing expertise, and years of video production to the table. So how can he help you? In this episode of the Pitcher This! Podcast, Darren Fox has a conversation with Ian Garlic, the Founder of STORYCREWS.COM and CEO of authenticWEB, to discuss video and how it can be used to tell your company’s story. They go through the potential video has to boost your business, how to use it well, and the logistics behind your video’s successful execution. They also talk about retargeting your audience and getting traction through consistency. Stay tuned to hear all of this and much more!


The Secrets to Marketing on Amazon With Andrew Morgans of Marknology

Andrew Morgans is the Owner of Marknology, a full-service agency and brand accelerator that has managed over 200 million in sales on Amazon. Within the crowded field of Amazon branding, Andrew has still found incredible success. He has personally worked with some leading international brands such as Adidas, Marvel, and Swiss. Andrew’s initial successes came from e-commerce management where he learned many of his skills. He even started his own brand, Landlocked Co Apparel, which is based in and meant for residents of Kansas City. In this episode… Amazon is not only a competitive marketplace but an ever-changing one as well. The techniques and recommendations that worked even two years ago may not be as efficient today. Not only that, but there is vast potential revenue from Amazon alone, making it an important aspect of many e-commerce businesses. To be getting the most of your brand, you can’t just sell on Amazon — you have to do it right. Andrew Morgans is an Amazon expert and the owner of Marknology, a full-service agency that specializes in that space. He has worked with popular brands such as Adidas and Marvel, having tangible results to show from his involvement. Amazon may be difficult, but it’s not an impossible marketplace. Now, Andrew’s here to show you how to adapt. In this episode of the Pitcher This! Podcast, Darren Fox talks with Andrew Morgans of Marknology to learn about Amazon and the keys to selling well on the platform. First, the two chat about what a full-service Amazon agency even does and how they can be resourceful to e-commerce businesses. They then go on to discuss the importance of branding, why advice from your peers is so valuable, and which strategies work best for Amazon.


Helping Smaller Brands Find Their Shine With Liz Seelye of Starry-Eyed Strategy

Elizabeth “Liz” Seelye is a brand innovator and the Founder of Starry-Eyed Strategy, a brand strategy consultancy that seeks to breathe innovation into businesses. She has worked with small brands including Orvis and Wholesome as well as larger brands such as Starbucks and Cinnabon. In addition, she is the Co-founder of Starryside Company, which offers natural drinks and snacks for kids. As an avid traveler, Liz has visited 44 countries. Previously, she spent over 12 years as an Innovator and Managing Director at Sterling-Rice Group. In her spare time, she serves as a mentor and guest speaker for the next generation of brand and business leaders. In this episode… While there are several advantages to starting a small business in the modern age, there are just as many challenges. By their very definition, smaller brands have fewer resources and experience to use to their advantage. There is plenty of advice in the world on how to grow your small business, but few tips come from both expertise and firsthand knowledge. Liz Seelye is the Founder of Starry-Eyed Strategy, a consultancy designed to help smaller brands find their niche. Meanwhile, she is also the Co-founder of a natural drink and snack company. Between both living the experience and working with other entrepreneurs, Liz has a firm grasp on what businesses need to succeed. Darren Fox invites Liz Seelye, the Founder of Starry-Eyed Strategy, to talk about innovative branding and how small companies can stand out from the crowd. The two go over the full process of branding, along with expectations for pricing and turnaround times. They then discuss topics such as marketing techniques, finding your unique edge, and where to draw inspiration. Hear the rest on this episode of the Pitcher This! Podcast.


Generating More Sales Through Funnel Optimization Strategies With Dmitriy Pisarev of Business JetPack

Dmitriy Pisarev is a serial entrepreneur, an expert in funnel design and conversion, and the Founder of Business JetPack. A B2B company, Business JetPack is a firm that offers marketing strategy and detailed analysis to create high-performing funnels. He also founded Conversion Whisperer in 2018, where he also optimized marketing strategies for industries including SaaS, legal marketing, and e-commerce. Dmitriy has developed his knowledge over 20 years, having worked with businesses of all sizes. In addition to his own companies, he also served as the Senior Marketing Director at THMotorsports and a Business Growth Expert at ConversionCore. In this episode… Conversion optimization is the golden metric behind all good marketing. Why? Because it ensures ROI and increases interaction with your brand. There are a thousand different models, gurus, and books written on the topic, each promising the results you want. Many of these approaches are focused on the bottom line but are typically missing the greater picture. For Dmitriy Pisarev and his team at Business JetPack, building the brand is just as important as the ROI. It’s a more patient and ultimately more rewarding method for marketing, making sure each dollar is working towards a greater goal. While not revolutionary, it is an effective and proven process to improve conversion rates. So what does it all look like in action? In this episode of the Pitcher This! Podcast, Darren Fox sits down with Dmitriy Pisarev, the Founder of Business JetPack, to talk about conversion optimization and how to create high-performing funnels. They go through what your conversion rate actually means and why you need to focus on trust and branding as well as sales. They also go through the importance of landing pages, slowing down your campaign, and staying up to date in the marketing world. Stay tuned!


The Important Steps in Digital Marketing With Steven Bork of Nova B2B Marketing

Steven Bork is an expert in marketing and the Principal at Nova B2B Marketing. The firm works in communications and marketing consultation, specializing in specific B2B sectors. Steven has over 40 years of experience, working for a host of different marketing companies including Mark Anderson Associates and White Horse Productions. Of all those years, Steven spent 20 of them as the President and Owner of Adventive Marketing, Inc., where he developed much of his experience in digital marketing. He also briefly taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in their Professional and Executive Development program. In this episode… Marketing is all about staying current and adapting to new challenges. While there are a few principles and ideas that are constant, most marketers have to be nimble and learn how to tweak their approach to stay effective. For marketers who have been in the industry for a long time, this means they’ve had to refine their process time and time again. This is especially the case for Steven Bork, who has worked in some form of marketing for over 40 years. He’s transitioned into digital marketing, having a firm foundation in traditional branding as well as a fresh perspective on modern marketing. Now, he shares some of his processes with you. Darren Fox hosts Steven Bork, the Principal at Nova B2B Marketing, to talk about digital marketing and the keys to branding your company. They go through the overall process, including how to get content out of your client and how to rebrand a business. They then dive into more detail on real-life examples of marketing and how Steven has worked in the past. Hear it all on this episode of the Pitcher This! Podcast.


Launching and Promoting a New Irish Gin With Jason Kidd and Katie Dunn of Outcast Brands

Jason Kidd is the Founder of Outcast Brands, a collective dedicated to invigorating brands and breathing new life into the craft spirits industry. He also works as a Marketing and Beverage Consultant for Trajectory Consulting, working with brands such as Bacardi and Bombay Sapphire. Jason is a beverage and business expert with experience from his many brand management positions, including Heinekin’s Ireland division. Katie Dunn is an Investor and sits on the Board of Directors for Outcast Brands. She is also the Executive Director of Institutional Real Estate for CIBC, which has helped close more than $3 billion in commercial real estate loans. Her impressive career has had her crossing paths with established names such as Merrill Lynch and PwC. Her experience extends to finance, risk management, and market analysis. In this episode… As so many breweries and distilleries look towards the future, many are scrambling to innovate the beverage industry. Technology is advancing every year, refining and expanding the variety of drinks out there. However, some businesses look to the past for their inspiration, bringing back flavors and styles that have long been forgotten. Blood Monkey Gin is a new gin that’s just launched in the UK and is soon to be released in the United States. It attempts to recapture the original taste of gin, both from a recipe and a geographical perspective. Along the way, they’ve had to overcome some challenges and reconsider the way they brand their product. So what exactly is the company doing to differentiate themselves? Darren Fox invites Jason Kidd, the Founder of Outcast Brands, and Katie Dunn, a Member of the Outcast Brands Board of Directors. Together, they discuss Blood Monkey Gin and the steps they’ve taken to promote it. They talk through its conception and the ideas behind its branding. They then go into more depth on their backgrounds, the importance of asking for help, and the success they’ve found so far. Hear all of this and more on this episode of the Pitcher This! Podcast.


Creating an Off The Grid Brewery With Anna Schweig of Big Thorn Farm & Brewery

Anna Schweig is the Co-founder of Big Thorn Farm & Brewery, an off-the-grid farmhouse brewery located in Georgetown, Illinois. She founded the solar power-focused operation with her husband, Aaron, in 2016. Together, Anna and Aaron brought their experience from breweries and restaurants to create their own unique, 15-acre farm location. Branching off from the brewery are two bars, The Greenhouse Bar and The Tree Bar, which both offer a distinct outdoor drinking environment. In this episode… Creating a great drink is important, but what’s equally as important is creating a memorable experience. While the drink will be the same, the context, location, and story can fundamentally shift how a consumer feels about what you have to offer. Many breweries are happy to distribute their beer for all kinds of consumption—others choose to create something more specific. Off the road and out of sight is Big Thorn Farm & Brewery in Vermilion County, Illinois. The brewery is set on 15 acres of farmland, matching the rustic and rooted approach to the drinks themselves. Big Thorn uses solar power and older methods of brewing, creating a more sustainable process for making ales and lagers. The act of visiting is half the enjoyment for Big Thorn, and now they share how they did it all. In this episode of the Pitcher This! Podcast, Darren Fox sits down with Anna Schweig, Co-founder of Big Thorn Farm & Brewery, to talk about her unique approach to brewing and how she and her husband created a distinct experience. They go over her early days of homebrewing and how they used their background in the industry to start their venture. They then touch on topics such as marketing, product experience, and how they choose their food and drinks.


Marketing for an Overnight Success With Will Hench of NIPYATA!

Will Hench is an entrepreneur, full stack marketer, and experienced brand strategist. He is the Co-founder and CEO of NIPYATA!, a company that sells personalized piñatas stuffed with alcohol. He is also the Founder and CEO of threadlab, which makes sustainable fashion for men. Will’s background is in marketing and e-commerce businesses, heading the marketing of companies such as MoneyLion and Quadriserv. He received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and his master’s degree from New York University. In this episode… There’s an old saying that nobody plans for success. Particularly for startups, so much time is spent on trying to perform that few people are prepared if their product takes off. Overnight successes can be just as difficult as slow rollouts, so it’s important to capitalize effectively if and when that opportunity arises. Will Hench had unprecedented success for his business NIPYATA!, a company that offers alcohol-filled piñatas. After being featured on a show, their small brand was given a spotlight they hadn’t seen coming. They had to quickly market their product and change their strategy to match their new pace. Along the way, they learned some valuable lessons on how to grow correctly. Darren Fox takes the time to interview Will Hench, the CEO and Co-founder of NIPYATA!, to hear how they’ve marketed their product and met the increased demand. They go over the origin of the brand, how he applied his background in marketing to the business, and how they’ve maintained their success. They also go over the new products they’re rolling out in the future. Hear it all on this episode of the Pitcher This! podcast!


Using Augmented Reality for Wine Collections With Dr. Jeff and Josh Daiter of InVintory

Dr. Jeff and Josh Daiter are brothers and the Co-founders of InVintory. Their business uses augmented reality to create a unique platform for wine collectors. Josh comes from a background in technology, serving as the company’s Chief Product Officer. Dr. Daiter, on the other hand, is a licensed physician who currently serves as the CEO of InVintory and was previously the Medical Director for Oak Ridges Dermatology Centre. Together, they’ve combined their love for wine and their respective expertise to start their unprecedented company for wine collectors everywhere. In this episode… Wine collectors are very, very passionate about their collections. From the organizational system they choose to the wines they select to the display of their collection, people take the process seriously. But the detailed cataloging can be a complex task to undertake, and may even make the actual enjoyment of your vino more difficult than it should be. When it comes to your wine, the process should be effortless and simple. That’s why Dr. Jeff and Josh Daiter started InVintory. The two brothers created a platform that keeps up with the organization and information of your wine collection, revolutionizing your relationship with your wine cellar. Solving a problem that they faced, they used budding technology to create a practical solution for an unexplored issue. It’s a unique offering, and now, the two are here to explain how it works. Darren Fox hosts Dr. Jeff and Josh Daiter, the Co-founders of InVintory, to hear about their wine collecting platform and what it looks like in action. They talk through the software, the user experience, and the response they’ve had from real wine collectors. They then dive into the details of InVintory’s future and how they’ve been so successful so far. They also give advice for new entrepreneurs and the principles they can apply. Hear all this and more on this episode of Pitcher This!


Promoting Experimentation in Breweries With Jordan Radke of Pilot Project Brewing

Jordan Radke is the Co-founder and COO of Pilot Project Brewing, an open-source tasting facility and incubator. They house experimental brews for brands around Chicago and across the nation. Before his time in Chicago, Jordan worked in Madison, Wisconsin as an Archives Manager for the Center for Railroad Photography & Art. He has also worked as an intern for both Wisconsin Public Radio and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In this episode… It can be easier said than done to support local, experimental brands. The growing popularity of local support has made this easier, but it’s still far from perfect. One of the greatest hurdles is discovering these niche companies and having an accessible way to try them out. Jordan Radke felt this pain and created his own business to suit the demand. Jordan and his co-founder Dan Abel created Pilot Project Brewing for this very reason. Their business works as an incubator for breweries, a hub for experimentation, and a showcase for local brands. Despite a few complications throughout COVID, they were able to come out even more successful on the other end. They’re here today to share their story as well as their successes. In this episode of the Pitcher This! Podcast, Darren Fox has Jordan Radke, the Co-founder and COO of Pilot Project Brewing, to talk about the company and how they’ve been making local brands more accessible and centralized than ever. Together, they discuss Pilot Project’s origins, their rises and falls, and how they’ve gotten to where they are today. They also touch on their approach to marketing and how they’ve thrived in Chicago. Hear it all and more on this episode!


Marketing and Distribution for Canned Wine With Hilary Cocalis of Sipwell Wine Co.

Hilary Cocalis is the Founder and Chief Go Getter at Sipwell Wine Co., a premium California canned wine brand. She’s also the Principal at HilCo Brand Consulting and a Strategy Consultant at BEXBRANDS. With over a decade working with beverage brands, Hilary knows what goes into making a great company and a delicious drink. Before founding her own business, Hilary served as the Vice President of Marketing at Ballast Point Brewing Co. During her time there, she helped grow the brand to a $1 billion acquisition by Constellation Brands. She also has experience in digital media, design direction, and product development in addition to her background in marketing. In this episode… Marketing is an essential component for beverage brands. We all know that the presentation and branding of your product are essential for success. But, did you know that distribution can be just as important? After all, before anyone can try your drink, it has to be available to them first. If anyone knows the importance of both, it’s Hilary Cocalis. Hilary has spent much of her career in the beverage industry as a marketer. During her time at Ballast Point Brewing Co., she helped the company grow into a national brand and a $1 billion acquisition. Now she’s brought all of that experience towards her own brand, Sipwell Wine Co. Today, she’s here to offer some of those same principles to you. Darren Fox sits down with Hilary Cocalis, the Founder of Sipwell Wine Co., to talk about distribution and marketing for her canned wine brand. The two go over her story and how she’s overcome the obstacles of starting her own beverage company. They also go into detail about the selection process for different types of wine and how she went in a different direction for carbonation. Hear the rest by checking out this episode of the Pitcher This! podcast.


How To Build an Authentic Booze Brand With Taylor Foxman of The Industry Collective

Taylor Foxman is a prominent leader in the beverage industry and the Founder and CEO of The Industry Collective. The Industry Collective is a consulting firm for fast-growing beverage brands that has worked with names such as Archer Roose and BeatBox Beverages. Her greatest strengths come from networking and leadership, sitting as a Board Member for Vin Social, Chief, and Step Up. Taylor is a Contributing Writer for Entrepreneur Media, coming from a background in media and communication. In 2020, she was named one of PR Week’s 40 Under 40. In this episode… While creating a successful startup is less difficult than it used to be, it’s far from an easy process. The lack of proper funding or experience can make it difficult to stand out amongst the larger brands. Even some smaller breweries are bought and backed by established names, giving them a leg up over more authentic brands. That support can make all the difference between success and burnout. Taylor Foxman knows this, having started The Industry Collective to do just that. Her firm is made up of experts with the sole purpose of supporting and guiding up-and-coming brands. Many of their beverages have gone on to be household names, such as BeatBox and Archer Roose. Her work in the beverage industry has given her the experience to help brands in need. Now, she might even be able to help yours. On this episode of Pitcher This!, Darren Fox speaks with Taylor Foxman, the Founder and CEO of The Industry Collective, to hear her perspective on building and growing an authentic beverage brand. They go over new trends in marketing, the crucial next steps for small companies, and supporting women in the industry. They also talk about Taylor’s career and she’s discovered her success. Stay tuned!


Unique Stories and Spirits With Pavlos Dafnis of Wolf Point Distilling

Pavlos Dafnis is the Founder of Wolf Point Distilling, a craft distillery set in the Kinzie Industrial Corridor of Chicago. Wolf Point creates small-batch spirits with an emphasis on quality and storytelling. Pavlos founded the brand in January of 2021 after seeing a lack of local distilleries in his hometown. Pavlos is also the Owner of Tassos Metal, a sheet metal fabrication company that has served their clients for over 35 years. In this episode… We love talking about storytelling on the podcast. Take the episode with Chris Knight of The Blind Pig Co., when we discussed how his distinct story helped differentiate and grow his brand. But, what if the spirits are the stories? Pavlos Dafnis is the Founder of Wolf Point Distilling, a craft distillery in Chicago. Their location is rich in history, set in the Kinzie Industrial Corridor and named after the meeting point of multiple branches of the Chicago River. Additionally, each spirit is named after and inspired by real people and events. It’s a novel approach to the industry and has led to some early success from the brand. Now, Pavlos gets to tell his own story. Darren Fox hosts Pavlos Dafnis, the Founder of Wolf Point Distilling, to discuss the brand and how they use stories to elevate their product. They go through the initial inspiration, the difficulties along the way, and how they have broken through to find success. They also touch on Pavlos’ approach to marketing and the tips he has for newcomers to the beverage space. Hear all of this and more on this episode of Pitcher This!


Making and Marketing Cocktails in a Can With CC and Reed DesRosiers of Troop Beverage Co.

CC and Reed DesRosiers are a married couple, amateur bartenders, and the Co-founders of Troop Beverage Co. Troop specializes in creating ready-to-drink cocktails made with quality ingredients and craft spirits. As the CEO of Troop, CC is in charge of the company’s daily operations. Her background is in consultation and she has worked for noteworthy companies such as IBM and Ignyte Group. Reed, on the other hand, is the Senior Manager of Product Management at Autodesk in addition to his work at Troop. He has also served as a math teacher, a data analyst, and a research fellow. In this episode… Cocktails are the drink of choice for many people, but they’re not always convenient. Beer and wine are both portable and affordable, making them easy to take with you anywhere. But what if you could have a cocktail that fills that same niche? Troop Beverages Co. is at the forefront of delicious and convenient cocktails. They make all of their spirits with real ingredients, capturing the same great taste in a can. The company also has a unique story, started by husband and wife duo CC and Reed DesRosiers. They are steadily achieving their mission of making drinking more fun and invite you along to learn about their journey. Darren Fox hosts CC and Reed DesRosiers, the Co-founders of Troop Beverage Co., to talk about what makes their ready-to-drink cocktails special. They discuss their creative marketing, how they chose their flavors, and the unique challenges of running a company as a married couple. The two also reveal how they built their loyal following and share the key to turning customers into brand ambassadors. Check out this episode of the Pitcher This! podcast to hear it all for yourself.


Finding Your Niche As a Craft Brewery With Chris Knight and Michael Heldebrandt of The Blind Pig

Chris Knight is the Founder of The Blind Pig, a collection of bars and breweries located in Champaign, Illinois. Chris moved from England to the Champaign–Urbana metro area to attend the School of Chemical Sciences at the University of Illinois. He opened the first Blind Pig location in 1990 and has since expanded to four different locations and a prominent brand of craft beer. Michael Heldebrandt is a sales representative at The Blind Pig. He is widely known for delivering beer in a dinosaur costume during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this episode… Craft beer is an industry that thrives on individuality. The core demographic chooses craft beer not just because of the niche flavors, but also because of the people behind the breweries. With so many faceless corporations, it’s often a breath of fresh air — and a great marketing strategy — to see local breweries being so personable. Brewery founder Chris Knight has a unique story that plays a big part in his brand’s success. After moving from Britain to Champaign, Illinois, he created The Blind Pig, one of the most refreshing and distinct breweries in the area. Since then, the brand has continued to grow thanks to its quality drinks and individual style. If you want to see what a one-of-a-kind brewery looks like in action, this is it. Darren Fox sits down with Chris Knight and Michael Heldebrandt of The Blind Pig to talk about how they carved out a unique identity for their brewery. They discuss the origins of The Blind Pig, how they market the business, and the hurdles they’ve had to overcome along the way. They also talk about Michael’s experience delivering beer in a dinosaur costume and how it boosted the brand. Hear it all on this episode of Pitcher This!