I’m fascinated with technology. Especially when technology helps small businesses compete on nearly the same level as their larger competitors and peers. The goal with this series is to promote all the goodness of using free / low-cost technology pieces to help support and promote small businesses.
I met Garrett Marsh during my most recent trip to Ramona, CA. Garrett and his family had recently opened up their new second home, Southern California Wine Company (SoCal Wines), just a few blocks up from my sister's tasting room. We walked through the tucked-away front door and immediately stepped into the most comforting environment I've experienced in quite some time. Big smiles, a welcoming bartender, relaxing chairs, a fireplace, and a great selection of wines and beers. Perfect.
SoCal Wines sits in the back of the Business Barn, behind the hustle and bustle of Main Street. I'm looking forward to heading back as I hear there are lots of updates. With Summer right around the corner, this must be a great place to stop in to try local wines and craft beers.
Who are you? Southern California Wine Company is a family owned and operated local wine and micro brewery shop in Ramona, California. We feature and market San Diego County boutique wineries. The wines are available for tasting flights and can be purchased by the glass or bottle.
What have you been up to lately? We have been working on getting the word out about us and so far it's been going pretty well. We have increased business by just posting the new things going on on our website and we have been using Facebook like nobody’s business!
We have also been looking (tasting) new wines and microbrews periodically just to see what else we can put in our store. But, we are running out of room for storage so we are looking into refrigeration and ways to keep our offerings chilled.
Your company is relatively new. How are you using technology to promote your offerings? We have been blowing up Facebook Pages and we just had our first series of events called “Meet the Wine Maker”. We had about six wine makers come down to the bar and just talk about their wine (or wine in general) to attendees.
The attendees did a wine tasting of just the wine from the certain winery that week and then had the opportunity to just chat and relax with friends with a nice glass of wine. We found this to be very successful with Facebook events.
We also started a website and we're updating it with more wine, pictures, events, etc.
What pieces of technology (solutions, services, etc.) are key to your early success?
- Our website gives us an online presence
- Foursquare provides advertising when customers check-in at SoCal Wines
- Facebook for events and updating the random things we do around town
Any recent additions to your technology family? We are reviewing POS systems, along with looking at iPads / computers for the office.
We actually used the easiest website builder I have ever used called Yola.com! It’s super simple and straight to the point, and it just made our lives just that much easier!
Who should I interview next? Tammy Lyttleton. Tammy started BarkBling.com, making awesome dog collars and things of that nature to bling your pooch out!
Interviewed: April 26, 2012