Est. 2001. Importer & Distributor of Fine Wine, Craft Spirits, and Ginjo Sake
Established in 2001, Cream is Chicago-based, independent, family-owned and operated importer & distributor of fine wine, craft spirits and ginjo sake. Our collective mission is to continue to improve upon providing the highest level of service for our restaurant and retail customer partners in the great state of Illinois.
The Cream of the Crop
Born from a need for a small, focused and progressive boutique wine service that professionally bridges the gap between vineyard and consumer, Cream has organically grown over the years to be recognized as one of the nation's leading artisan wine distributors and marketers. The Cream Team, a cohesive staff of passionate wine professionals, is committed to excellence in service. Our ever-expanding core customer list is comprised of the top restaurants and retailers in the state. Cream's thoughtful, balanced and very real Portfolio contains comprehensive, regional selections of some of the finest estates and winemakers on the planet. Many are leaders in natural, organic and biodynamic viticulture and winemaking, practices in which we are strongly committed. We have developed a unique concept called Small Batch that gives more attention and respect to our small production American wines from California, Oregon and Washington. Our importer partners are true specialists and are regarded by the industry as leaders in their respective categories. We also have a comprehensive complimentary portfolio of direct import wines. Ranging from iconic estates and volume drivers to foraged treasures and geeky passion projects, Cream Imports goal is to continue to discover and deliver value as well as inspiration to our customers.
Wine, People & Place
It’s very simple. Our business is about wine, people & place. You can spend millions on vineyards, wineries and equipment – warehouses, computer systems and trucks – architects, designers and wine cellars - but ultimately wine is grown, made, marketed, imported, distributed, sold, purchased and consumed by people. Never forget about the customer. Never lose site of your business' most important assets - employees, partners and customers. Never stop investing in or doing business with quality people.
Sales & Marketing
In any industry success rises. Cream is not attempting to reinvent the wheel. Ours is a grand old trade. You buy a wine for X and sell it for Y. However, given the intense, competitive nature of the wine industry, the amount of fantastic global wine available and the enigmatic state of the new world economy, the innovators will be the ones left standing. Selling is a delicate balance and combination of people and relationships, service and selection, education and motivation, attitude, action, delivery and support. Order takers can be replaced by computers, but passionate motivators and inspiring innovators will always find a successful niche. We sell wine for God sake! How can you not be thankful and jump out of bed in the morning?
Warehouse & Delivery
We run a Chicago-based, temperature-controlled warehouse and use our own temperature-controlled delivery trucks. Our priority is to continually improve upon our distribution services with better customer service, more human contact, accuracy of invoicing, timely delivery, professional drivers, etc. We greatly appreciate your support over the years and look forward to improving your service for many years to come. Please do not hesitate to give us feedback on how we can do better.
Service & Support
What is service? It's not rocket science, lip service or smoke and mirrors. It's about keeping the focus. Have the right attitude, as we are so fortunate to be in this business. Take action by being both proactive and reactive to a customer needs. Educate in a motivational, non-intimidating and useful way. Deliver the goods in one piece, at the right temperature, invoiced properly and on time. Support the customer with more than just selection and pricing. Our philosophy of small company service and focus with large company delivery and support greatly benefits both the customer and winery.
Education & Motivation
We place a huge emphasis on the continued education of our staff as well as customers, which includes intense product knowledge and business and sales training. There is a fine line between education and intimidation, and in the wine world, we have to be careful. We enjoy conducting important educational sessions, one on one tastings, producer and grower seminars (videos), category salons, portfolio tastings, trips to regions, etc., so that our staff and customers are enlightened and motivated wine professionals. Please contact your sales person to schedule a tasting or staff training and be sure to check our events page to see what we have planned next. In addition, please browse our website as it is a vast source of information on our producers, regions, and industry news. Sign up for a creamwine.com customer account to check stock status, create lists of wines and see net pricing.