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September 13, 2016
Not Enough Thank-Yous
This October, we celebrate our 15th year of business. We can’t believe it. How cool is this?
Mark and I have so many people to thank for this achievement. We thank Dennis Styck of Vintage, who we both worked for and learned so much from in the early 90’s. We thank the Terlato family for taking a chance on a start up post 9/11. After the Terlato family sold their wine distribution companies to Southern in early 2002, they allowed Dennis to buy them out and become independent along with Cream. Dennis did the same for Mark and I when we bought him out in 2003. Consolidation realities are a natural cycle. This was an example of opportunity meeting preparation and some blind luck—a theme for us over the years to be sure.
Thank you Cream Team aka the best in the biz. Your dedication and hard work ignites and inspires our collective. We thank our Cream alumni who over the years have gone on to pursue other endeavors both in and out of this wacky industry. They say the wine biz is hard to get into and even harder to get out. We firmly believe in finding and developing talent, training, mentoring and empowering. Basically hire smart people that work hard and get the hell out of their way. The Cream Team rocks! Our goal is to offer the highest level of service. Thank you for continuing to raise the bar.
We thank our supplier partners, many of which have been with us from the start. Thank you for your commitment to quality, your incredible risk in farming, winemaking, distilling and importing, as well as our strong partnership and the great support. Thank you for living on airplanes and spending time away from your families. We would also like to thank the suppliers we no longer represent, as you are part of our history, growth and evolution. Parting company because of philosophical differences or business realities is not uncommon in the world of wine importing and distribution. Trends and brands may come and go, but people and place remain. Tastes and categories are harder to build, but they are worth it in the long run as they need a community behind them. Our dynamic, balanced and authentic portfolio is considered by many to be one of the top niche distributor selections in the country. We prefer to work with family estates, growers and producers from the Americas and Western Europe, sourced from classic and cutting edge importers as well as own direct imports. We are also pretty keen on New Zealand!
Most of all, we thank our awesome customers. Thank you! Without you, none of this is possible. That is not a cliché. That is a fact. Thank you for your confidence, trust and partnership with Cream. Many of you have been working with us from year one. Amazing. In a market as competitive and sophisticated as Chicago, we do not take our relationships for granted. Thank you for your high level of professionalism, knowledge, service and hospitality. Thank you for your open minds, sharp palates and progressive beverage programs. Thank you for taking us to task when needed. It pushes us to do better. We are so proud to be part of this amazing food, wine and spirits community.
We look forward to seeing many of your at our 8th Annual Warehouse Tasting & Sale BBQ this Monday in Pilsen. Let us raise a glass and celebrate all that our crazy misfit community continues to accomplish year after year. Don’t forget your sunglasses.
Andy & Mark with and for the Cream Team 4evuh