Interview With Robin McBride and Andra McBride John


Okay so I warned you last time this story is epic right and I am assuming you're here because you've already heard part one of this two part story how two half sisters who didn't know the other existed until both were grown up went onto launch one of the biggest black owned wine companies in the world. But if you haven't heard part one, please stop listening right now and go back one episode and your podcast queue to hear it. As for the rest of you, you've now had a few days to dry your eyes and recover from the first half of the story. Which means we are at the business building part of what would eventually become the McBride Sisters Collection. Now, the thing about Andrea and Robin mcbryde is that despite both growing up in winemaking regions Robin in Monterey California, Andrea in new. Zealand neither sister had any real connection to the industry and neither had any real money to put towards a business. They were also young women of color trying to break into an industry that's often been dominated by older mainly white men. But now this matter they didn't care. They knew that they both shared a love of wine and that they both had a deep and powerful desire to work together. and. There was one other thing. They were motivated by mission they wanted to build a company that would make wine more accessible to disrupt and demystify the sometimes intimidating parts of wine culture. Grape varietals had a tasted regional nuances. Ratings even had a read labels. And when they I dreamed up the idea of starting wine company Robin, the older sister had been working at a corporate job and was married with three children and Andrea, was a college student at USC. I mean. Neither of you had a whole lot of start up cash if any did you Robyn did you I mean you had been working but you also family did you have any savings I mean not match you know it was kind of a nearly paycheck to paycheck. Already got married. We had recently purchased a home, but you know we have brand new twin babies and an older girl. So there wasn't a whole lot of cash available and under assuming given that you're on scholarship at USC in a college student, you probably were broke right I. Mean I got my scholarship checks in on. Where you could get a job and make money you know that was that was what I did. So the the the original idea was it sounds like what you guys settled on was let's just import wine and and Kinda put a label on it was that the initial idea. So we had this grand vision we felt like what was really critically important was that. Incredibly passionate about wine yes. Students of wine but we need to learn the business of wine and you know we could get this license in California, a federal import license that was like fifteen hundred dollars. It was like our total life savings and we could import other people's winds and we started by reaching out to two families in New Zealand, and then we could we could learn the business and we went to them and basically said, you know don't put all your eggs and basket. We think California could be a great market to grow your brands and your winds and we negotiated really long payment term so he could bring in the wine. Sell it. Click the cash, pay the light bill and then pay them back and then. As a part of the process was every harvest. We come back and you guys teach us how to make wine. And you Andrea ahead of some connections in new. Zealand 'cause you're from there and your family, your family farmers. Yeah. So when you first approach these wineries in New Zealand and they agreed to send you wine. How did that work like how many? How many bottles of wine did you initially by and then where did you go to sell them? So yeah so it was crazy. It was at the time at felt like it was an insanely huge amount of wine. In it was a palette which is. Fifty Four I. Like the the minimum of what you can put on a boat. But for us, that was just an insane an internet case of wine. There's twelve bottles. So right it just felt like a huge defeat to be able to get these licenses because you know the the sale of alcohol states is highly regulated. And it's very strict and so just the process of obtaining a license to import seemed and felt like such a huge rigorous process and then and then to convince people. You know to entrust in US and give US product and then to get on a boat and then and then bring it into the port of Long Beach at the time, and then put it into a federally bonded warehouse because you can't just like bring that to your house has to go into

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