Brooklyn Winery LLC Seeks SCORE Mentor
A Toast from Brooklyn Winery. Brian Leventhal and John Stires officially formed Brooklyn Winery LLC in November, 2009 and opened for business in October, 2010 as a winery but also as a wine bar and a catering facility.
In less than one year the business secured $1MM in private financing, established an 8500 square foot space in the heart of North Williamsburg and secured all the necessary permits and licenses to operate a winery, wine bar and catering facility. At last writing Brian and John had hired 12 employees and infused hundreds of thousands of dollars into countless local small businesses.
In its short time in operation, the winery’s results have been outstanding. Brooklyn Winery has become a popular destination for people to learn about and enjoy wine. Its winemaking program where customers make their own wine brought in over $100,000 in revenue even before the doors were opened to the public. And after only a few weeks, the wine bar has drawn hundreds of people looking for a relaxed, informal environment in which to explore wine. The enterprise’s events business has also taken off, with 25 events, including three weddings, already hosted or booked.
Trade media and the New York press have also taken note of this new arrival on the city scene, with articles appearing in The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Wine Business Monthly and other periodicals. For the owners of Brooklyn Winery, “It was a true pleasure to work with Herbert Marks and the other SCORE counselors.”
SCORE NYC Counselor Herbert Marks became involved with the new venture early on, when they contacted SCORE for advice and assistance, helping the new entrepreneurs organize their ideas and working closely with them as they prepared their business plan. He helped develop financing terms to present to potential investors and also assisted in structuring their investment presentation and set up a mock investor presentation with two other SCORE NYC counselors, James Bonica and Ruth Nagourney.
Counselor Marks also helped the young entrepreneurs navigate government institutions by encouraging them to introduce themselves to local politicians, including Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and State Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol. These contacts resulted in an official Proclamation from the Borough President, provided the winery with advice on zoning requirements and helped them secure their SLA license, which enabled them to open their doors on time and secure jobs for eight people.