Print Page   |   Sign In   |   Join IABR
News & Press: Industry Advice & Tips

Cork Liquors Providing Local Expertise

Wednesday, September 30, 2015  
Share |
[caption id="attachment_619" align="alignright" width="300"]Cork Liquors in Columbus, Ind. Cork Liquors in Columbus, Ind.[/caption]

Cork Liquors – Providing Taste Expertise for Local Buyers

Never let it be said that a liquor store doesn’t have the right combination of price, selection and unique and odd picks based on consumer desires and tastes. Just visit Cork Liquors in Columbus. The flagship of its 12 stores is anchored near an I-65 exit in Bartholomew County. At this location, Japanese engineers from Cummins purchase their favorite high-end bottles wine such as Opus One. At this location, crafties line up Thursdays prior to the store opening to be the first to cherry pick from the diverse craft beer selection, including a funky brew (believe it or not) made from a brew master’s beard yeast and the much sought-after Three Floyds Zombie Dust. And it is also at this location that just a few bottles every so often land of the occasionally produced Sam Adams’ Utopias or Founders KBS that end up selling out for $150 each almost as soon as they appear in stock. Experience matters when you grow a business. Tastes matter when you want to stay in business. Warren Scheidt, along with son Travis and daughter Allison, are the trio now ruling the day-to-day operations at Cork; from managing a workforce of 60 to implementing a new point-of-sale system that tracks individual clerk transactions and inventory. “Every store doesn’t have to be big,” said Warren, the patriarch. “We just like to have as many different products as we can get for customer choice.” This third-generation family business is steeped in experience that started back in the early 1980s when it all began. In fact, the family joke is that Travis broke his first bottle while still in the womb – when mom was pregnant and bumped into, then shattered, one of the first bottles in the store. This is a family that has kept up and kept sharp, even with the influx of big box stores, chain drug stores and gas stations all around them that sell alcohol. And there are distinctions to be made. Travis Scheidt said Cork prefers to buy from vendors that don’t sell to Walmart and Kroger, for example. They also favor craft beers that don’t sell, or sell out, to the Bigs. The strategy appears to have paid off. Even on a Monday afternoon, the story is busy ringing sales and the clerks are busy stacking shelves. As Cork expanded, so did its wine selection for the discerning tastes of higher-income customers. More than 5,000 wine SKUs are stocked at Cork, including the locally preferred Mollydooker Velvet Glove Shiraz. The shop’s specialty walk-in humidor is one of the few in the state. [caption id="attachment_618" align="alignright" width="300"]Warren Scheidt, owner of Cork Liquors, inside the Columbus store's walk-in humidor Warren Scheidt, owner of Cork Liquors, inside the Columbus store's walk-in humidor[/caption] As people pop in to and from various locations along I-65, they also ask for Indiana-made items – which range here from Hoosier-made craft brews to spirits. The Scheidt family always has an eye to expanding and staying competitive, even with the invasion of out-of-state chains dotting the landscape around them. Local, is after all, local. Even Walmart managers in the area call Allison occasionally to check on alcohol laws, more than just an epic fail for the retail giant. The Scheidts are also the only father-son duo on the board of the Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers and 28-year-old Allison may not be far behind. Scheidt is a former past president and also has served in executive positions with the American Beverage Licensees (and been recognized as a retailer of the year). If Cork expands, it won’t be in spite of the competition around it – it will be because of the competition. Knowing when to make the next move, and keeping on top of industry trends, seems to be this family’s key to longevity.

Association Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal