| A Brief History of Southern Wine & Spirits of Hawaii|
Southern Wine & Spirits of Hawaii is one of the state’s leading wine, spirits and beer distributors. As was the case with many distributor operations, it became a Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. Company through acquisition.
Since its founding in 1968, Southern Wine and Spirits of America, Inc. (Southern), is the leading nationally recognized wine and spirits distributor in the United States known for its historic commitment to delivering the highest standards of customer service, creative marketing programs and partnerships. The Company is also known for its best-in-industry professional and well-trained sales, operational and support staff, its ongoing investments in and contributions to hospitality and beverage education for its staff, its customers and to many national educational institutions. In addition, Southern is justly respected for its deeply held belief in the importance of giving back, for being a socially responsible corporate citizen and for making generous contributions to national, state and local charitable organizations.
With approximately 185 sales and support staff now working statewide, operating from four distribution centers, one on each major island, in the multi-island state, Southern Wine & Spirits of Hawaii is able to field a comprehensive, multi-site distribution, marketing and merchandising team.
The Company’s state-of-the-art Honolulu facility is home to its principal statewide sales, executive, administrative, educational, transportation and business operations. Taken together, the Company’s four-island distribution system is designed to provide excellence in customer service for on- and off-premise accounts as well as for brand owners and suppliers alike.
Supported by these impressive operational capabilities, Southern Wine & Spirits of Hawaii offers timely deliveries to the state’s hotels and resorts as well as to the islands’ chain and independent restaurant and retail establishments operating from Maui and Kauai, to Oahu and Hawaii, the latter known as the Big Island. In addition, Southern Wine & Spirits of Hawaii also serves Lanai and Molokai, two of the state's smaller islands.
Noting the unusual characteristics of the Hawaii operation, Mr. Warren Shon, Executive Vice President, General Manager of Southern Wine & Spirits of Hawaii, says, “The Hawaii market is very unique. We are an island state, and, not surprisingly, there are very complex logistical challenges that we must face on a daily basis. We are proud that we’re able to provide the level of next day or same day service for the overwhelming majority of our products in our portfolio."
In order to properly cover some of the distant corners of the island chain, Mr. Shon explains that Southern Wine & Spirits of Hawaii operates four separate distribution points, each on a different island – all of which, for example, are well stocked with the range of products that most any account might require. In addition, each site features temperature-controlled warehouse areas for its wide collection of fine wines.
Furthermore, Mr. Shon says that owing to the state’s warmer climate, all fine wine deliveries are made in temperature-controlled trucks, assuring that quality wines are properly handled from their initial arrival in temperature-controlled seaboard containers in Hawaii all the way to their final destination at an on- or off-premise account.
Mr. Shon, who was born and raised in Hawaii, arrived as General Manager of the new operation, following more than a decade of sales and management work for Southern Wine & Spirits of California in the Company’s Southern California division.
Mr. Shon reports proudly that Southern Wine & Spirits of Hawaii’s market share has continued to grow, benefiting from both organic growth of its existing portfolio, as well as from new brands and products it has recently taken on. Mr. Shon also credits the exceptionally strong spirit of service and teamwork as another key reason behind Southern Wine & Spirits of Hawaii’s growth. In addition, Mr. Shon credits the strong support from suppliers as still another key reason behind the Company’s impressive performance. And last, but not least, Mr. Shon says, “We would not be where we are today without the support of all our customers.”
With more than seven million visitors a year traveling to Hawaii, Mr. Shon is extremely bullish about future growth prospects in the years ahead. And thanks to Southern Wine & Spirits of Hawaii’s disciplined approach to each critical sales channel – in which specialized sales teams call on specific types of accounts – Mr. Shon is confident of maintaining and enhancing the Company’s hard-earned reputation for superior customer service.
To achieve these goals, Mr. Shon says he is always on the lookout for sales and operational personnel who are “passionate, dependable, team players, willing to give 100 percent every day and possess good common sense.” Mr. Shon adds: “My goal for our sales force is simple – I want to put them in a position to be the best they can be, to be Number one in the market. That is why Southern Wine & Spirits of Hawaii is committed to education and training.”
Overall, Mr. Shon’s objective for the Company is very focused: “Our goal is to provide the finest service in the industry, have the best-trained sales force, and to deliver on the promises we make to our supplier partners.”
Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. is the nation’s largest wine and spirits distributor and broker with operations in 35 markets. The multi-state distributor currently operates in: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Kentucky, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming. In addition, Southern operates in Minnesota through a joint venture with J.J. Taylor Distributing Company. Southern also holds operating licenses and permits in Nebraska and Texas. On a national basis, Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. employs nearly 14,500 team members. Southern urges all retail customers and adult consumers to market, sell, serve and enjoy its products responsibly. For more information about Southern and its responsible consumption program, see: http://www.southernwine.com.