A Wine Business About People, Not Just Profit
Wine entrepreneur gets start-up support from CEF
In his 15-plus years working in wine distribution and importing, Dustin Chiappetta got to know very well the ins and outs of wine production and trade, and had the benefit of meeting hundreds of wine producers all over the world who were passionate about their work. What he found however, was that much of the wine trade was much more concerned about selling boxes, rather than products created by creative and passionate people. He decided that he wanted to start his own wine shop, so that he could connect customers to carefully crafted, humanized wine.
He set off to find funding to launch his business, but he found that despite his extensive experience in the field, traditional banks still wrote off his idea as a risky upstart, since he had no business management experience. He looked into private lending, but found that the interest rates were too expensive and inaccessible. Through the Colorado Business Bank, he was put in touch with Ours To Own partner Colorado Enterprise Fund, where he qualified for a $50,000 loan to seed his business. “It definitely would not have happened without Colorado Enterprise Fund,” Dustin explains.
Today Dustin’s business, Pearl Wine Co., is a popular Denver destination for wine, beer and spirits, and was named Denver’s Best Bottle Shop by 5280 Magazine. All the wines sold are 100% from family-run vineyards, with whom Dustin has established personal and lasting relationships. “I like working with family-run vineyards because they make decisions based on what is best for the family, rather than just focusing on what is going to make a profit,” says Dustin.
Pearl Wine Co. is also an active member in its community, and supports local schools with fundraising events, such as catering and wine tasting opportunities.
What’s next for Pearl Wine Co.? Dustin hopes to grow to more stores across the Denver region.