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Wilks & Wilson LLC

Makers of All Natural Premium Cocktail Ingredients
Food/Bev. Indianapolis, IN

Financial Summary

Wilks & Wilson LLC is not currently fundraising.

Previous Fundraise Summary

Security Type Revenue share
Minimum Investment $500
Investor Eligibility All Investors

Previous Fundraise Activity

$83,500 raised
This business has $83,500 committed from 16 investors.
Max $83.5 k
↳Target $60 k

Financials

Upload a copy of your tax returns for the past 3 years (if applicable)
Provide information on your financial projections

You can find detailed worksheets supporting our revenue projections in the attached file labeled "W&W_Revenue Projection Assumptions. A description of the methodology used to build them follows here:

2016-W&W Direct Sales

In this worksheet I started with where we are at now in volume. That is our average monthly sales per month per unit of product. Then I projected a very modest growth rate of .008% per month— a rate that we should be able to obtain through word-of-mouth alone, let alone conducting any sales or marketing. Very conservative projection. On the volume for Cafe Patachou I used only their historic sales volume as basis. (This is very conservative as it does not take into account their deal with Simon malls to open locations throughout the US. That will all be bonus volume when it happens.)

2016-W&W SWS Indiana

With this worksheet I began with SWS Indiana’s current performance with each of our products (not including RTD). I then calculated a growth rate of 6%. I believe this is conservative because although we have been with SWS for a few years, only now do we have the full awareness of sales and upper management of the value of our product line. Reorders alone will support the majority of the projections, with growth coming in the form of very modest penetration into new locations. (For perspective, with today’s numbers (month one), we are in less than 10% of the on-premise locations in the SWS Indiana footprint. There is lots of room to grow.)

The biggest unknown is the sales demand of the RTD. What we do know is that the interest prelaunch was incredible. With that SWS Indiana pre-ordered 2 palettes or 130 cases. A week later they changed that to 3 or 195 cases. Less than three weeks after those 3 pallets were delivered they ordered a fourth. The liquor stores are taking the product immediately, with Marsh slowing coming on line. We just discovered that Kroger is working on freeing up shelf space to support our product. They are planning a large Super Bowl display in their flagship stores that include Absolute Vodka, our Bloody Mary Mix, and the RTD. We also just learned that Meijer is picking up the RTD for 26 of their stores beginning in spring store reset in March. I feel that our new RTD product projections are in line with the initial activity we are seeing from current and targeted accounts.

2016-W&W SWS Illinois

When we met with the VP of sales of SWS Illinois, he told us that because of their size that they should easily be able to do twice whatever SWS Indiana was doing. However, I chose to take a more conservative approach to our SWS Illinois projections. I did use Indiana as a basis, but I started them at one-half of the current volume of Indiana. I then projected them at the same growth rate (6%) as Indiana. I feel that this conservative as the cocktail market in Chicago is substantially larger than that in Indy.

2016-W&W SWS Nevada

I also started them at half of the current volume of Indiana. However, because they are many times the size of Chicago (One Casino can pour over 25,0000 cocktails in a 24hr period) I projected them to grow at twice the rate of Chicago or at 12%. 2017-W&W Direct Sales Again, the same conservative approach. Beginning with where 2016 left off and the showing a growth rate of .008% per month— again, a rate we should be able to obtain through word -of-mouth alone, let alone conducting any sales or marketing. (And still NOT accounting for the projected growth with the Patachou chain although it is likely we'll see growth through this segment.)

2017-W&W SWS Indiana

Once again taking a very conservative approach, I began with where 2016 left of and then slowed the growth rate to a mere 1.5%. I slowed the growth of the Bloody Mary RTD to the same rate as well. However, I added the two new RTDs that we plan to bring to market. I projected them to only do the same volume combined as the Bloody Mary RTD.

2017-W&W SWS Illinois

Using Indiana as the template, I did the same with Illinois. I began with where they finished in 2016 and then slowed their growth rate to the same 1.5%. Again, with the size of the Chicago market alone, this is a very safe and conservative approach. Following Indiana as well, I used the same 1/2 expectancy approach to bringing on the two additional RTD products. 2017-W&W SWS Nevada Although I projected a slowing growth rate for Nevada in 2017, because of its incredible market size I brought it to the initial growth rate of the Chicago market, or 6%. I took the same approach with the additional RTD products (growth rate and half the volume of original RTD.)

2017-W&W SWS New Market

Again, using Indiana as the template, I treated a new market projection as I did Illinois its first year. I started with half the volume of Indiana combined with the same growth rate of Indiana, 6%. I added the RTDs as before. 2018 By now I hope you see the pattern: Use Indiana as the base template, show initial growth based on Indiana history (a known) combined with market size, then slow that growth rate by over half the second year.

Based on our experience to date we believe these projections are very conservative and very obtainable. We've worked to build them based on a sense of what we know, NOT what we hope. What we cannot predict is the latency in our distributors bringing new products online with their customers. That will come in waves and my intent was that the slow, but steady growth rates would level that out over time.

Additionally, our annual proformas do not account for some other positives we see, such as reduced manufacturing costs as volume increases or the growth of the Patachou chain. I also didn’t try to predict any of the potential homeruns, such as the talks we are currently having with large potential accounts such as MGM Grand, United Airlines, or the Cruise Ships.

Funding Plans & History

Offering Materials

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Business Plan

We are Indiana’s own Wilks & Wilson, purveyors of fine elixirs, bitters, and mixes that allow anyone to create a superior craft-cocktail with the spirit of their choice.

After three years of slow, but steady growth, we feel we have built the foundation for serious growth and expansion. We have stabilized and developed our manufacturing and distribution network and have become a brand player in the national craft-cocktail movement. We have built private label relationships with Coopers Hawk Winery, Cafe Patachou, and a number of others such as The Copper Still and Ice Miller LLP.

In December of 2014 we launched a premium Bloody Mary Mix. We set out to own the Premium tier of Bloody Mary Mix. Soon we were picked up by Marsh, Kroger, Big Red Liquors, Payless and others. Bloody Mary became the product that introduced customers to the name and quality of our brand.

With the help of or Indiana distributor, Southern Wine and Spirits (SWS), we began reaching out to big spirit brands to do “Co-Pak" opportunities. Our overarching goal was to take the old “BASF” approach: “We don’t make the LIQUOR. We make it better.” Since that time we have done Co-Pak initiatives with Absolute Vodka and Tanquerey Gin. We are currently launching an initiative with Cuervo 1800 and after that, Van Gough Vodka. The great thing is that they are now coming to us for innovative ideas to connect their spirit to the craft-cocktail movement.

In February of 2015 we launched a line of Bitters. Referred to as the “bartenders spice cabinet”, bitters are a hot product in the cocktail scene. We chose to jump in because we produce ours in house and they have a very large margin (70+%). (It was our Orange bitters that Tanquerey wanted packaged with their Gin in Indiana.)

Last March we participated in the NRA Food and Beverage Show in Chicago. The reception couldn’t have been better. Time after time we heard that our products were head and shoulders above the rest. We left with 240 strong leads and tremendous interest in our products in other states (enough from Illinois to cause a planning meeting at SWS). But perhaps the biggest development involved a gentlemen known as the father of the modern craft-cocktail movement: Tony Abou-Ganim. He came to a demo we conducted. He introduced himself and said that we was a huge fan of our products. Later he stopped by our booth and asked why we weren’t available in his home location of Las Vegas. We told him that we hadn’t been connected with SWS Nevada yet. He said that he would take care of that. He wanted us there. (One of his key accounts, The Bellagio, pours 25,000 cocktails a day). In less than a week later SWS Nevada reached out to SWS Indiana to get all of our product information.

In November we released, to great interest an RTD (Ready-to-drink) Bloody Mary.

We are currently in the sales and planning stage with both the Illinois and Nevada SWS markets. Las Vegas already has a number of specialty

In the beginning of November we released an RTD (ready-to-drink) Bloody Mary. Kroger wants to use it as a tail-gate/Cookout display fixture in the grand-reopening of their superstores. They want it in Illinois as well. They also want to feature the Bloody Mary mix and the Orange Bitters in these stores, with more stores and products to follow if they do well. The interest in the RTD is amazing. Retail outlets and sellers understand that it has big potential with golf-courses, country clubs, and the tail-gate/cook-out scene. At the NRA show representatives from The MGM Grand thought it would be a no-brainer for its inclusion within the refrigerated min-bar in casino hotel rooms. SWS Indiana order 3 pallets of product before it even went into production. Within days after launch, Payless liquors ordered a full pallet themselves, with Marsh and others requesting product ASAP.

So we find ourselves at the point where we have established stability and traction in all verticals: Elixir, Bloody Mary Mix, Bitters, Private Label, and now craft- RTD. We have relationships with the key influencers in Las Vegas, Chicago, and Indiana, including SWS mixology consultants and the local chapters of USBG (United States Bartending Guild) We are getting known as the company that “makes the Spirits better” by the big brand portfolio owners like Diageo and Proximo.Company operations, including manufacturing, sales, marketing, distribution, and education are strong and ready for scale.

This money would be used to fuel growth through continued marketing and education, and to develop and equip a strong team of local brand ambassadors in these three target cites (Indy, Chicago, and Las Vegas).

What is your competitive advantage?

At Wilks & Wilson we are able to say, "We don't make the alcohol. We make it better."  Each of our products are produced using all natural, mostly organic ingrediants. They are created by bartenders for bartenders. That's why we are used and respected by some of the best bartenders and mixologists in the industry.

Our elixirs are NOT syrups. We are NOT Mr. T's. And the taste of our products proves it. We are the perfect compliment to the high quality, craft movement that is now a multi-billion dollar industry.

Who are your competitors?

Primary Competitors in the Cocktail Market

Rose's / Mr & Mrs T's  (Owned by Dr.Pepper Snapple group)  Sales unknown

Rose's and Mr & Mrs T's dominate the market with substandard product.  

 

Torani (Torre's & Co)  $145 million in US sales

Started as an Italian Syrup company in San Francisco in the early 1900's, it has dominated the coffee flavoring market.  Not much penetration into the cocktail market.  You will find them in most coffee shops (especially Starbucks)

 

Monin (French company)  $100 million in US sales

(The other major competitor for Torre's & Co)  Again over 100 years old.  Mostly in coffee and desert market.  Some penetration into the cocktail market, they do have a small organic line of syrups, most flavors are still inferior.

 

ABMCocktails (American Beverage Marketers)  $43.5 million in US sales

Specialize in pre made cocktail mixers (add liquor and serve)  They do have some syrups available, that are "shelf stable" and not all natural

 

Fee Brother's -  They've been around since 1853 - cocktail product market, but all their products are artificial. - Not many other options for bartenders  3.5 million in sales

 

Stirrings - Acquired in 2009 by Diageo, Inc.  the leading spirits, beer & wine company. - Focuses on the home market (also present in the airline market with pre made mixers for combination with bottle booze for cocktails in the air)

 

Smaller Competitors in the Premium Cocktail Market

Small Hand Foods (San Francisco - 40+ bars, some online sales) - excellent product, small distribution

BGReynolds (Portland OR - available 20+ bars, online, some liquor stores) - focuses on the Tiki market for cocktails.

Sonoma Syrup Company - Been around since 1992.  Biggest splash was when they were selected as one of Oprah's favorite things.  Mostly focuses on the home market.

Stirling Foods (Washington - $8 million annual revenue) - inexpensive product, not much market penetration

What is the composition of your current team?

Currently, we have Greg Wilson handling production of product (recipes and manufacturing), online ordering, and shipping and receiving. Zach Wilks is our mixologist and on-premise brand ambassador.  Vince Freeman is our president and CEO. 

Provide detail on your hiring plans

We will be hiring Brand Ambassadors to handle product relations in each additional market we move into, we will also be hiring additional operations people (Warehouse, Finance)

What is your production process?

Wilks & Wilson utilizes a contract manufacturer for the Bloody Mary Mix, RTD Bloody Mary, and all 8 Elixirs.  Flavorcraft LLC of Louisville KY is the contract manufacturer we have utilized for the past 3 years.  The usual turnaround time on production is 2 - 3 weeks.  We warehouse some product in Louisville, and some product in our warehouse in Indianapolis.    All of the Bitters products are produced in house.  

What is your product development timeline?

Wilks & Wilson just launched a Ready-To-Drink Bloody Mary shortly.  This is an early to market product that has generated a lot of interest from our sales channels. 

Additionally, we have untapped capacity with manufacturing of all of our products. If need, we can produce up to 10,000 bottles a day.

How do you sell your product or service?

Products are sold through liquor distributors in the various markets we are represented in.  We also sell directly to distilleries and direct to consumers through our website and Amazon.com Additionally, we have a number of private label relationships.

Status Leased
Location Type Office Building
Comments Office / Commercial Kitchen for product development Warehouse
Entity Type LLC
State Organized Indiana
Founded February 2012

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Investor Presentation

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Gregory S Wilson

Co-Founder
Background Check

Greg grew up in Indianapolis and attended Park Tudor for both junior high and high school. He continued his education at Purdue, Butler and IUPUI, graduating with a degree in marketing and distribution management from the Kelley School of Business. Initially employed in the trade show and marketing division for a software company, Greg then signed on with Sonar Studios and served as a solution specialist for just under eight years.

A homebrewer of uniquely-flavored beers for several years, Greg expanded his expertise by taking up the practice of hand-crafting syrups and mixers for use in the bar and cocktail industry.

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Vincent Freeman

CEO
Background Check

Vince is the founder, president, vision-caster, and the day-to-day "keeper-of-the-faith" for Sonar Studios, Inc, a rich media and application developer located in downtown Indianapolis. Since studying Industrial Design and Visual Communications, he has spent over twenty years in this industry instructing, speaking, writing and consulting regarding the use of technology and communications in the visual arts.

He enjoys creative problem solving and empowering and encouraging others to become everything they can to obtain their goals and dreams. As an entrepreneur, Vince has become with a number of interesting and exciting start-ups. For the past year, he has taken on the roll of CEO for Wilks & Wilson. He handles the day-to-day business negotiations and forecasting, as well as overseeing the marketing and brands within the Wilks & Wilson product lines.

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Zach Wilks

Co-Founder

Zach moved to Indianapolis at the age of five and grew up on the east side of the city. He attended Warren Central High School and began his college career at Indiana University–Bloomington. However, he moved back to Indianapolis to finish his schooling, eventually graduating with a degree in sales and marketing.

Upon returning to Indianapolis, Wilks caught–and couldn?t shake–what he called the “bartending bug.” Accruing plenty of bartending experience, he went on to open and serve as co-owner of the Ball & Biscuit, Indianapolis' “First Cocktail Bar,” located downtown on Mass Ave.

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Peter Ritz

Board Member

Pete is a Partner with B2B CFO, LLC, the nation’s largest CFO services firm. He serves a works with a variety of small and mid-sized businesses to help them grow to new levels of success. After beginning his career at Arthur Andersen in Chicago he went on to serve in a variety of management roles for companies in Atlanta and Indianapolis. His experience includes being CFO, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, Division Controller, Corporate Accounting Manger, and Audit Officer. These roles were in private and public companies that ranged in size from start-up to Fortune 500. His industry experience includes technology, personnel staffing, government, distribution, long term care, engineering, banking and public accounting.

Pete received his undergraduate degree in economics from DePauw University. He went on to earn his MBA from Indiana University with an emphasis in accounting. He holds a CPA certificate (inactive) from the State of Illinois and is a Certified Cash Manager.

He and his wife Verlyn live in Westfield, Indiana. He has three grown stepchildren and six step-grandchildren. In his spare time Pete is involved in many activities at his church. He currently serves on the Board of Elders, Business Affairs Committee and the Nominating Committee of which he is currently Chairman. He is also the Board Chair of the CICOA Aging and In-Home Solutions Foundation. Pete enjoys playing bass guitar as well as running and exercise.

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James R Miller

Investor, Board Director, Financial and Business Advisor

Jim has had a long and esteemed career as a Certified Financial Counselor. After receiving his B.A. from Butler University in Psychology, he went on to obtain a M.S. from Northern Illinois, and an M.B.A. from Western Michigan University. Additionally, he received C.F.C from the Western Center for Advanced Professional Education, and is a Certified Conation Consultant for Kolbe Concepts.

Jim has had membership in various professional organization, including the American Mensa Society, and has served on numerous boards. His vast experience and wisdom is a valued resource to the Wilks & Wilson Management Team. He mentors and interfaces with the management team weekly.

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James Miller

Primary investor. Has strong background in sales, leadership, and financial planning.

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Kent Burrow

Is a CPA and an attorney. Has experience in cashflow, start-ups, and acquisitions.

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Peter Ritz

Pete is a CPA with experience in cashflow management.

Missing 3a6a2de67c9fa1656ef9b94b36a94430c8a275de6979be7c5cebed8bea899ac0

Vince Freeman

Vince has experience in cashflow management, start-ups, leadership, brand development, marketing and sales.

Missing 3a6a2de67c9fa1656ef9b94b36a94430c8a275de6979be7c5cebed8bea899ac0

Donald Wilson

Missing 3a6a2de67c9fa1656ef9b94b36a94430c8a275de6979be7c5cebed8bea899ac0

Zach Wilks

Missing 3a6a2de67c9fa1656ef9b94b36a94430c8a275de6979be7c5cebed8bea899ac0

Greg Wilson

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Gregory & Appel Insurance

Insurance Agency

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Southern Wine and Spirits of Indiana

Distributor of Wilks & Wilson LLC products

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Flavorcraft LLC

Contract Manufacturer

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Reichel & Stohry LLP

IP Attorneys

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Sonar Studios, Inc.

Sonar is our marketing form. They are the ones that have made us look like a national brand from day one.

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Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada

SWS Nevada is our distribution partner for the Las Vegas market

Updates

Quick Update

August 7, 2015

Happy Friday All:

I just wanted to thank everyone again for their interest and to give you just a quick update.

Last night we participated in Southern Wine and Spirits Indiana's SWIRL event. There we showcased all of our products and served samples of our soon-to-be-released ready to drink bloody mary. We also poured what we called our "15 second Mojito." (Mojitos are a popular drink that typically take 3-5 minutes to prepare.) It really showcased the quality and efficiency of our elixirs.

The response was fantastic. Additionally, SWS assigned a sales rep to our booth all night, where they got to witness firsthand how we interacted with our prospects and see just how interested they were in our products. They also gathered everyone's info that visited our booth and documented the products that they were interested in for follow-up by their sales team. This should really help to expand our footprint within Indiana in the months to come.

The interest in the RTD was outstanding. One liquor store chain said that they would take a full palette themselves ASAP. All that stands in our way with that is the approval of the federal government :-( We are now in day 65 of what they said would be a 30 day process. However, we do expect approval anytime, and we have everything ready to go once we receive it. It is our hope to have product in stores in September- right at the "kick-off" of tailgate season.

We also received our first order from SWS Las Vegas this week. It is just the first spark of what we fully expect to grow into a bushfire of demand in the high-volume cocktail center of the USA.

You may have noticed all of the great new fields for info that the Localstake guys have added. I will be spending the next week adding more information to help you make a better informed decision. We will also be planning an event soon so we can meet each of you personally and you can experience all of our great products.

Thank you again for your interest. And have a great weekend!

Cheers!

Vince

Business status: No current fundraise

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