Craft Collective’s Co-Founder & CEO Adam Oliveri recently sat down to answer a few questions about the past, present, and future of Craft Collective. Adam has run Craft Collective alongside fellow Co-Founder & President Bryan Ferguson since 2015.
What inspired you and Bryan Ferguson to start Craft Collective?
Bryan and I both had dreams of working together on a business we could love. To us, this meant that, if we were going to start a company, it had to be in an industry where we had genuine personal passion for the products. As long-time friends, Bryan and I developed our passion and appreciation for craft beer and wine along-side each other, and Craft Collective was the natural choice.
What sets CC apart from other beer distributors?
We have a genuine passion for the brands we represent. Our commitment to building brands and helping craft producers succeed drives everything we do.
What was the first beer that got you excited about craft beer?
I was a Senior at URI and started getting into craft beer when I visited Newport Storm’s Friday tours of their brewery, but the point of no return for me was Dogfish Head’s Raison D’Etre. This beer demonstrated to me that the breadth of flavor experiences possible through beer was endless.
What do you look for when adding suppliers to the portfolio?
At its most fundamental level, it’s about the people. We ask ourselves whether or not the prospective partner is willing and able to work with us to accomplish our mutual goals. We’re in this for the long haul, and need our partners to be interested in working with us continuously to respond to an ever changing market situation and opportunity. If the people are impressive, we consider the competitive market within and without our portfolio, the liquid, the brand, and overall market trends.
How have you seen customers’ needs evolve since CC began?
When we began, the “emerging craft” category was relatively small. The availability of small craft brands to general distribution was in its infancy. It was possible for retailers to have a general awareness of almost all brands that were available in the market. Today, due to the proliferation of craft brands, retailers need increased attention and education in order to stay competitive.
What’s next for CC?
Our focuses this year are on building our capacity to help our suppliers build their brands and on increasing our ability to deliver best-in-class service to our retail customers. There’s a ton wrapped up in that, but above all it means enabling our staff through investments in training and tools that help them accomplish their jobs more efficiently and effectively. Staying competitive as a distributor is only possible through a commitment to continuous improvement on the blocking and tackling of business operations.
What beer are you serving up at backyard BBQs this summer?
Dorchester Brewing Co. Neponset Gold and East Rock Key Lime Kicker are my one-two punch for Summer ‘22!