Battle Born Wine finding strength in its third year
Nevada Appeal News Service
Small business owner and wine connoisseur Troy Phillips couldn’t have picked a better name for the wine shop he opened in the fall of 2007 in downtown Gardnerville.
Battle Born Wine borrows its name from the state flag and the fact that Nevada won statehood during the Civil War. But perhaps more appropriate is the fact that young Phillips and wife Megan decided to go into business in the worst economic recession this side of World War II.
The phrase “battle born” takes on a new meaning for any nascent company slugging it out in a dire economy.
But Battle Born Wine has been faring pretty well. Besides “little growing pains,” Phillips reports a continued increase in sales.
“We’re beating last year’s numbers significantly,” he said. “We’ve been staying the course with a lot of hard work involved.”
For a wine retailer with 250 labels that work includes organizing wine tastings, staying in touch with clientele, and continuously adjusting and refining his product line.
“We moved towards the less expensive, more affordable every-night wines,” Phillips said.
He said referrals and word-of-mouth have been most beneficial to the business.
“We want to take care of the customers, so that they come back,” he said.
Another important tool, Phillips said, is cross-promotion and charitable work.
On Dec. 19, Battle Born Wine teamed up with Sharkey’s Casino, JT Basque Bar & Dining Room, Overland Hotel, Buckaroos Saloon, The French Bar, the New Rancho Grande and the Historian Inn for Gardnerville’s first Santa pub crawl.
Starting at the wine shop, participants paid with canned food or a $5 monetary donation to tour the participating businesses and have some holiday fun.
On Dec. 23, Phillips was in his store showing off a full-sized trash can filled to the brim with donated food to be relayed to the Carson Valley Community Food Closet.
Also raised during the pub crawl was approximately $100 for Austin’s House.
“The turnout was great. We saw over 100 people in the store,” Phillips said. “I think everyone involved had increased sales. Long after the event was over, people were still patronizing the places.”
Phillips also is working with volunteer fire departments, sports boosters and several service clubs to get his name out there and help worthy causes.
“The most rewarding part is our clientele. They are loyal and very supportive,” he said. “It’s very reassuring to see lots of hard work both in front and behind the scenes pay off and to keep our heads above water.”
Recession or no recession, Phillips said the future is bright for Battle Born Wine.
“We plan to become bigger and better every year,” he said. “To grow and have growth despite whatever else is going on. We’re grateful for the support so far and look forward to continue being part of the community.”
Battle Born Wine is located at 1448 Highway 395, Gardnerville.
“It has lots of character,” Phillips said of the historic building. “It fits well with the niche we carved out.”
Business hours are 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Call 782-7684 or visit http://www.battlebornwine.com.