As we approach four years in business in Missouri, and two years in business in Florida, I thought I'd take a moment to explain where Appelt's Quality Liquors came from.
How did a Missouri AWS Certified Welding Inspector in the Construction Industry get involved in Mead / Craft Beer / Sulfite Free Wine, and the Alcohol Industry?
The Story: At first, I was flying blind. I had jumped head first into the deep ocean of the alcohol industry without a clue as to what might be out there. I was initially inspired by my Grandpa, George W. Appelt who owned IBC Root Beer and Virginia Dare Soda, long before I was a twinkle in his eye. With both my grandpa and dad long gone, their son Andrew, strived to better himself and wound up out of the welding fabrication shop, and into a position as a certified welding inspector. I inspected a clean coal power plant in Lively Grove, Il, helped the remodel of the Muny in St Louis, spent some time on the new Chaifetz Arena in St Louis, as well as numerous other projects around the country. I ended up in North Idaho in 2008 through 2011 in a little town called Moscow, Idaho, and from there history was made. I thought I had died and gone to heaven living in the North West! I set out every chance I could get to explore the Clear Water National Forest and the Clear Water River, The St. Joe National Forest and the St. Joe River, the Coeur d' Alene National Forest and Coeur d' Alene River, and all the way to Lolo National Forest, MT! I have stories of Huckleberry picking in Grizzly Bear Habitat that light up my face any chance I get to talk about it. Which brings me to a day in mid Spring in Missoula, MT. That's where I stumbled upon Hidden Legend Mead from word of mouth by a local friend I met while visiting the farmers market that morning. Hidden Legend is something to be proud of with Missoula residents and Montana residents alike. I purchased a few bottles at the local coffee shop and went on my way not thinking too much about it. It wasn't until I returned home to Missouri, and while reflecting on the experience of the Northwest I tried my first glass of Huckleberry Mead. I couldn't believe the quality of this product and couldn't wait to experience it with every one of my friends! That one bottle turned into many bottles and I started purchasing Hidden Legend Mead on-line for every Christmas and Holiday thereafter. Never once thinking "hey this is going to be a business adventure" I was very happy as a welding inspector, as it was allowing me to travel the country, and live like a king at the time.
An Idea: I took a trip back to Coeur d' Alene one fall to visit. I set out to purchase a few bottles of the Mead locally (instead of paying for the high prices of shipping) and I could not find the product anywhere. My only option was to drive 6 hours to Missoula. My immediate thought was, hey I could buy a cabin here and start a distribution, co! and live the dream! When I returned home I went to my local markets to see what I could find out there for Mead. That was when I realized there was nothing out there to speak of. Very little selection, and what was available at the time was not very good. Nothing like this Montana made product I had fallen in love with. The thoughts just started to pour in. So, I started doing my research. I kept my day job, and set out to help the Mead, and Craft Beer industry in Missouri. By using my inspector skills I delved into obtaining a liquor license throughout the state of Missouri in April of 2014. At the end of that first year I was offered a great project at the Florida Hospital Women's Pavilion in Orlando, Florida. With the new business picking up steam, I decided that it was a good idea to travel one more time and do what I had to do to keep the business in Missouri moving forward. Having a little time on my hands I decided to scope out the Florida market and came to the same conclusion. Florida needs me too... So, I put together a warehouse in Davenport, Florida and did what I had to do to get that Florida liquor license as fast as I could. And just like that Appelt's had doubled in size.
Mission: It is my goal to offer the best products available to every market throughout the state of Missouri and the state of Florida, so that everyone including friends and family can enjoy the best beverages available in the alcohol industry. This is no easy task. I am proud of my family name, and I am determined that this is a true calling for me to grow this company to it's full potential. Bridging the country in an effort to help the small (nearly unknown business of Mead / Craft Beer / and Sulfite Free Wine) to the entire alcohol industry. Together we will become family strong.
This is my story. Thank you for taking the time to check it out. If you have any questions at all about specifics just ask! Please follow us at https://facebook.com/appeltsqualityliquors/
Your favorite wine man,