We had the good fortune of connecting with Glenn Basser and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Glenn, how do you think about risk?
Every start up business and entrepreneur thinks about risk before they jump into a project. Believe me, when we started Basser’s Fine Wine we were scared, I think every new business owner is (Or should be). However, instead of letting fear dominate our thinking, we broke down our risk factors and examined them to try and understand if we were doing the right thing, in order to have the best chance to be successful.
Firstly, we took into account our experience in the industry. I had been in the wine industry for 20 years before we opened our shop. As a result, I knew how to navigate some of the hurdles/issues/problems that we knew would inevitably pop up. This was a huge factor in mitigating risk and overcoming our fears. Many entrepreneurs jump into a project with little or no expertise in the field, because they will “get rich” doing it. Our thought was to start with passion, knowledge, and give our customers an amazing experience. We felt, If we did that, it was more likely the financial gains would follow. (Not the other way around). My best advice to a startup is “don’t chase the money” chase the dream. If the dream is real, the money will be there in the end.
Secondly, we felt another big advantage in mitigating risk was focus. Many entrepreneurs I speak with have their projects fail because they are just juggling to many at once. When discussing our risk factors, we felt our focus on making this one project work, was a big advantage. We put all our time, energy, passion, and knowledge into making our business a special place to visit. We were not thinking about the stock market, crypto, real estate, or anything else. We focused in on how to make Basser’s Fine Wine a world class destination (And nothing else). If you want to mitigate risk or failure, be “all in.”
Lastly and perhaps most importantly, you need to understand if this is just your dream….or does this fulfill a need in the community, you are going to serve. Before we opened the shop we spoke to friends, family, neighbors, and just about anyone who would speak to us. It wasn’t to ask them “Should we do this” it was to ask when we do this, what would make is specia? We wanted to understand how to connect with the community, what they would get excited about, and what needs were not being met by the current marketplace. We got tons of feedback (Some good, some not so good) but we took the themes that resonated with us and the community and built them into our business plan. The community wanted events, dinners, tastings, education, and a place to gather….not just another wine/liquor store. They wanted a place to be social and interact with friends and neighbors. We could do that! If you want to succeed, LISTEN. It may be your dream, but other people keep your dream alive, if you don’t’ hear them, you won’t make it.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
When I graduated college in 1997, I still had no idea what my career path would be. I literally, sent out 500 resumes, from a book I bought at Barnes and Nobles (To random companies in tons of different industries) in the area. So perhaps, my journey started with a little luck. One of the companies I sent my resume to was Charmer Industries, a wine/liquor distributor in NY. At the time, it was a very tough gig. I worked long hours and made very little money and my job was to basically do what no one else in the company wanted too. I got the left-over tasks. However, what I realize looking back this provided me a huge base of knowledge that would help allow me to be successful throughout my career. I learned about sales, accounting, project management, among many other topics….I was building a well-rounded skill set without even realizing it.
I continued working in the industry my whole life but am most proud of a couple of my last stops before I opened Basser’s. I spent 6 years as the East Coast VP of sales for Michael Mondavi’s company Folio. There I was able to sell some of the best Italian wines in the world In addition, I was able to visit Tuscany, Piedmont, and Sicily, which ignited my passion for Italy and all things Italian. A big part of our store is our iconic Italian section featuring many wines that I sold at my time with Folio, including; Ornellaia, Dal Forno, Giacosa, Chiarlo, Villa Sandi and others.
The other amazing stop I made, was as the National Sales Manager for Grgich Hills winery in Napa. I was able to learn the California wine business from an icon (Michael Grgich) and his daughter Violet. I saw first hand an entrepreneur that had started with nothing and built something incredibly special. I think my time at Grgich was a driving factor in wanting to open up my own family business. The Grgich family cared about one thing; making the best wine on the planet. It was their mission. That focus to quality was something that stayed with me, as well.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
What I like about Parkland/Coral Springs it is a quiet area, mostly families, and we all have each other’s back, especially, after the tragedy at MSD, The area is not “built up” but we do have some amazing family businesses.
If you come to Parkland/Coral Springs you have to check out the following:
1- All Star Pizza. This is my favorite spot for a slice or a sub. The owners live local and the food is always good. I spend a ton of long hours at the shop and All Star is my “go to” spot for delivery
2-You have to sit outside Basser’s Fine Wine and order a charcutier board from ‘Board Yum’. They are a local company that does some amazing cheese, meats, and platters.
3- We would need to go have lunch at “Bamboo Healthy” Their custom bowls and acai are the best in town.
4- We would go get a coffee and sandwich at Carmella Coffee in Parkland. The best coffee and avocado toast in town.
5- Lastly, we could finish the night with a concert in the Park. Parkland has an amazing Ampitheater and the events are outstanding. They feature food trucks, live music, etc.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
One of the big reasons we were able to accomplish this project was my friend Noah Rosenfarb. He is one of the top entrepreneurs I know. He helped guide my wife and I threw some of the hurdles every startup will face. Everyone should have a “Noah” to help them threw their fears.
Facebook: Basser’s Fine Wine and Craft Beer
Yelp: Basser’s Fine Wine
Other: We have a wine club “The Uncorked Club” People can email us (Or stop bye) to join