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Key Idea: Trust Your Experience

Decades of experience give the founders the confidence to turn down products they don't like.

Key Question:

A: 

In the case of Opici, experience tells the founders what to offer.  Rose has to like the wine for Opici to offer it. This sounds very closed-minded and even provincial but there is some wisdom here. Bob Galasso is the wine buyer and his job is to search the world for a good bottle of wine that is priced fairly. To find quality from no-name growers is hard and it requires sophistication and experience.

Any buyer can guarantee that a wine from a famous brand is going to be at least drinkable. Opici is proud that it can find a good wine for a good price and they have built a reputation on this strategy.

Rose has been tasting and selling wine for 60 years so she has an intuition now about what people will buy. She is not looking for her favorite, she is looking for qualities that will be appreciated by a segment of her customer base.

Q: Why should the owner of any business want to please himself or herself?

A:
This is about energy and pride. If you are selling products and services that you don't like or that you are not proud of, you will become cynical. You will lose interest in your customers because you won't respect them if they are buying from you what you wouldn't buy from yourself.

The Opici family is guided by authenticity and integrity. You might be able to make money selling something you wouldn't buy but money alone is not what motivates most business owners.

Think about it

Where will your next product or service come from?

Clip from: Opici Wine Group's Three Generations

Glen Rock, New Jersey:  One never knows when power, love, and money intersect within a family, how it'll play out. When company founders, Rose and Hubert Opici, thought the next generation was ready to run the company, they retired to Florida.  They were a bit too optimistic. Though from within the family, their new leadership had power and money but not the love that was Rose and Hubert's special ingredient that had nurtured this business into being for over three decades. Luckily, Rose and Hubert were paying attention. They came out of retirement, removed their bad apple, and restored health and vitality to the business.  
 
The hard lessons learned from that experience steeled the family for the tasks ahead. Their daughter, Linda, became president and they began recruiting strong veteran industry talent. Then to prepare their grandchildren, Dina and Don are getting on the job training from the bottom up.
 
Learn how a business is built by celebrating life around an evening dinner with family, customers and suppliers. It is a very basic business formula: Know your customers and suppliers well. Get to understand them, like them, and trust them, and the business follows.

This company opened for business in 1933 and you will hear the third generation talking about taking Opici into its second century of operation. 

Go to all the Key Ideas & Videos of this episode...

Opici Wine Group

Linda Opici, President

25 DeBoer Drive
Glen Rock, NJ 07452
2016891200

Visit our web site: http://opici.com

Office: 2016891200

Business Classification:
Distributors

Year Founded: 1933

Trust Your Experience

Rose Opici: It is a funny thing, when wines come in and we taste them and we say, "Nope, we can't sell this - it is too tart, too lemony. The throat will resist this." And they go, "Oh my god, if Rosie don't like it we can't sell it." They laugh -- but it's true, if you don't like something, you don't want it out in the public.

The license we took out in Florida has Linda and Rose Opici. So they go, "Those two broads - we'll have them off the road in a couple of months." And Linda goes to the salesman, "Who told you that?" She said, "They don't know my mother."


And to this day he laughs, the competitor that came out with that and said it -- now we are friends. But that is what happens, you become friends with your competitors also, you know. Because otherwise it doesn't work.

HATTIE: Hubert and Rose are the children of immigrants. Their daughter Linda runs the company day-to-day now and the three are grooming Dina, Linda's daughter and an attorney, for leadership.

Don, Linda's son just graduated from Columbia University. This is a nice Italian family. An honest, hardworking Italian family. They have built what they have today by offering customers a fair price and fabulous service. This is the story of America...of capitalism at its best.

Linda Opici: Basically, I learned by doing. Everyday there's new challenges that crop up that no one can teach you. You just don't know every day when you come to work what's going to happen next. I mean, I am never ever bored.

Dina Opici: I once told someone, who didn't work for us at the time -- we were going back to the office and he said, "Have a good day." And I said, "Have fun." He looked at me and said, "Have fun?" I said, "We have fun every day." And now he is working here and said, " I see what you mean." So, you know, it is a fun place to work.

 
 

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