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Last Update: Wednesday June 23, 2021

Key Idea: Treat Suppliers Like Family

Parties and gatherings plus speaking Italian to the growers from Italy keep everyone happy.

Key Question:


Relationships plus value plus quality equals millions in sales. At the opening of the program we saw Mr. and Mrs. Opici at a party with 750 people that they know by name. Mr. Opici said Rose knew the names of their 4,000 customers at one time.

Q: What do you know the Opici's do for their suppliers?

We know they throw parties for them. We also heard many of them speak about doing business with the Opici family for decades and that they feel close to Rose and Hubert.
Dina said her grandmother took time to take pictures of customers and write personal notes to them. We also learned that Rose would cook lunch for sales people and everyone would have a good time eating and working together.

Warm acts of kindness to build friendships comes naturally to Rose and now we know that what she does instinctually is the basis of today's success.

Think about it

What do you do for suppliers? What should you do for them?

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

Visit our web site:

Office: 2016891200

Business Classification:

Year Founded: 1933

Treat Suppliers Like Family

HATTIE: Forty years ago Rose Opici thought they should have a party for their suppliers and customers so what is now called the Grand Tasting takes place twice a year in two locations. This event in New York City's famous Tavern on the Green was attended by 750 while the New Jersey party attracted nearly 1,000. Bob Galasso: Mr. and Mrs. Opici are legends in the business at this point.

HATTIE: Bob Galasso is Vice President of National Sales for the Opici Import Company and is the one who searches the world for good value.

BOB: He has been doing this now for over 60 years. The longevity alone is proof of the fact that his business ethic has really built this company up from a small distribution company to a multi multi million dollar company with 200 employees.

HATTIE: Alessandra Bezzi, Bob's assistant, is the day-to-day connection between Opici in New Jersey and growers in Italy.

Alessandra: Ciao - (conversation in Italian continues)

HATTIE: She is Italian herself - so it's easy for her to manage the relationships since so many do not speak English.

Alessandra: (conversation in Italian continues)

Antonio Zaccheo: We have been with Opici for well over a decade now. Mr. Opici, for us, is a family member. He is a man of endless integrity, honesty - he is a warm individual. He is a man that shares our same philosophy of quality and delivering a good product at the price point.

BOB: Many of the relationships with the suppliers have been established for more than one generation. Many of these people who are our suppliers and our friends are also small family owned firms. They are represented here by the sons and the grandsons of the founders. (conversation in Italian)

HATTIE: Producers are the farmers and wine makers who depend upon their distributors, like the Opicis, to carry their creations to the shops and restaurants who in turn sell the delicious products to happy customers.

Antonio: We have had a good summer, it was a hot summer. Then we had a couple of beneficial rains right when we were beginning to panic. Really what that meant is - we have loose clusters with very small berries. We are making some beautiful wines right now. But the quantity is not very high, but we will trade quality for quantity any day.

HATTIE: According to Wine Spectator Magazine, wine consumption in the United States is on the rise and we'll purchase some 240 million cases this year.

BOB: The idea of the wine business for me is that our products are used in an entertainment setting. So we generally consider ourselves to be more in the entertainment business than actually in the wine business. We look at the usage of our wines. It is not necessarily a commodity that lends itself to sitting behind a desk and making phone calls and getting sales. It is more of a commodity that we celebrate.

We love to open a bottle and share it with our customers. We love to talk about the nuisances of the taste and the flavor, it can be hours long discussion and argument over various wines. The wine business is a business of passion it is not so much a business of static numbers or moving cases. It is a business we all love. It is a business that is a family business. We get to know the people that we work with on a personal basis and it is just a celebration of life.

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