April 29, 2021

Nico Enriquez on making Forbes' "30 Under 30" list, disrupting the hard seltzer industry & finding your "why."


The CEO and co-founder of Willie's Superbrew, a craft hard seltzer company, joins the show to tell the origin story of his company, which may or may not include a goat farmer. Plus, Nico discusses earning the respect of older colleagues, facing competition from legacy companies like Bud Light, his company's humanitarian efforts and advice for young entrepreneurs. And of course...is it OK for a man to drink hard seltzer?

Nico Enriquez, now 28, co-founded Willie's Superbrew in 2015. He attended Brown University with the intent of becoming a synthetic neurobiologist, but quickly changed course.

Originally, the company manufactured ginger beer. In 2017, Willie's Superbrew committed to making hard seltzer, separating itself from companies like Spiked Seltzer, White Claw and Truly by making seltzers with real fruit, rather than artificial fruity flavors.

Today, you can find Willie's Superbrew in stores across nine states along the East Coast, and you can expect to find their seltzers in more states by the end of 2021. Nico was also named to Forbes' prestigious "30 Under 30" list in the Food & Drink category in 2020.

To learn more about Willie's Superbrew, visit superbrew.com or follow them on Instagram, @drinksuperbrew.

You can follow @thetroyfarkasshow on Instagram and TikTok, and Troy Farkas on YouTube. For more episodes, blogs and videos, check us out on TheTroyFarkasShow.com.

If you enjoyed today's episode, please consider leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or on our web site.

Today's cause: The Center for Coastal Studies, a non-profit organization dedicated to understanding, preserving and protecting marine ecosystems and the coastal environment through applied research, education and public policy initiatives. You can donate here as part of the podcast's all-natural initiative.

Memorable quotes:

Nico Enriquez on entrepreneurship: "It's so much harder than just saying, 'Here's a good idea.' It's more like, can you do distribution? Can you market it well? Can you make your message? Can you build a good team?  That's a beautiful and bumpy ride to figure that out."

"The biggest reason I'm an entrepreneur is to grow as an individual and to try and change the world." - Nico Enriquez

"If you can demonstrate your commitment, if you can do it through any sort of pain, if you have a clear 'why,' and you have good data to back it, then you're putting yourself in the best position to succeed." - Nico Enriquez on getting respect from older colleagues

"The only way you can really succeed is if you understand other people. And then you try and help them improve their life through interacting with them. And that's what a business or a product should do." - Nico Enriquez

peace and love.

Transcript

Good morning everyone. And welcome into another Thursday episode of the Troy park show podcasts. That is not about me. This is about all of us. The twenties are a crucial time in our lives. And on this show, we navigate the highs and lows of early adulthood together and on today's show. I'm very excited because we speaking to a 28 year old CEO, the founder CEO of Willie's Superbrew, a hard seltzer company.

The founder that we are speaking to here shortly is Nico Enriquez has just celebrated his 28th birthday, started this company back in 2015. Um, originally as a ginger beer company, they made ginger beer. Then in 2017, transitioned over to making hard seltzer. Now I love hard seltzer. I'm a big fan of hard seltzer have been since.

I first had spiked seltzer. I remember first hearing about it from a friend, shout out to Laura, Ricky. She said that she was in love with it. And, uh, so then I started having some seltzer and then over the years it just becomes such a go-to drink for me, whether it's I I'm still a white claw guy. Trulys are fine.

The bud light courtside. Fine. There's a bunch of. Companies out there making really good, hard seltzer. I love hard seltzer. Why? Because as a lot of, you know, I'm super health conscious. So there's times where I want to drink, but I don't want to really drink too much. Or, you know, I've got something happening the next day and I don't want to be in bad shape for it.

I just want to sip something casually, uh, whatever it is or, you know, I'm with I'm with buddies and I'm watching fights, but I'm not really in a drinking mood, but I don't want to be. A stick in the mud. So yeah, sure. Heavy some seltzers it's great. Low Cal low carb. Gluten-free it's all great. It's like, you're not even drinking anything.

And so I love seltzer, so that's why I want to talk to someone in the seltzer biz. And we found a 28 year old guy who's, you know, who fits the bill of this show of just someone who is young and getting after it and proving himself every day. So, super sad to talk to Nico today, we're going to talk about entrepreneurship.

Leadership, um, the founding of his company, which has a great origin story to it. I love entrepreneurship as well, and just origin stories and what pushes people through the tough times that come with building a business, building a company or a brand. So just a little bit more info about Willie, Superbrew.

If you haven't heard of it, I hadn't heard of it until, um, until I connected with Nico, but maybe a lot of you have because it's in nine States in the East coast, especially in the new England region. That's where it's most prevalent. Finding a whole foods. You can find it at a trader Joe's. You can find it impacted stores all throughout.

So be on the lookout for really super rude, because they've got five flavors, ginger lemon, mango, passion, fruit, pomegranate, and Asahi pineapple lime, blueberry lemon, again, nine States in the East coast and they are made with real fruit. And that is his big thing. That's the big difference that delineates, um, Willie Superbrew from, you know, a white claw or a truly.

Or whatever it is that you were into. So without further ado, here's my conversation with Nico Enriquez CEO, founder of Willie's Superbrew. Enjoy.

welcome to the show this week, a young man who has accomplished a lot in his short time on earth already. Nico Enriquez is the founder CEO. Of Willie's' Superbrew currently 28 years old, loving life, uh, making hard seltzer for a living. So Nico, super excited to talk to you today because your work for really Superbrew has been featured in Forbes and the New York post Yahoo.

You were named in 2020 on the 30, under 30 list in the food and drink category. So that's very prestigious. So congratulations to you and happy belated birthday as well, bunch to talk to you about today. But first I, how are you? Thank you for joining me. Well, thanks for having me, Troy. It's great to be here and I'm honored that you reached out.

Yes, sir. Big fan of hard sell here. So I'm excited to, uh, to talk to you today, now that Forbes 30 under 30 list. When that, when you were first announced on that list, what did that mean to you? Um, honestly, I was, I was visiting California at the time, like trying to see whether we're going to launch the market and, uh, I was actually going for like a morning surf.

So I was up very early by West coast standard. So I just got all these texts that were like, Holy shit. He made the list. And I was like, what, what list? And then, um, My mom called me and she was like, I can't believe it. She was super happy. And, um, At that point, I kind of was like, wow, I can't believe it. It just was kind of surreal.

Yeah. I mean, because that's validation at that point. I mean, you know, you spend years putting so much time and energy and effort, and I imagine there's doubts along the way about if this is ever going to become a, what you want it to be. So that's, that's something I'm very curious about. Because in entrepreneurship, there's a lot of highs.

There's a lot of lows. There's times when equipment breaks, when people quit on you, when people screw you over, when you run out of money, things like that. So when you inevitably experienced moments of that nature, how did you persevere through it? Um, you know, I think the biggest thing, like some of the hardest moments when you've got a bunch of bumps on the road, for sure, like, you know, my business, like my co-founder got burnt out three years ago was my best friend, started the company within the college.

And. Um, at that point we had like three months left of the runway. Like we were about to run out of cash and I, on the edge of being like, can I do this? You know what I mean? Um, and I, as I was going through and I was like, this is really painful. I looked at myself and I looked at why I was doing it. I was trying to figure out, you know, what is the purpose?

Listen, it ended up coming down to the values of our business. So like before that moment we didn't have values. Codafide to say like, Here's our compass of how we want to act through everything. But I realized through the journey of like the pain of growing something. And by having something like that map, I can basically grow as an individual and learn to be a better father or son or brother or whoever it is in my future life with the lower stakes of what business does.

So our values as a business are no bullshit, no bullshit and foster growth, have a soul live responsibly, be curious and innovate. And so if I can be that person. While I'm being tested at the extremes of like, shit, we're about to run out of money or like, um, can I stand up to this challenge then I've learned to be that person when it doesn't matter when it matters significantly.

Um, so what ultimately inspired you to start this company? And we started because when I was a kid, there was a crew that played volleyball every day in Cape Cod mass. And one of them was a goat farmer named Willard. And so when I was growing up, he was brewing this ginger and Bruin sketching. That was fricking amazing.

And so for years I was like, well, we should sell this. This is insane. We never did anything. And then I was a sophomore in college and I had this kind of like, I had my whole life in front of me. I was going to be a synthetic neurobiologist and I'd post papers with Nobel prize winner. And it was like, my whole life was in front of me at that point.

And I was going to be a scientist upset. And I had this crisis where I was like, I don't want to do this at all. So I didn't call him Willie and being like, dude, this summer let's start selling the ginger beer and let's just play a lot of eyeball and see what's happened. And in the end we raised $20,000 in Kickstarter and we borrowed three Queens yarns from my friend's parents.

We grounded a thousand pounds of ginger in our driveway for 12 hours, got second degree burns from it. And people freaking loved it. It was like $50,000 in product. We sold that first summer. And so at that point, I started looking at the beverage industry overall. And I realized that no one was bringing health and wellness to the alcohol industry.

Like at the time there wasn't a hard seltzer industry. So the only alternative light beers of beer. Right. And if you could bring kind of a fruity drink that was local calorie gluten-free, you can take all the trends at 40 years of food and beverage outside of alcohol and build a multi-billion dollar product out of that space.

Um, but what I learned on the way is it's so much harder than just saying, like, here's a good idea. It's more. Can you do distribution? Well, can you market it well, can you make your message? Understand what can you build a good team? Can you get the impression behind and that's a beautiful and bumpy ride to figure that out, right?

Yeah. I mean, everyone is a good idea is when it comes down to it, the execution of it is what matters and you've gotten there. So you just said a lot there that I want to unpack first. Let's backtrack a little bit. All right. So you're in college. At Brown, an Ivy league school. All right. So this is a very big deal and you're going to be a synthetic neurobiologist.

I'm not going to ask you to explain what that is. I have no idea what that is, but I imagine it sounds like it's very high paying and your parents are probably encouraging you to do that because it's going to be something that is, you know, parents want what's best for their kids. It's going to be fruitful for everyone involved.

When you say to them, And the people around you and your friends, you know what not feeling this, I want to go make ginger beer with a goat farmer. What did they say? Um, so I didn't say it right away. I think it's honestly, it's, it's kind of like entrepreneurship general. It's like, you got to prove your concept of it before you present it to anyone.

So that's what I did really was like, Okay. I'm going to hustle for like six months before I tell them I'm doing it. And then at that point, things go too far along and prove it out and I've shown the passion for it that like, they were actually super encouraging. They were like, yeah, I can see your charge on your grown from it.

You're learning. And then, I don't know. I think the biggest thing for me to read it, and I'm an entrepreneur is to grow as an individual and to try and change the world with it. And that was, that was what synthetic neurobiology could do. But at the same time, It's what gets in charge is what we should do.

And this is, this is my Avenue to do that. So you were basically in your dorm room at, at Brown putting together this company, building it from the ground up. Um, but you're also a full-time student at that point. So how were you balancing the two? Um, once we started with, as I started, I pass failed every class.

So, um, I Fe I, I did like probably I would do one class. I was really interested in me in like philosophy. I would do one art class and then I would try and get credit for growing the company. And I had some, there are some amazing professors at Brown who are very supportive of entrepreneurship because a lot of people they're believed, or these professor believes as, as I do the amount you've learned through building something and actually having like project based learning experience.

Is more than you ever learn in a class where you're just looking at slideshows and I'm regurgitating our tests. So that was the argument I made to the administration was say, let me pass, fail this, let me get credit for it. And, and honestly, I'd be amount of grown in the amount they supported. I'm super fortunate for that.

Um, Wow. That's awesome. So Willie, Superbrew starts as ginger beer, your hand, grinding ginger with a cuisine art, but then in 2017, you'd transitioned to making hard seltzer. Why did you want to make that transition? So we saw the writing on the wall, like at the time spike seltzer was the first company that did art seltzer.

They sold the ABM Bev before white column truly, really build the category up. But when I saw spec seltzer, I was like, this is going to change the whole industry. Like. They've given, they have a marketing message that people can understand very quickly as white as probably it's fruit-based. Um, and it's clearly showing through his numbers that customers will adopt it.

So what we believe is the category is going to go towards, like right now it's it's like where light beer just started. Right. But seltzer is growing even faster than light beer, fashion and bud light and no light ever done. So the thing that follows after light beer is craft beer. The thing that follows after these macro seltzers is craft seltzer.

What we want to do is use real fruit, have a good story and have good linked back to win the craft seltzer category. And so what I believed at the time is these guys are gonna rock it. We can do it with more so we can do it with higher quality ingredients and we can win the profitable premium future of it by doing it the way that we feel is authentic.

Now, the way that you feel is authentic is to list the ingredients, to not be making your seltzers with fake fruit or artificial fruit, but to do it with, with real fruit and to tell the people, the consumers that you are doing it with real fruit. Now, what I'm curious is that. Over the last decade or so there's been a real push from consumers to, Hey, we want to know what is in our food.

We want to know the calories. We, we want as much information as you can present us so that we know what we're putting in our bodies. So that's been happening in food and a lot of drinks, but I guess it wasn't really happening in the alcohol industry in many ways still isn't why? Why is that? I mean, I, I think that, like, it's awesome that, that you realize this, but I'm a little shocked.

It wasn't happening before. Yeah. Isn't that crazy? Yeah. It's something that actually. So the last time alcohol labeling laws were updated as 1986 and the internal revenue code bill. Right. And that was before, that was 1920s and prohibition was the first time lodge we rent. So everything is old and hasn't been changed forever.

And that means that there's no requirement for companies to label their nutrition, facts, or alcohol, their ingredients, because especially the large companies don't necessarily want people thinking about what's in their drinks or how many calories outposts. So it's been held by these large companies for a very long time.

And Congress has made no changes for, because there's no push for it. So what we believe is consumers deserve to know what's in their drinks. They shouldn't be real ingredients and real ingredients taste a hell of a lot better. So that's our position as a company, but it's a small movement because we're a small voice in this thing.

And we're fighting the big guys who are saying, no, you shouldn't really think about what's in your drink. Just enjoy it, man. And at that point, The more we've gone in this business. The more I realized that a lot of blue laws or structures of our government, or are built in large part in partnership with these large companies that have entrenched in trucks, that they don't necessarily want this change to happen.

And that is definitely true. And trans in labeling and transparency. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, that's why I love, drink a good seltzers because I know it's low calorie. It's low card that like. When I'm drinking a seltzer, it's because I want to drink and have a good time and enjoy something and enjoy the nice weather.

But I don't want to drink too much. I don't want to have like a heavy sitting feeling in it. So I love seltzer. And obviously you do today, but in 2017. And also just since then, I guess obviously, you know, Craft seltzer and hard seltzer is spotting up everywhere. You know, Kors is making it bud light is making everyone is getting into the seltzer game.

Does that scare you at all? That these bigger, bigger companies are getting? Yeah, for sure. I mean, it's, it's something that, um, you know, there were 220 new South entrance this year. Right. And, um, it's everyone from Gordon Ramsey to Coca-Cola. Um, so it's definitely something that you think about in this space.

Cause you know, shelf spaces only so tight and retailers haven't really expanded the number of doors for seltzer as much as they should, based on the velocity. So at different points, you get squeezed in that equation as a smaller brand. And the key there is, regardless of whether you're squeezing in a short term, you have to think longterm a category will go towards bringing them.

Cause that's a long-term trend and people will go towards, they want a higher quality liquid and story and stuff. And basically hammer that message over and over again, to make sure that your retail partners, your distributor departments really understand why you're offering something that is the future of the category.

So for us, it's something that in the short term, there's a lot of noise and that can make it hard to stand out. But as long as we focus one step on another and doing it right and doing it the way we have for the last seven years, since we founded. I think we rise to the top because that's where the trends are.

That's where the large, like you've seen it in every food and beverage category matures. It goes bringing in the ghost crap. So what exactly is your pitch to a bar, a restaurant or a package store that, uh, you want to get your products in? The biggest benefit is we have the most award winning seltzer in the world, right?

So we're making the best liquid in the category. And the reason we make the best liquid in the categories, because we use real fruit. So you pour our liquid out. You literally see the difference. It is colorful and it's full. Like the mango is like the light is on and the drink it's glowing versus a mango in someone else's clear.

And I've never seen a clear fruit, right? It's not real fruit when it's clear, right. Ours is real fruit. It tastes like real fruit smells like real fruit. So if your customer wants that experience, that pairs with any food or beverage, like, you know, mango compare with basically anything gender compare with all of these things, and then you can give him that experience.

You can give them that premium experience, which means that they. Have a more profitable sale. The customer has a better experience and everyone wins in that equation. What is it like for you when you're out and about, and you see someone drinking your product to Willie super bro, and they, they obviously don't know who you are, but you see it.

Um, honestly, I'm, I'm like I get excited and I get a little shy at the same time where I'm like, Like all right. I should go over to them and thank them for supporting us. You know what I mean? Um, but also I'm like, should I be messing with their day? Like, and, and most of the time, once you get over that little trepidation in the beginning, it's like such a cool experience that people get so jazzed and that's the most beautiful thing.

Like having someone who loves. You're liquid and they're drinking entirely irrelevant to me or knowing anything about our story. And they're just like what? This tastes like. This is a cool product and you've kind of the world. That's one of the frigging, most beautiful feelings you get. And there's something like when things are hard, that's one of my favorite like memories that come back to say like the farmer's market days, or like doing samplings pouring samples of liquor stores.

Or just having that first time experience of having someone like try it. And they're like, this is different. This is amazing. Like that makes it all worth it. So Nico, you don't really fit the bill of what I think most people would think of as an entrepreneur. You're young, you kind of give off surfer vibes.

Uh, you just don't really fit the bill of what we all think is, you know, like suit and tie overweight because they work so much, don't take good care of themselves. So, um, obviously you are super young in this field. I mean, you started this when you were in college and you were still just 28. Have you ever had moments in this whole time where you've been like.

I'm just too young, you know, are people going to take me seriously? Are people going to respect me things of that nature? A hundred percent? Yeah. I think that entrepreneurship is, um, one of those, like one of the keys of it, it's not, uh, it's not about your idea. Like we said earlier, it's like, it's your perseverance and your execution and that's your values, right?

Like, can you stay on course and be authentic? And then can you consistently take swings at pitches that are good pitches and. You look at like, I consistently look at, Oh shit, if I'd started spike seltzer, or if I just started, whitefly like, I had that idea before this thing came up, but I didn't necessarily have the way of executing or the learnings to get there.

And so it can be really easy to get down on yourself and say I was too inexperienced, or I made that mistake or whatever. But the thing about being able to fall back to say, I'm living this to my values and I'm following my plan and I'm doing the best I can then. It's all about your percentage. Like how, how many swings you take and how consistently you get there, that events, or you have that rocket rocket ship and that ramp.

And that's, my belief is like, if you can demonstrate your commitment, you can do it through any sort of pain. You have a clear why, and you have good data to back it and thesis there. Then you're putting yourself in the best position you can succeed because. It's the same way. Like when someone's investing in this term space, you're diversifying your bets and you're trying to take as many as broad a, um, investment in a category you believe in as possible as an entrepreneur.

And you're doing that through your actions, right? You are diversifying your bets and trying to win your category through your consistent application though. Um, you know, trying to succeed each day and live to your authentic value. That makes sense. So, yes, I do feel limited as like, or like sometimes doubt myself as a younger person, but then I fall back to that framework and that framework allows me to keep going to say, you know what, I'm taking my swings.

I'm doing the best I can. And I'll do that every day. Yeah. So, I mean, in. In the business world, people don't like disruptors, right? Buzzword term all the time about this stuff, bang has been done this way every single time. And then some new company or some new person comes in and just blows it all up. And usually it's met with a lot of backlash to be like, what is this guy doing?

What does he think? Who does he think he is changing of everything that we've ever worked for now? You've kind of done that. So, uh, being a disruptor in the seltzer industry by. Throwing out the ingredients, naming what they are and making real fruit. How much pride do you take in that? I think it's like, um, I'm proud that we do it.

Um, the thing I'm actually most proud of though is our school. I don't know if you've, have you seen anything about it? So like basically in 2019, Willie passed away. And so we, as a brand, we're trying to figure out how do we, how do we keep going and honor, who really was in the right way? But also keep growing this business and succeed in the path that we were trying to achieve even before.

Um, and so we decided to clean every beach on Cape Cod in his honor, and to organize an effort to do that. So in the middle of COVID, we safely organized 540 volunteers coming together to walk 190 miles in Cape Cod pick up 1400 pounds of trash. And that was a huge success. Now this year, we just did New Jersey organized 5,500 volunteers.

We did 60 communities. We're going to do long Island. That meant men doing Cape Cod in the first two weeks of September. And ideally one day we do the whole East coast. And the idea of this whole thing is it's in Willie's name, that we are trying to build a larger movement towards sustainability, where people can have fun.

At the same time as they feel like they're making a difference and then it can get people moving in the direction of, we can all make change together and companies can help support this and individuals can help support this. So, you know, our labeling is important and the ingredients are important, but like it's the values, it's the causes the soul, like that's the larger vessel because in the end we're going to have to change our products as the market changes, we're going to like, but it's why we're doing it.

That's what matters. That that's, that's amazing. That's absolutely amazing that, that you guys have been able to do that, especially during COVID. Uh, so, so congrats to you when you w when you look at the scope of the food and beverage industry today, what, what are the biggest problems with it? I think we all generate a ton of ways, like company ways.

We all think about it as individuals, but like company ways overall. We don't have circular economies, right? So like stuff just gets thrown at us, but in landfills and like 99% of the plastic that people think is recycled. Isn't real. So that whole kind of source of we can just keep piling stuff on top of each other and then incinerating.

It is I think the biggest issue in our entire industrial system. And I think it's beautiful. How much change it seems like is occurring right now through. You know, companies pushing on this through industry, pushing on us, through individuals, pushing on us through governments, which are where it seems like actually we're moving in a direction where I would have said two years ago, we're screwed and we're not moving the right way.

Now I have a lot of hope to say, um, as the company and as an individual, the change is common and we're making it happen and we just need to keep pushing and having that conversation. So that's the most relevant thing, but it's also moving the right way. Yeah. Um, so to be able to, to say that, you know, you kind of have to be a leader in the industry, you are obviously a leader of a company.

And like I said, you are on the younger side. Um, but in the years that you've been doing this, you have been the leader. You've had a very small staff and now it's growing, growing, growing, hiring that you're actually hiring someone on your site. Uh, someone who basically just would go out and run tasting.

So that sounds fun. Um, but what do you think are the most essential qualities of being a good leader? I think humility and empathy for your team. So like really understanding that your decision isn't always the right one. And like, you'll, you'll look at your decision a month later and say that was stupid.

Um, that often happens. Um, and also empathy for the people that you're trying to engage of. Like, it could be your team members, or it could be the people that you're selling your product to, or it could be your distributor. The only way you can really succeed is if you understand other people. And then you try and help them improve their life through interacting with them.

And that's what a business or a product should do. That's what the most successful leaders should do, because then you build a cohesive team rather than one where you're just whipping people along to say, we have to follow in this one track. Um, sometimes I look at other other, there are some entrepreneurs who are like total heart acids and, uh, they're not necessarily the nicest people in the world.

Um, you've seen that on a large scale and I think that that is the old way of doing business versus the new way of doing business cohesion, empathy care, and a knowledge of your impacts and adjustment for that. Um, So that's, that's where I think modern leadership is and where it is going and where it has gone reasonably now, qualities that you just listed.

Um, you know, you probably had to put into hyperdrive when the pandemic first hit. So when things started closing down and everyone's freaking out about everything, what was going through your mind then for the future of your business? Yes, it was Emily scary like March and April. Um, Just overall, like, you know, I think we were all like, yeah, should I like sanitize every, but we're not that I touch.

Yeah, exactly. Um, and then as a business, like we had huge goals for last year. Um, you know, to basically double our sales in March and April, we were way behind those goals. Like everything had been locked down in the big businesses where like everyone was going towards value based purchasing, you know what I mean?

Like large format, but light Sierra, Nevada, um, the guys who were available in every chain, I think. And so we were looking at a year saying we need to make some budget cuts. And, um, we need to talk to our board about this. And, um, and we ended up not letting go of anyone on our team. Um, making sure that everyone had some income and could support their families, um, which was a big decision, but we had to cut like our sales and marketing budget and their advertising and stuff.

That was more variable expenses. What they call it. Um, and still by the end of the year, we actually ended up 125% increase in sale because over the summer we absolutely nailed it. Um, and the crazy thing was like, you don't really know if you're going to nail it until it's happening, because you're hoping that customers will understand and appreciate what you're doing, but there's so many people yelling at them and say, Hey, this is a cool product.

Check it out. That you got to get lucky a bit and you just got to take your swings and put yourself in a position in the store where hopefully they're purchasing your product over and over again. Um, and we managed to do that over the summer, where at the beginning of the year, I was very afraid. She would be like, yeah, we're gonna be able to keep going, man.

So as we go forward here, and obviously things are, things are rebounding. People are vaccinated should be a wild summer, I imagine, which will probably involve a lot of hard seltzer drinking. Um, so what exactly do you see as the future of Willie's Superbrew? What, what is your answer? The goal. So, you know, our next steps are, we're going to keep expanding.

So we're in the Northeast United States. We're going to move down towards the Southeast, um, with some major chains and. Our goal is really to lead the craft seltzer category and like lead that premium future. And also probably test a few like brand extensions that are categories we think would be really, um, built on the same type of premise of like, if you could bring real fruit, a good story and local soul to it.

Um, and it's in social consumption then, um, you can give people that greater experience of what they would look for in this space. So, you know, stuff we're looking at would be like, When THC be a good idea when CBD be a good idea would punch me like those types of things. We haven't made any decisions there yet, but this, the ideas still build the brand on three pillars, the fruit, the story, the local impact and give people a fun time and an experience that's real and authentic.

Yeah. Love that. Uh, all right, so thank you for your time. I've got three quick things here that I want to ask you about. I'm all over the place. Uh, first off, so. What would you say to someone, you know, in their twenties or in college, like you once were, when you first had your idea, what would you say to someone who has an idea for something doesn't know how to get started is unsure of themselves?

What would you say to that person so that they can get on the right track? I would say the key, like write a list of the stuff you don't know. Like the way we built it in the beginning is like, we were like, okay, we want to get it into a store by this date. And that date, obviously move. But then we would say, don't done.

I know about this specific area, so it could be production. Okay. How do I, what are all my questions in production? I'm going to write them all down and shoot, and then I'm going to figure out who I know or who I know might know someone who could help me answer these questions. And then I would go to those meetings, literally sending that sheet and advancing here are my questions.

Any of these questions? You can answer. Great. Any ones you can. No worries. And the call was, are there two or three people that you could introduce me to, who can help me get to these answers? The questions are based on our conversation, I think could be helpful. And the first, like three months of your process.

So just be an enjoyful search. How do, how does this space work? Like who do I know in it? What questions can I figure out? And especially if you're just following a puzzle and as luck ended, you can take the pressure off yourself to say, You know, you have this date in the ends that you're trying to set it as like there's a North star, but take the pressure off to say this is drop dead.

It has to be here. Then it can be really fun and kind of like you're doing research for yourself in the space. That's interesting. That's the biggest thing is like, make sure you know your why, because then you have your energy source when you're doing it. So the more you can try and figure out, like it's not about the money, it's not about like making something that's huge.

It's more. Is this helping me like improve me or become who I want to be more rather than like the external albums then you persevering. So those two would be the keys. Ask question and persevere and Noah. I absolutely love that. The why is so crucially important often overlooked in, in the beginning because it's, you know, if you say, Oh, what's your why that kind of sounds like dumb and cliche and philosophical, but honestly, it's, it's, what's going to drive everything that you do because at some point, especially early on, if you say your, why is just, you know, profitability, or I want to make X amount of money it's going to go to have, but.

When it's initially Rocky at the beginning, like it's going to be, and you're not seeing as much profitability as maybe you would have liked if that's your, why you're going to get discouraged rather than if your, why is, Oh, I want to make the world a better place. I want to become a better person, et cetera, et cetera.

So I'm really glad that you said that second question here is, so my brother who's, you know, six or seven years older than me. Uh, does not like the fact that I am a hard seltzer aficionado. I drink them all. And there is an ongoing debate in this industry that it's unmanly to drink a hard seltzer. What would you say to the people who criticize guys who drink a hard seltzer?

I would say drink whenever you want, man. Like, you know, I mean, we, if we do things for others, then we don't find joy. If we, if we. If we do what we like, then we went or something that makes you like, it's your, it's the drink? That like you find joy or it makes you happy at the end of the day, then drink it.

Don't worry about that. Amen. Okay. Uh, another question. I want to seek it out. What's your favorite flavor of Willie's super bro mango, passion, fruit, mango, passion, fruit. Okay. That sounds amazing. Sadly, I'm out in Colorado right now, so I'm in the West. So, um, when I get. Well, I guess, or you can send me some, that'd be great.

But when I get back to the East coast, uh, definitely going to be searching every package store that I can wear some really Superbrew. Uh, last question. So you guys clearly at your company are very focused on the environment on giving back, hence the cleaning, the beaches project, which is awesome. Um, and so.

Similarly on our podcast, we are also very, um, in tune with giving back to the world and making the world a better place and realizing that that will we have. So, uh, we do this thing called the all natural initiative where our guests, every Thursday that's on the podcast comes on and it talks about a cause that is meaningful to them that has maybe impacted them or someone that they know.

And then we donate to it. So I'd like to ask you, uh, Nico, what is your cause and why have you chosen it? I would say the center for coastal studies, um, they're based out of Provincetown, mass. They partnered with us for the beach quote, uh, last year. And they're basically devoted to trying to understand the impacts we have on the ocean.

Um, as you know, humanity's impacts on the ocean and they're really good advocates in the local community for, um, you know, beach cleanup efforts or trying to track whales and whether they're in shipping lanes and endangered, um, and they're just really good people as well. So, uh, we've been fortunate to be able to get to know them and work with them.

And that would definitely be the cost. Awesome. Thank you for sharing that. We will put a donate link to our episode notes of the podcast and just some more information about the cause. Nico, thank you for joining me today. Uh, super pumped to have spoken to you that the listeners have learned more about Willie Superbrew, and maybe taking some lessons away on entrepreneurship and leadership and, uh, drinking what you want.

So, Nico, thank you for joining me and big things to you in 2021. Thank you. Good to meet you, Troy. And thanks for having me.

I think the most amazing thing about that entire conversation is that at least I don't think I did. I don't think I called him Willie. I was going, I was convinced I was going to call him Willie. At some point when I was practicing beforehand, I thought I was going to, uh, that conversation was all over the place.

He's unlimited time. You know, this is entrepreneurial life. You don't have much time, but I'm super thankful, grateful that he was able to. Carve out 30 ish minutes for me here. So I had a bunch of questions that I wanted to get to. So I'm sorry if it felt like a rush, but that's the way it is also, uh, things to take you behind the curtain.

As we say, in the biz, uh, my ring light that I use to. Because this is on video as well. You know, we put clips on our YouTube channel and on our IgE channels. Uh, my ring light went out the second that I hit record. So the video product doesn't look as good this week, because again, I didn't have time to stop down and go get a new light and all that stuff.

So, uh, it doesn't look as good this week, but we'll have that corrected for next week. If you enjoy that conversation, please leave us a five star review on Apple podcasts, or there's a link in the show notes of this episode of how you can do it. If you want more info about Willie, Superbrew, just go to Superbrew.com.

You can learn more about their mission and what they're doing and, and their flavors and where you can get it. And you can check them out on Instagram at drink, Superbrew, which is where you can also check us out at the Troy Farkas show, uh, on Instagram, on Tik TOK, Troy Farkas, YouTube channel. We're doing good things over here.

We've got a blog up, uh, it's called nine tips and tricks for exploring kind of exploring my way. So if you're. Going out somewhere this weekend, if you're going to go to a new city, a new town, whatever it is, and you want to kind of explore it my way, because this is what I do. I explore new towns and cool places because I just love discovering new things.

You can, uh, you can check that out or there, I hope you all have a great weekend that maybe you'll go out and enjoy some Willie super bro. When I get back to East coast here in a couple months, I definitely going to get some Willie's Superbrew and who knows, maybe Nico sends me some, like he. Suggested I would personally love to try the pomegranate and I saw you, Nico.

If you're listening, thank you for listening. Thank you for the support. I'll be back on Monday and until then have a great weekend filled with great food. Great drinks. Get outside, explore. Have some experiences, learn, read a book, hang by the pool. Whatever it is, drink some coffee, listen to some good music, whatever it is that you do, just have fun.

Be safe, peace and love. Y'all.