Of The Monthly Souz
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The Monthly Souz
The Monthly Souz

March Edition

The story of Marcel is a love story. And who doesn’t love a good love story in a glass?

The story of Marcel is a love story. And who doesn’t love a good love story in a glass?

As you all know, I love to work with “hidden gems”: brands and founders who will be successful with or without me. The opportunity to be alongside the founders for the ride to the top is exhilarating. But it’s even more satisfying when the owner is a good dude. That is what I want to say about my client and friend Albert Dahan. The story of Marcel is a love story. And who doesn’t love a good love story in a glass?

After this past year of the pandemic, we are all in need of a good news story, and one which will quench our thirst for the good times ahead. Be safe, we are almost there folks!

Q&A with Albert Dahan

What’s new sir?

All is well sir. I hope everyone around you is staying safe and holding on during the last leg of this historic chapter.

2021 is off to a really great start for us, since we’ve recently been picked up by a number of chains: Cost Plus World Market nationally, Costco in the Southeast, BevMo in California, and Total Wine & More in Massachusetts, to name the most important ones. This chain debut is key for us, so we’re all hands on deck to make sure it’s as successful as possible.

We also kicked off our Series A round of funding a few weeks ago, and the momentum from the wins mentioned above has definitely been helping with the raise.

Have you launched a DtC business?

Maison Marcel has been selling online since our inception in 2016, but an actual DtC Business launched in 2020. Our sales soared last February after our feature in Oprah Magazine, and that growth continued through the year, eventually reaching 4000%. Naturally, our efforts are focused now more than ever on digital marketing, and we are treating the DtC channel as an essential one.

Tell me, has your on-premise business been negatively affected by COVID-19?

Historically, Maison Marcel has been 90% off-premise - but our on-premise business actually grew in 2020 thanks to the extension of our portfolio from featuring only rosé, to now including red, white, and sparkling. Our Frosé program has also helped!

I keep hearing about this famous Frosé program. Could you share some details?

Essentially, we buy a commercial grade slushy machine in exchange for a volume commitment for the season. Restaurants and consumers love it and it moves a good amount of volume. That being said, we are becoming more selective with our partners and cannot always service everyone.

Where can someone try a Marcel Frosé in NYC?

Currently we have about 30 accounts in NY, but the biggest ones are Sweet Chick, Brooklyn Chop House, La Pecora Bianca, and The Cecil's Harlem.

How have you been able to grow with the impact felt from COVID?

We grew 55% in 2020 without any geographical expansion. Our core markets being NY, MA, NJ and now the DtC channel. We feel incredibly fortunate to have been able to not only survive but thrive. The alcohol industry is known to be recession-proof - we can now add pandemic-proof to that list.

How many states are you now in?

20 states and leaning heavily on the country’s #2 distributor, RNDC-Youngs.

What are you most excited about for Marcel in 2021 and beyond?

I’m excited to see the hospitality industry come back to life, and to be able to support the industry, not just as a business, but as a customer. Also, on-premise fully coming back to life would mean the start of our partnership with Live Nation (which has been on hold because of the pandemic).

Lastly, I am super excited about the highly anticipated launch of the Brooklyn Dumpling Shop. Their flagship opens this April in St Marks in NYC, with 120 additional openings planned in the next 3 years through their partnership with Fransmart (Sweet Greens, Five Guys, Halal Guys). Even more exciting: Maison Marcel is the exclusive wine brand for the franchise, which will feature our newly launched disposable kegs and the co-branded to-go frosé pouches.

About Souza

Souza Relationship Marketing was created to help hidden gem entrepreneurs accelerate and scale their businesses through hand-picked relationships. Our network of over 30 years is deep, wide and meaningful with key decision makers of fashion/luxury, music & entertainment, travel & hospitality, media & tech businesses. 

We believe in the longer game.

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