- May 17, 2019
A business built on a dream.
Harry Patel was sitting in his backyard, kicking back with his friends, sipping on a cold beer one afternoon, when he wondered aloud why he couldn’t start his own beer business. His friends thought it was just a passing thought, but Patel was serious. Two years later, he opened the doors to Castor Beverage. But he wasn’t done with his beer aspirations just yet.
While Castor is a snug and efficient beer distributor, Patel had hopes of opening a much larger business that would allow him to fully realize his vision. After years of hard work and planning, Patel got his wish when he cut the ribbon on the 5000 square-foot Beverage One. Now, with three years under his belt at this spacious location, Patel spoke to Heady Times about what he’s learned as a beer business insider.
Heady Times (HT): What made you choose this profession?
Harry Patel (HP): Well, I’m a beer lover! The story about relaxing with my friends and thinking, “Why can’t I start this kind business myself?” is true. I worked on the idea for two years before I opened the Castor location. That was back in 2012. After that, I looked around for another, bigger location and found this great place.
HT: Why was it important for you to find a bigger space?
HP: A bigger store means more room for product and displays. That means I can buy more product at a higher volume and sell it to the customer for a lower price. The goal was to pass my savings along to the customer. Plus, the extra room allows us to have a much bigger selection. We’re very busy when it’s warm out, and having a larger location lets us prepare for the season ahead.
HT: How is this location different than Castor, aside from the larger size?
HP: We sell more high-end and imported beers at this location, and that’s because of the type of customer we see here. More craft beer as well. We also offer a much wider package variety at Beverage One. Six-packs at this location are a huge draw for our customers.
HT: What does it take to run a successful beer distributor?
HP: Being there for your customers is the number one priority for us. We have a friendly and knowledgeable staff. If a customer needs a suggestion, or they want to know how a certain type of beer is made, or what it tastes like, we have the answers. We study up so we’re informed. I’ll also say that over 40% of our customers are women, and we take a lot of pride in that. Beer distributors can sometimes be dark and intimidating places to shop, but we keep things light, bright and friendly. Creating a welcoming environment has been an important part of our identity.
HT: What’s something that Origlio does well as a wholesaler partner?
HP: Origlio employees are extremely helpful. We love our rep, Brandon Bradley. We call him our #1 guy.
1701 Welsh Rd., Philadelphia • 215-941-6096