The Mark Wine News The Mark Wine News - 10th Anniversary Issue - Page 7

We started with no brands, no customers, and no experience in this particular channel of the business. I am big believer in the saying “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” and well, I am still alive and ticking 10 years later. I racked up my first million miles with American Airlines within the first four years of the business. From 2007-2010, it was me and my laptop flying around the country to see any customers I could. And when I wasn’t flying, I was driving up and down the California coast to visit potential wineries we could represent. Aspen Food & Wine 2011 At a certain point it became clear that with three kids and a home office, we needed a bigger place to live, and with all the travel it also seemed logical to live in the middle of the country. Austin won our hearts and minds as a great place to live, good place to do business and a great place to raise a family. We moved to Austin in 2010 and have never looked back. We launched The Mark Wine News the following year. We could not afford to hire someone to produce it for us, so Lisa did all the writing (and still does) and I tried my hand at InDesign. Thankfully there were tons of YouTube self tutorials to help guide me through the process. As you can imagine, it took some time, but we were very proud of the first issue we released in the Summer of 2011. We have produced, written and designed every one of the 20 issues of The Mark Wine News since its inaugural issue. Back in 2008, I had met a gentleman in Austin who was buying for a wine bar chain called The Wine Loft. His name was Jeff Scott. Yes, our VP of Sales now. We quickly became friends. In fact Jeff was our very first “camper.” I invited him to California to visit the wineries we represented for a informational and educational wine tour. This whole idea would eventually morph into The Mark Wine Camp. Since then we have 10 th ANNIVERSARY Burgundy 2009 Willamette Valley 2012 Happy 10 th Anniversary to The Mark Wine Group! We have enjoyed growing our partnership between Mastro’s and the Mark Wine Group as well as our friendship with you and Mark. We look forward to many more years of business, friendship, fun and laughter. Salute! Robbi Jo Oliver & Anna Orton-Pujol Mastro’s Restaurants Napa 2012 5