Our good friend and former partner Jill brought us an article from the News Journal highlighting the thoughts of Sam Calagiones’s who is the founder and president of the very successful Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and star of the Discovery Channels “Brew Masters”.
Calagione was speaking during the Franklin P. Perdue School of Business Executive Leadership Series at Salisbury University. In the article, Calagione’s was quoted as saying, “When we weren’t profitable, it would have been very easy to discount our beer, dumb down our beer, but we didn’t.” “We stuck to our guns and we kept brewing these exotic beers”. In response, Bob Wood, dean of the Perdue School, stated that Calagione had shared a valuable lesson to the audience. “Money is fine, but if you’re in it for the money, you’re in it for the wrong reasons.” “You’ve got to have a passion for what you do.” The article further stated that Dogfish Head doesn’t compete with other breweries, but instead offers a spirit of collaboration.
These statements and Calagione’s philosophy really resonate with us because we feel the same way. Hand crafting all natural desserts and using high quality ingredients is more expensive and time-consuming than the alternative. Not everyone cares or appreciates the effort, but we are passionate about what we do and committed to providing high quality desserts, breads and beverages to our customers. We won’t feed you anything we wouldn’t feed to our own family!
From the beginning, we consciously decided not to compete with our commercial neighbors. We could have and it would certainly have generated additional income for us, but we didn’t and don’t. We are very interested in the spirit of collaboration. We believe that collaborating with other businesses will help us and others be the best that we all can be. Particularly in the little town of Berlin, Maryland, we believe that what’s good for one of us is good for all of us!
We’ve learned a lot this past year! We’ve had ideas that didn’t work so well and great ideas that have and we have grown from both. We know that there are more lessons to come and that we are going to make mistakes along the way. We’re choosing to measure our success by remaining focused on what makes us and our customers happy.
Some business professionals suggest that you not only know your competition, but that you also model their successes. We understand why that makes sense, but also believe that whether personally or professionally, solely following that philosophy can be the distraction that discourages and prevents you from living and creating authentically. We salute Sam Calagione for all of his success and his forward thinking business approach. Like Mr. Calagione’s, we too are going to “stick to our buns” and continue providing superb quality, all-natural desserts, breads and beverages to the best customers on the planet!