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Wine Business Monthly

by Cyril Penn | May 24, 2013 | 2:35 PM

So I finished reading my advance copy of The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart built America’s #1 Wine Brand (written with Rick Kushman). It was officially released last week.
These days, Barefoot is owned by E&J Gallo and is a six-million case brand. It wasn’t always that way.
Most people aren’t familiar with the improbable story of how Barefoot started.… Read More
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Rags-to-Riches Beach Reading Material – Yahoo Small Business Advisor

 By Adrienne Burke 
Looking for a good book to get lost in this Memorial Day weekend? The Barefoot Spirit is an entertaining rags-to-riches story of American entrepreneurship. Released this week, the paperback has already climbed to the top of the Amazon bestsellers list.
It’s the first-hand tale of California rule breakers Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey, founders of the country’s top-selling… Read More

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When Success Means Being Turned Down by the Bank

By Ben Steverman
You’d think selling your wine brand to E&J Gallo would put you squarely on Easy Street. As accidental wine merchants Bonnie Harvey and Michael Houlihan found out, personal finance and entrepreneurship can make an awkward pair.
Before the mid-1980s, the married couple’s main experience with wine was drinking it. Then, while working as a consultant on office management to a wine maker… Read More

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Happy Birthday Barefoot!

Twenty-seven years ago, Barefoot Wines were bottled for the first time. But how the wine found its way to the bottling line was a fluke in itself. A farmer wasn’t getting paid for several years for his grapes and his friends went to bat for him to see how much they could collect. It wasn’t easy. The winery owing for the grapes had no money and was in bankruptcy. It was controlled by the secured creditors (other farmers who… Read More

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The Barefoot Spirit is a Strong One; Interview with Michael Houlihan

Michael Luchies, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Mar 11, 2013
Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey are two of the nicest people I have had the pleasure of talking with, and they just so happen to be incredibly successful and world renowned entrepreneurs. Michael and Bonnie founded and grew the Barefoot Wine brand, which is now the #1 wine brand in the US and one of the best selling and most recognizable wine brands in the world.

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Gaining Traction in the Marketplace takes Tenacity and Focus

You may hear about a brand that “just took off.” From our perspective, very few brands just take off. What’s more likely is that they started out small and sometimes took years to gain traction.
As we’ve said many times before, it’s not the quality of the product, the price, or the demand so much as it is mastering the distribution and timing.
They say you can move the Queen Mary if you exert enough pressure over… Read More

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Outword Magazine Interview

Barefoot Wine’s Founders Do Well By Doing Good
The story of how Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey in 1986 launched a scrappy new brand that would transform the US wine industry is one of accidental opportunity and the vision and courage to seize it. “We fell into business backwards,” Harvey says today.
And seize it they did. Houlihan, a wine industry business management consultant, and Harvey, an office manager,… Read More

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A College Degree Can Give You an Entrepreneurial Edge

This year’s grads face serious employment challenges, but there’s probably never been a greater opportunity to create your own job. According to Robert Reich, former US Secretary of Labor, the job prospects look rather dim due to the economic down turn. He cites some trends that may throw into question the very value of a college degree itself: heavy competition for jobs, a significant decrease in earnings, outsourcing,… Read More

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A Solid Business Foundation is Necessary for Success

When you build a house, the foundation must be laid strong and straight. If it’s not, the framers try to make up for it. When they can’t, the drywall guys try to make up for it. When they can’t, the painters try to make up for it. When they can’t, you’re going to have to live with it. So rather than cause problems all the way up your structure, lay your foundations straight and true.
It’s been said that it’s not the… Read More

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