Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 1 - 156

d

DISTRIBUTORS

Badger Liquor

bar managers or restaurant owners to
help them create their cocktail menus,"
Sadoff says. "On the wine side, we
help restaurants with wine pairing and
work with their food menus. We want
our customers to be profitable and to
be able to sell the most product that
they can."

which - like ginger beer - are used as
mixers. It also carries energy drinks,
one with cannabis in it that is manufactured in Amsterdam. "We sell some
juices - mainly mixers - to be more of
a full-service distributor to our customers," Sadoff says.

Print and Design Shop
Why Wisconsin
Fourth-generation family owned Badger Liquor restricts itself by law to
the Badger state of Wisconsin and is
named after the state's official mammal, whose carved likeness adorns
the state's capitol in Madison. "We've
chosen to focus on Wisconsin because
that has been working really well for
us," Sadoff explains. "If we wanted to
open in a new state, it would be a whole
new set of legal regulations. We're born
and bred here. We joke a little bit that
there's no better place to be doing what
we're doing than Wisconsin. There's a
lot of bars here, people like to drink and
it's part of our culture, almost more so
than other places in the country."
Sadoff expresses the same satisfaction with her company's product offerings - which do not include beer -
that she does serving only Wisconsin.
Wisconsin is blessed with hundreds
of breweries and microbreweries - it's
beer that made Milwaukee famous, after all - and many founding residents
were of German extraction, but this is a
portion of the liquor business that Badger Liquor cedes to others.
"Warehousing beer is a bit different
and the sales process is a bit different,"
Sadoff observes. "It would just change
our business model to open up to beer,
which would be fine. But we've dabbled
in beer a little bit, and we've chosen to
stick with what we're great at, and that's
wine and spirits."
Badger Liquor distributes some
non-alcoholic beverages, some of

156

A valuable benefit that Badger Liquor
provides for its customers is its stateof-the-art print and design shop. "We
help customers develop menus and
grocery and liquor stores do signage,"
Sadoff says. "We can print on mirrors
for bars. We can print on anything with
our flatbed printer. We do posters and
banners. It's really another way we can
serve our customers."
Approximately seven employees
work in the print shop. Sometimes customers pay for the services. "Sometimes we'll partner with our supplier,"
Sadoff notes. "We've actually done
some printing for our suppliers that gets
sent all over the country." However,
Badger Liquor has not diversified into
the printing business. "Hypothetically,
we could, but it's more just part of our
services offered," Sadoff says.

Liquor Trends
As a distributor, Badger Liquor has to
bring the latest products and trends to
its customers.
"Flavored vodka is still big," Sadoff
observes. "Bourbon and whiskey are
very popular right now. What we are
really trying to hone in on is the craft
brand and craft cocktails. That's why
we hired a mixologist and have sommeliers on staff."
Badger Liquor also is gauging the
buying power and preferences of millennials. "They really just want something special and unique," Sadoff remarks. "Millennials are interested in
variety. This is the first time I think

food & drink international * winter 2016 volume 1 * www.fooddrink-magazine.com

that the industry has seen individuals going out and drinking a drink in
every category in the same evening.
Maybe they start with wine and then
have a vodka cocktail, a bourbon
cocktail and a beer at the end of the
night. Historically, somebody has
gone out and stuck with the one thing
they started drinking.
"So we're trying to make sure that we
don't only focus on the major commodity brands, but also the smaller ones,"
Sadoff continues. "We're also making
sure that the bigger brands have applications across the consumer base."

Community Involvement
Badger Liquor has an extensive involvement in the communities it serves.
The company's family foundation concentrates largely on supporting charities for children, education and the arts.
Founded by Sadoff's great-grandfather, Abraham Sadoff, in 1935 - two
years after the end of Prohibition -
Badger Liquor celebrated its 80th anniversary last year. The company is
owned by Sadoff and her father, Gary.
Sadoff attributes the company's longevity to "great relationships, treating our
employees well and believing in the
brands that we sell. Our employees are
treated like our family. We have many
employees who have been working for
us for more than 30 years."
Badger Liquor has been improving
its employee benefit packages and
training. "Now that we have a really
great handle on that, we're putting an
added emphasis on our brands and
customers," Sadoff says. "We're making sure we're the best wine and liquor
distributor in the state, which we feel
we already are, but we can always be
better. We've made selling wine and liquor into our craft. After you do something for 80 years, you hope to be pretty good at it."


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 1

Contents
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 1 - Cover1
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