Friday, September 21, 2012

Can You Smell What They Won't Be Cooking?

From our good friends at Foobooz today, it looks like it will be "the last bottle left"

Ernesto Anastastio III Says: 

For your viewing pleasure
Sadly, I am writing to inform you that Bella Vista has ceased doing business in any capacity with the people behind the Farmers Cabinet/Boilermakers
retailers immediately. Bella Vista has dealt with them before they were in Southeastern Pa with their failed restaurants in the Lehigh Valley; Tap and
Table in Emmaus, PA, and The Bookstore Speakeasy in Allentown, PA. Bella Vista has received worthless check issued from the group for years, but they
always made good on the bad checks after reporting them to the PALCB as per state law.
Fast forward to Farmers Cabinet and Boilermakers after a short stint with the Fork and Barrel in the East Falls section of Philadelphia, PA. The group promised to make good on all purchases and were to maintain an escrow balance to cover all deliveries to both locations. None of this ever came to fruition. They forged relationships with some of our more popular suppliers directly against our wishes, which complicated things further.
Bella Vista continued to deal with the NSF checks and The Grainery Group would make every excuse in the book to keep stringing us along. My family was fed up, and gave them an ultimatum requiring having 2 corporate cards
accountable (debit) as a fail safe or we would no longer be involved with supplying them with beer.
Bella Vista had a meeting with The owners of the group, Matthew Schwartz and Matthew Scheller regarding the ultimatum. This was the final warning, and
they left the meeting understanding the outcome, had the fail-safes in essence were to fail. Sept, 7, 2012 they failed.
Bella Vista’s office instructed the driver to head back to the Farmers Cabinet to retrieve the beer that was unpaid. While the driver was taking the beer back, Bella Vista’s office was informed that The Farmers Cabinet had tapped one of the kegs and the manager asked our office to try and run
the debit card for the value of that keg. By some miracle, the transaction for the amount was approved. The driver was instructed to leave the tapped keg and return all the other items that were not paid for to Bella Vista’s
warehouse. These situations are truly saddening, and as a small family company we understand financial hiccups and we dislike having to be the enforcer, but when it comes to the financial stability of Bella Vista, we must act. Rarely do we do this, but when we do it is because the account has
left us no other choice but to comply with state law after so many attempts to maintain a positive relationship for all parties involved.
Later on that night, I was in our warehouse late and one of the owners, Matthew Schwartz stormed into our retail floor, and darted for our office, entered unannounced and unwelcome. He later stepped out into the retail
floor near the bank of cashier stations. He yelled at me (fortunately no customers were nearby during the engagement, however the driver that returned the product, a cashier, our office assistant, and one of our sales reps were witnesses to the entire scene), I noticed him leave the office and wondered what he was doing in there as I had not been made aware that he was even in the building, let alone our office. Matthew Schwartz had raised his
voice and looked like a rabid dog, yelling pointing his finger, threatening to beat me up, saying he was this close to beat me up. Yelling at me, “How could you do this to us? You didn’t even call!” I told him he had been warned and that we could no longer hold their hand to help them limp along in paying their bills. It was obvious he was everything I heard about him:
Acting like an animal, lashing out, and threatening in a manner as to having no regard for the situation around him. I told him to leave the property or I would have the police called to remove him from and have him arrested for threatening me.
Compounding this, there’s another situation I need to write you about regarding the owners of the Grainery Group. Last year they purchased Shenandoah Brewing Company located at 652 S. Pickett Street – Alexandria, VA
22304. Bella Vista maintains the franchise rights to Shenandoah Brewing Company and all of its beers. The agreement as per state law made with then owner, Anning Smith is still in effect today and enforceable by franchise
law. Matt Scheller, the partner in this business, was completely uneducated in franchise law, and concluded to sell beer to another wholesaler in our market to distribute the beers to The Farmers Cabinet and Boilermakers
exclusively. We were not aware that when they did choose to have another wholesaler work with them, that the brewers notice and the trade name remained unchanged, as Shenandoah Brewing Co. We were notified that they re-registered the original four beers that were registered back in 2009-2011 to somehow make the state believe they were
being compliant with registration law, without naming a successor wholesaler. The wholesaler they were using ( I believe and hope the wholesaler has stopped working with them at this point) had no written agreement, and acted out of compliance, by picking up the beer from Virginia and having it shipped to their warehouse, and then putting it on their trucks and delivering the beer to The Farmers cabinet and Boilermakers. The beers were being renamed as Farmers Cabinet or Cabinet Artisanal beers on the keg collars, however they have always been and are still brewed under the brewers notice of Shenandoah Brewing Co. According to the TTB and COLA approved research, nothing under the Farmers Cabinet or Cabinet Artisanal comes up, in any form of search as approved COLAS or brewers notices. I have heard of an even worse offense by this brewer: With good authority, I know for a fact that Shenandoah Brewing/Cabinet Artisanal was self distributing its own beer.They were/are crossing state lines from VA to PA in an non bonded, non licensed truck. In fact it was a rental box truck they would rent for the day from Philadelphia, drive down to VA, pick up beer and take directly to the Farmers Cabinet and Boilermakers,
The state of Pennsylvania is not the wild west when it comes to liquor law, there are strict rules and regulations that we all must abide by. I am writing to inform you that Shenandoah Brewing Co, can not “shop around” for wholesalers, and at this point I don’t think anyone of you who I respect tremendously and dearly would even consider working with them in any capacity. Bella Vista is reaching out to you to hopefully protect yourself from taking a financial loss by working with them on the retail end, and if you risk doing so, tread lightly.”

1 comment:

Dan Bengel said...

Thanks Mr. Rubeo for that update!