Jessica Kogan and her husband Cameron Hughes started the wine company in his name back in 2001.
They got a huge break in 2004 when Costco (COST) agreed to stock their wines and the company took off.
It was at that time that Kogan, as chief marketing officer, embraced social media before anyone else in the wine industry. She created a social community and created their direct-to-consumer model. She took their sales all online, and even made them available on Groupon.
But social media doesn't pay the bills when you're a negociant -- someone who buys grapes and then makes the wine -- especially when there aren't extra grapes available for purchase. In that case, the model quickly falls apart. Having extra debt on the balance sheet never helps either.
So in 2015, after a bad harvest and rough year, the bank put the company in receivership.
And it wasn't until early this year that they found someone to bail them out. Thanks to their solid social following and dedicated online customer list, Vintage Wine Estates decided to purchase the company in a blind auction, for $5.5 million.
Cameron Hughes is still run as a stand-alone and sells 60,000 cases a year, all online.
Listen in as Kogan gives us the details of the deal.
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