The better-for-you alcohol industry is booming. But just how good-for-you are these products?
Some products boast low calories. Others boast “all-natural” ingredients. But they usually have added sugar, and most of them have low-quality ingredients and artificial flavoring. Where is the drink with great taste and great quality? Where can you find a drink with ingredient integrity?
In this episode of the Gooder Podcast, host Diana Fryc is joined by Alexi Cashen, Co-founder and CEO of Elenteny Imports and Founder and Chief Revenue Officer of St. Hildie’s Spiked Tincture Tonics, to discuss what sets her drinks apart. Alexi talks about the mission of St. Hildie’s, how she is helping other companies handle distribution and logistics with Elenteny Imports, and why she is passionate about changing the alcohol industry.
In this episode we learn:
- Alexi Cashen shares the inspiration that started Elenteny imports
- How has the alcohol industry changed in the last few years?
- Why it’s become more difficult to import products to the US
- How St. Hildie’s Spiked Tincture Tonics is changing the better-for-you booze category
- What are the barriers to women’s leadership in the alcohol industry?
- How Alexi is opening up more opportunities for women
- Changes in consumer trends
- Alexi gives a shout-out to other powerhouse female leaders in the alcohol industry
Honest, Elevated, Better-For-You Booze featuring Alexi Cashen, Elenteny Imports and St. Hildie’s Spiked Tincture Tonics
About Alexi Cashen
Alexi Cashen is the Co-founder and CEO of Elenteny Imports, a wine distribution and logistics business. She was instrumental in growing the business to over eight figures in revenue. She is also the Host of the Alexi Cashen Podcast, where she features leaders from the wine and spirits industries, many of which she has helped launch and manage. In her spare time, Alexi became Founder and Chief Revenue Officer of St. Hildie’s Spiked Tincture Tonics, which launched in 2021.
Alexi is celebrating 20 years of experience in the food and wine industry. Her career is marked by a wealth of roles in hospitality, retail, wholesale, and supplier positions. She started out in the restaurant industry in her home state of Colorado before moving to New York City to season her career.
Guests Social Media Links:
LinkedIn Alexi Cashen : https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexi-cashen-5b70a946/
- Alexi Cashen on LinkedIn
- Alexi Cashen’s website
- The Alexi Cashen Podcast
- Email Alexi Cashen: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Elenteny Imports
- Elenteny Imports on Instagram
- St. Hildie’s Spiked Tincture Tonics
- St. Hildie’s on Instagram
- Deborah Brenner on the Alexi Cashen Podcast
- Jordan Salcito on the Alexi Cashen Podcast
- Caitlin Landesberg on the Alexi Cashen Podcast
- Kat Hantas on the Alexi Cashen Podcast
- Kin Euphorics
- Dr. Jeremy Weisz on LinkedIn
- Diana Fryc on LinkedIn
- Retail Voodoo
Sponsor for this episode…
This episode is brought to you by Retail Voodoo.
Retail Voodoo has been building beloved and dominant brands in the food, wellness, beverage, and fitness CPG industries for over 30 years. They’ve served multinational companies like PepsiCo. and Starbucks, startups like High Key, and everything in between.
Their proven process guides hundreds of mission-driven consumer brands to attract a broad and passionate fan base, crush their categories through growth and innovation, and magnify their social and environmental impact.
So, if you are ready to find a partner that will help your business create a high-impact strategy that gives your brand an advantage, Retail Voodoo is here to help.
Welcome to the Gooder Podcast where we talk with powerhouse women in CPG about their journeys to success. This episode is sponsored by Retail Voodoo. A brand development firm guiding mission driven consumer brands to attract new and passionate consumer base crush their categories through growth and innovation and magnify their social and environmental impact. If your brand is in need of brand positioning, package design or marketing activation, we are here to help. You can find more information at www.retail-voodoo.com.
Diana Fryc 0:43
Hi, Diana Fryc here, I’m the host of the Gooder Podcast where I get to talk with the powerhouse women in the food, beverage and wellness categories about their journeys to success and their insights on the industry. Thanks for joining us today. This episode is brought to you by Retail Voodoo Retail Voodoo is a brand development firm. Our clients include Starbucks kind Rei, PepsiCo, highkey, and many other market leaders. We provide strategic brand and design services for leading brands in food wellness and beverage. If your goal is to increase market share, drive growth or disrupt the marketplace with new and innovative ideas, give us a call. Let’s talk you can find out more at retail-voodoo.com just email me at email@example.com. Now before introducing today’s guests, I’d like to give a big thank you to Jeremy Weisz for introducing me to our guest today. Now real quick Rise25 specializes in helping b2b businesses reach their dream 200 using podcasts like mine. To learn more about how to use podcasts for your business, check out Rise25 at www.rise25.com. Now today I’m super excited to introduce Alexi Cashen, Co-founder and CEO of Elenteny Imports, a wine and distribution and logistics business, which she was instrumental in growing to multiple eight figures in revenue does that multiple eight figures makes sense? I’m gonna say yes, it was gonna go from there. She also is the host of her own podcast, The Alexi Cashen Podcast, through which she features leaders from the wine and spirits industries, many of which she has helped launch and manage. In her spare time she became Founder and Chief Revenue Officer of St. Hildie’s Spiked Tincture Tonics, which launched earlier not earlier this year, I guess last year now because it’s January and in the summer of 2021. And we’ll get to learn a little bit more about that. In the meantime, Alexi has is celebrating 20 years of experience in the food and wine industry. Her career is marked by a wealth of roles in hospitality, retail, wholesale and supplier positions. Starting out in the restaurant industry in our home state of Colorado Alexi moved to New York City to season her career. Alexi brings optimism and positivity to everything she does. We’ll get to hear more about that right now. Well, hello, Alexi. Happy New Year.
Alexi Cashen 3:17
Happy New Year, Diana. It’s so great to finally be on the show with you.
Diana Fryc 3:23
Ah, that’s so funny. Yes. How many times can we reschedule a meeting? Um, how are things going? Are you in California right now?
Alexi Cashen 3:31
I am. I’m in the Bay Area up in Marin County. And all is well.
Diana Fryc 3:37
All as well. Thank goodness knocking on wood for that one. That’s right. Well, now when I read the bio, and then of course, anybody, anybody that’s listening right now it kind of heard you’re involved in a lot of things. But before we talk about kind of the newer things, I really want to start with Elenteny Imports because you’ve been doing that for a while. Can you tell us about Elenteny And why you started it?
Alexi Cashen 4:03
Sure. So we started out Elenteny imports, my partner Tim, Elenteny and I, almost 12 years ago, wow. Okay, in a month or so here. And both of us were working at planter selections of very reputable importer and distributor in New York City, New York State. And we we thought to compete in the logistics space, there were fewer players and an opportunity to compete for selling services to other importers, distributors, brands, anybody who needs help moving product, typically from a foreign point of origin, getting into the US managing the federal compliance elements, you know, all the various moving parts from pickup at a winery to getting products successfully into a warehouse in the US. And so we started that business and really wanted to service, you know, more of that middle tier importer, it was a really important time in 2010, because it was post financial crisis, right, and then eight. And so there was a lot of instability. banks weren’t loaning the right, you know, the challenges for businesses to have access to capital was was a was a real challenge. And so we devised this service, called less than container load, or LCL. Mm hmm. So instead of having to fill up a whole container on your own, and then import all of those goods and have to pay for all of the freight on a full load, we’ll have to pay all of your suppliers with terms in shorter after that. We, we basically devised a service for less than container load. So multiple importers, brands were sharing space on one container, which allowed them to move more nimbly more quickly, they were able to buy just what they needed, as opposed to miss trying to maximize and fill up the container. So that was really a kind of our launch pad in terms of finding success reaching lots of customers. Yeah, early years. Yeah. And then the second service that we offer is distribution. So we are licensed in all in all states in the US. Yeah. And can help manage the fulfillment and sale to other wholesalers. And in some states, we can sell directly to restaurants and retailers. Interesting.
Diana Fryc 6:37
Okay. Well, so the at the time you were, when you came out with this, I always feel like these really big, big ideas usually come during times of uncertainty. And of course, we are certainly in that moment, again, as you look back to that time, when you started, and what’s happening now? Or maybe what’s happened over the last year and a half or so two years? Are you seeing any behaviors? And from a market distribution standpoint that are the same? Or has things changed so much, that it’s just a different kind of stability with its own set of issues?
Alexi Cashen 7:19
Yeah, so the current climate is very unstable, as many industries are continuing to play out. And, you know, the alcohol industry is no different. It’s there’s, there’s there are challenges due to, you know, the last couple of years pandemic global supply chain, it’s definitely, you know, and it’s interesting that you bring that up, because we we have found it to be also true that a lot of the sort of a similar energy that we put towards finding our customers helping those early customers in 2010, that same earnest need or desire to really help people during a challenging time, it has bubbled up again, for us, and I really kind of harkens back to our kind of core values and why we set out to do this and to help, you know, other businesses in the US compete in a very highly competitive, yeah. Face and industry. So yes, there there are very similar challenges in terms of, you know, just instability that Yeah. Are we are able to kind of, you know, land on those original values and and strive to help people again, now. Yeah, later in a time of uncertainty.
Diana Fryc 8:41
Yeah. And I would even think that, you know, we’ve had a few we’ve, we’ve gone through a couple of administration since then, that have had different philosophies on importing and exporting and relationships, and everything from NAFTA to all of these agreements have changed tremendously. Are you seeing from an import market? Are you are you seeing is it harder now to bring product into the US? Is it easier or is it just different?
Alexi Cashen 9:12
Well, it’s harder now because of the supply chain constraints. So that that isn’t due to administration, there have been other administrative challenges with the tariffs that were imposed on multiple categories of wine products throughout Europe. That was a unbelievably burden some time on, for many importers having to pay these egregious 20% tariffs. Yeah. On wine, but, but the other challenge is really just the supply chain constraints. Yeah. And that’s not unique to the alcohol industry. That is, yeah, literally globally. You know, I think people talked about it through the holidays in terms of, you know, there’s gonna be things that you can’t get, can’t get as quickly as you thought that you used to So we’re still really reeling from that there is a there consumer spending is has increased, it continues to continues to perform in a way that makes it really challenging to top of the, you know, the equipment is in the wrong part for it portion of the globe or shoes with just cost like the price rises. Yeah, I mean, you know, concerns about containers that are, you know, costing $30,000 to get dirt, you know, corks or glass bottles to work, just even dry goods into the US much less try to get finished product, you know, from Europe or South America or the southern hemisphere, you know, delivered to the US in a timely fashion. There’s still wines that people are waiting for today that they expected or needed to have, you know, for Thanksgiving.
Diana Fryc 10:55
Yeah, yeah. Well, and then you have got I happen to have some business relationships with really large retailers that purchase alcohol. And I understand like you’ve we’ve had, we’ve had some droughts, we’ve global warming is also challenging the marketplace. France, I believe, is one area that got hit the Bordeaux region got hit pretty hard. Yes. I want to say New Zealand, was that another area that got hammered pretty good. From a drought standpoint? Is it is is it just that people are like, what do we do in this situation? And it’s not like anything that you can really guide people through in environment? Or maybe there is maybe you are guiding people to help them understand how to plan for these types of issues.
Alexi Cashen 11:48
It’s hard to plan for mother nature for sure. And it you know, you talk about drought there are other natural disasters or or storms and and things that if it’s not drought, it’s you know, hail storms that have ruined crops in in Europe. The wildfires here in California, Oh, yeah. burned through lots of crops or just or admitted smoke taint. So even if it didn’t burn crops, then the that juice is compromised, because it has a very, really funky taste to it. Yeah, he’s
Diana Fryc 12:22
considered that. Yeah, going
Alexi Cashen 12:24
into 2022. We have some serious headwinds in terms of sourcing, absolutely. Whether you’re sourcing domestically in the US or from, from Europe, as in your example. There is a shortage of of juice of, you know, to make wine. Absolutely. And, you know, that that’s why, you know, there’s certain vintages that are heralded, you know, because they had sort of that perfect storm or lack of storm, or lack of yeah, you wouldn’t be like it right, the right amount of moisture, the right amount of sun. I mean, this is sort of photosynthesis one on one, but you can’t predict those. And then it’s a vintage, we’ll, we’ll guide consumers because obviously that’ll play into the the noteworthiness. Here and speak to the weather there in. But yes, going into this year, we’re definitely going to see a shortage across the globe.
Diana Fryc 13:17
Hmm, interesting. Well, talking about shifting inventory and supply chain and all of the all of the disruption. Let’s talk about innovation from a disruption standpoint. Now St. Hildie’s launched in 2021. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about St. Hildie’s and where that idea came from?
Alexi Cashen 13:39
Sure I am. I launched St. Hildie’s with two other co founders, Christine Peck and Megan aroma college friend and her sister in law and we set out to compete in the better for you booze category. Okay, alternate, alternate beverages. Some are calling it the fourth category of alcohol, often in cans as a format, so things like you know, hard kombucha seltzers RTDs are ready to drink cocktails that category is definitely booming. And so I was intrigued sort of watching watching that happen. And you know, and I like I like the convenience I like the you know, I not much of a beer drinker, more of a wine drinker myself. You know, I liked the idea of you know, cracking a hard kombucha and knowing that it was like lower lower or or, you know, didn’t have the carbs that that beer offers. And so as a health conscious woman and somebody who is interested in health and wellness, I Yeah, it is very intrigued, but I also was disappointed because a lot of the offerings kind of fell short like or better for you but only because They were lowering calories sort of a skinny version right tall but that didn’t mean that they were made with integrity that they were often fake it you know, artificial flavoring and ingredients often sugar added to give it sweetness or Yeah or monkfruit or you know, anything that kind of created this sort of artificial beverage and, and I don’t like fake and I don’t like added sugar I like very high tone, honest elevated flavors. Well, that’s what we set out to build, St. Hildie’s was crafted by, like I said, Megan, Christina and I we launched with three flavors, elderberry, hibiscus, guava, ginger and lemon turmeric. And so you know, yeah, you can tell like, we thoughtfully chose ingredients that are elevated, they elderberry, ginger, turmeric, these are all ingredients that are not only delicious, but also have, you know, the upside of benefits to them. Yeah. And so yeah, we launched last summer, it’s been wonderful to, you know, breathe life to another business and a brand to boot, which is not something I’ve ever done before I never made a product. So you know, it’s been a really exciting, exciting adventure so far.
Diana Fryc 16:20
Yeah. Now was 2021, the planned launch was that like, we’re launching this bad boy in the middle of this or was it just kind of was how long? How long was the process before the idea to launch.
Alexi Cashen 16:35
So we, I’d say end to end before we had product and market it was 16 months, which is, which is fast it is, we you know, we would have liked to you know, get to market as fast as you can. Like, that is the name of course, we’re a new brand. And so we were you know, we’re definitely chomping at the bit gotten, you know, right at the at the tail of summer. You know, and then we we’ve, you know, just sort of proof of concept testing that we’ve gotten into, you know, grocery chains and independent shops. And, you know, key restaurant accounts. So the, you know, it’s been, it’s been really exciting to get the feedback from the train. Yes. And then also consumers to just hear their comments and adoration and oh, that’s so good. Yeah. So that that’s been really, really, really important to just get that feedback and keep kind of fine tuning as we continue. And we hope to develop more flavors as we go. But right now it’s, it’s, it’s great to just get the the great feedback on the three that we started with. And, you know, we’re, we’re it’s a very competitive space. Yes. You know, obviously, you’re you’re garnering for not just shelf space in a retail setting, but cooler space within that
Diana Fryc 17:55
set. Right. Exactly. Yeah. All anything RTD. Like you. I mean, well, anything in the in the retail environment. Nobody just has a slot that’s just sitting there waiting for your product. You’re moving, you’re replacing something. So you got to have a winner.
Alexi Cashen 18:09
Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. Not only not only a product that tastes great and that people will enjoy and it’s fashionable, but we really set out to with St. Hildie’s ease to create a brand with depth to create something real. It’s very much a reflection of myself and my co founders. Yes. Oh, good. The wellness and the supportive women really was a real woman. She was Oh, st. Hildegard von Benjen. She was a toll free mystic and mother of plant medicine. She studied cosmology and science route around beer. So we have our muse of St. Hildie’s behind us. But yeah, just really wanting to make something authentic, delicious and elevated.
Diana Fryc 18:54
Yes. Well, that makes sense. Right? Weren’t the original beer makers Weren’t they were they were like technically witches? Which is exactly those women. Oh, right. So and are you actually getting live time with people when they’re trying these products? Like are you are you talking to them? And getting that direct feedback? Or is this all just kind of through the the communication network?
Alexi Cashen 19:23
Yeah, a lot of it is live thankfully, oh, my goodness, that’s awesome. retail partners that have are doing some sampling. And so we’ve been able to get in front of consumers and get their feedback. And, you know, you hear from the horse’s mouth, so it’s been Yeah, it’s cool to have that in person. It’s obviously kind of closed in a little bit in the recent months. But I’m looking forward to springtime again, yeah. Humidity to you know, to be to be out there and connecting with people more. Yeah,
Diana Fryc 19:54
well, so it kind of speeds. So speaking of people, I guess it’s okay. can be a really non sequitur, or maybe a really non weird sequitur. It’s gonna be a weird change. I want to do a little zag here because I want to talk about something that you and I were discussing, you know, kind of women in the beverage industry in general. You know, I’ve had conversations I started, I learned about this originally, when we were working with Terrell Klaus of dry soda, about the beverage industry still being predominantly male LED. And you and I talked about this when we prepped from your perspective with, you know, that the industry still continues to be led by men, which is okay, but I think we’re kind of missing opportunity to serve our communities. Well, by having it be so dominated, what are the barriers in your mind that you’re seeing that kind of are inhibiting the new entrance by way of women and just other diversity into this category? What’s missing there? What’s What are the missing ways of entry?
Alexi Cashen 21:03
So I get I get asked sort of questions along these lines quite a bit. And I find that it isn’t that there’s a lack of women and industry. Okay, work that there certainly is an ever presence of both males and females throughout. But you’re right, in terms of leadership. Yeah. But even say, a step further ownership. Oh, tends to be more of male business owners. Yeah. You know, I’m very involved in my local entrepreneurial community here in San Francisco. And, you know, I’m quite horrified by the fact that of all of the businesses in the US that reach a million dollars or more in revenue, only 1% of those businesses are owned by women, even though of those businesses, half are owned by women.
Diana Fryc 21:58
Alexi Cashen 21:59
So there’s an IT there’s an inequality in terms of both the entrepreneur and this is across the board right outside of the alcohol industry. And there’s an inequity to in terms of just female entrepreneurs within the alcohol industry. And then also this statistic that like, you know, there’s also an inequity in terms of revenue, achievements, and that business will, will experience and in my experience, I think there are I have experienced, you know, inequities when it comes to fundraising, yeah, bank loans, financial institutions, like you can’t start a business without cash. Right? You can’t keep it going and, or grow it. And so like, That, to me is an answer that is choking back, potentially a female entrepreneur in the alcohol industry’s ambition for success. I also think there are, you know, just a natural challenge that many women face in terms of just balance. You know, I know so many I’ve observed so many women who are highly competent in their work, you know, because they’re phenomenal mothers or caretakers, and you know, I got toll is on them personally. And of course, that bleeds into the, into their work and their ability to, you know, really continue to execute on a high level compared to their counterparts. And that’s not something that’s unique to the alcohol industry. But yeah, definitely something that I observed, nonetheless.
Diana Fryc 23:33
How do you feel about you know, I think of Well, I have two thoughts here. First of all, the first one being, mentorship, I wonder, could there be more mentorship? Kind of, like, I hate to call it breaking down, break things down into gender? Can we have more women being mentored by men? I know it’s important to be mentored by women, but if there’s a lack of women leadership in the industry, can we have an can we increase the openness to mentorship and kind of driving that opportunity for learning and networking, which I think networking is really part of it? Like who you know, is just as important as what you know, particularly in this part of the biz? Is that something that you think that we can start to shift the dynamics on or is it really just access to money and lenders and investors just opening their minds to it a combination of both?
Alexi Cashen 24:31
Well, I think the the you know opening those those financial resources is paramount but of course there’s there’s an overall mindset and culture if you will, that we can all play a part in immediately by you know, making a pledge my company l&t imports we started working with Be the change was good nation that has a job fair for the alcoholic beverage industry that really promotes diversity and equity and inclusion in your hiring. practices were aided in one of their job fairs last spring and hired, hired two people. And it was a wonderful thing to participate in. But what I really love about it is that they, you know, kind of hold you to it right, that you’re not really yeah, you’re not just saying something on social media, about your business’s practices, you know, to, to, to really, to pledge to pledge that you’ll not only do it in this moment, in time, it’s you’ll continue to do it, that it’ll continue to be a thoughtful practice. And I think that type of mantra is very powerful anywhere, if it’s mentorship, or if it’s your hiring, or if it’s, you know, speaking opportunities, ways in which to promote and tell stories of, of women and, you know, diverse individuals within the industry. I think that’s a great way to continue the conversation. I also really love. We’re a sponsor, Ellington is a sponsor of women of the vine and spirits organization. Oh, cool. Never Brenner, I had her on my podcast, she’s wonderful, a pioneer in this space, and has been at it for a long time. So I really applaud people like Deborah who have made it their life’s work to increase diversity, you know, and inclusion within the alcohol space.
Diana Fryc 26:26
along that route, then then like, as we start to see, kind of as we start to kind of grow are the diversity in our leadership, I know that that will then help us create some really new way new products that always just, you know, we’re starting to have visibility on consumers in a different way, when we’ve got that kind of leadership. What kind of trends are you seeing in the marketplace now? Or maybe what do you have your peak on? Of course, you know, the spike beverages are still growing, right? And hemp cannabis and CBD infused beverages are still growing, although we were limited because of states. You know, all of the all of the legal components of that, but what are you? What are you seeing coming up in the future that consumers are looking for?
Alexi Cashen 27:22
I think that, um, you know, consumers are looking for something that is real, approachable. Something that’s different, I think that there’s, you know, a, a draw for authenticity. Yeah, that is, you know, important to modern consumers. I mean, when you think of just the change of consumer interest in alcohol categories, you know, the boomers have really had a strong stakeholder and alcohol consumption of wine products in particular, and, you know, the millennials, and, you know, Gen Z are coming on with different ideas and want to not just drink for the sake of drinking, but they want to experience something, they want to learn something they want to, you know, open up their minds and, and take it in, aside from just what you’re taking in, you know, in your, through your lips. And so that’s, that’s an interesting it’s an interesting conundrum, I think, for a lot of suppliers. And, and one which I think the White industry in particular, who has a fear of sort of losing ground with these newer consumers. There’s so much to be told in terms of the depth behind wine and those stories and, you know, the authenticity there in I think it’s really hard for, you know, current modern consumer to really tackle the wine industry, it’s so natural, it’s so big, it’s the, the amount of knowledge it’s like a you get a whole degree.
Diana Fryc 29:06
Agreed, that’s a
Alexi Cashen 29:07
Masters of Wine and oh my goodness, after Psalms and you know, you can you can literally just commit your entire life’s work to studying and tasting and mastering wine. So it’s, you know, that your average consumer, you know, can’t possibly do that. What can they do? Like, what can we do, to educate to open the minds make it easy? Well, to create that same experience that idea? You know, these same Mater consumers are keen on mixology, and cocktails and TDs and spiked beverages.
Diana Fryc 29:39
Yeah. And along that line, you know, right, we’re in January, it’s dry January, that category that dry category is kind of going bonkers right now we’ll be be curious to see how long with the longevity on this is if this is going to be staying for a while. but it doesn’t sound like the dry months are necessarily having an impact on alcohol consumption. Either it’s like net new almost displacing soda or something. Something’s happening something different is happening Hey,
Alexi Cashen 30:13
yeah, something definitely definitely different is happening. I think there’s the you know, the well period or the kind of sober curious or well curious are really interested in the alcohol free, you know, spirits, quote unquote, or different products that are really beloved by folks who consume alcohol and don’t consume that, right right on time, I just want to be a part of that social ritual out having, you know, the the drawbacks, was, or a hangover or, you know, wanting to cut it out during the week, or just being more conscientious about health. There’s a lot of products that are cropping up, and they’re definitely not just invoked during dry months, it’s they’re in vogue with this kind of new consumer base that is really interested in wellness genuinely. And so the lack of alcohol in certain products, I think, it’s definitely created a buzz there, we have worked with several wind products that are de alkalized. Essential, really, and those were amazingly popular. So I think there’ll be more of that as well to come.
Diana Fryc 31:24
Interesting. Good. Well, that’ll be fun to watch as well, as I know, there’s some environmental packaging, exploration that that could probably be its own podcast in and all of it together. For sure. Yeah. You know, Alexi, and love learning all about this. Kind of wrapping up our time together, I have a few questions that I like to ask Absolutely, everyone. One of them is, what’s it what’s an interesting fact that people are always surprised to hear outside of our industry that you’d like to share?
Alexi Cashen 32:05
Interesting fact about the alcohol industry? Um, it’s amazingly small. Really? Yeah, it feels like a very tight knit community. I’ve, I’ve remarked as so many other professionals that the accessibility is so possible, like it really out there is considering a career and alcohol, there are so many people out there who are willing to help you. Like just start asking, really, that’s very convenient. Despite how insanely competitive it is. There is such a camaraderie, and a real kindred ship. Mm hmm. Throughout our community.
Diana Fryc 32:46
Oh, my goodness. What? That’s that’s really awesome to hear. And I you know, because I think, I think whenever ever people think competitive, they think not friendly. Yeah. But it’s almost like sports, right? Like you get done with you in the new, you know, you can go and have a glass of wine or have a beverage of whatever and with somebody that you’ve known forever, and that’s pretty great.
Alexi Cashen 33:14
Yeah. Well, it’s convivial. Right. I mean, at the end of the day, we’re drinking alcohol and that sound, that sounds and barriers that let you know, lets down the a lot of the pomp and circumstance and yes, you just get real real quick.
Diana Fryc 33:28
Yeah. Tell me Are there any women leaders that you are watching right now that you just think are doing you’re doing great things or any rising stars that you’re watching? That you would like to elevate for the work they’re doing right now?
Alexi Cashen 33:45
Yeah, I actually am just wrapping up a series on my podcast the last question podcast where I have talked to other badass brand makers, all female and so I talked to Georgia, Jordan Salcito with Ramona I love her I love her energy. I love what she’s doing with Ramona I am a huge fan of Caitlin Landesberg she’s founded suffer fest though. I’m rooting for you free beers and and functional beers, which she sold. And then I’m really really just super, super pleased to know Kat Han test of 21 seeds to kilos. They make infused tequila as she’s been a mentor to the hilt ease. So just really appreciate her. Her entrepreneurialism and really neat things that she’s doing and I haven’t yet met. So Kin to talk about alcohol free spirits and so forth the brown and Jen who’s their founder, I find her really enigmatic and quite powerful and strong and very thoughtful and Yeah, so there’s there’s so many women out there.
Diana Fryc 35:02
Oh, yeah. Great. Thank you for sharing those. And this is for this might be redundant, right. But do you have any brands or trends that you’re following right now? And if you if there are, why are you falling on?
Alexi Cashen 35:17
Yeah, um, you know, I think, as I said, I was originally drawn to this sort of fourth category of alcohol, spiked, etc. And, you know, I haven’t seen anything in my 20 years that has been quite that this much of a tidal wave or shift or reduction in the industry. Uh huh. So I’m drawn to the disruption, you know, I’ve found to be a pioneer of making these changes and offering beverages that, you know, 20 years ago didn’t exist.
Diana Fryc 35:49
That’s awesome. Yeah, I think we’re kindred in that way. I I’m all about the disruption. What What can I do? That’s surprising because I like surprising. So naturally, I am drawn to that so I can completely understand. Yeah, well, listen, we’ve been talking with Alexi Cashen, Co-founder and CEO of Elenteny Imports and the Founder Chief Revenue Officer of St. Hildie’s. Let’s see if people want to learn more about you or the work that you’re doing with any of your brands. Where Where, where can we find you?
Alexi Cashen 36:23
So you can email me Alexi@elentenyimports.com or Alexi@drinkahildies.com. You can find us on both of those handles on Instagram @elentenyimports or @drinkahildie. And we’d love to chat.
Diana Fryc 36:40
Excellent. Well, thank you so much for your time today. And I’m so excited that we find we finally connected I know that I will continue to send folks your way. I know that. There are a lot of really amazing innovation happening out there. And if I can be a connector for you. I’m happy to do that. Yeah, so excited to have spent time with you today. And looking forward to watching St. Hildie’s grow, and maybe even a future cocktail. I don’t know when or where but it may happen. Hey. Yes. And so thanks to everyone that’s listening today. And thank you, Alexi. We’ll catch you next time on The Gooder Podcast.
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