Is This a Business?
Inc.|March - April 2021
Marco Zappia, a former bar director in Minneapolis, has an idea for a cocktail commissary business.
By Hannah Wallace

THE ENTREPRENEUR

ZAPPIA It’s no secret that restaurants and bars often make most of their profit through alcohol sales, and that the best margins in booze come from cocktails. But in the craft cocktail movement, everyone does their own prep in-house, and preparing the necessary ingredients—juices, syrups, infusions—takes a lot of labor, which eats into those margins. Plus, the equipment needed to make some of the more complicated concoctions—rotovaps, centrifuges, immersion circulators—can cost thousands of dollars.

Outsourcing to a small prep operation servicing one or two dozen local bars would help cut labor and equipment costs and provide economies of scale: Buying a weekly pallet of sugar is more cost effective, but very few restaurants or craft cocktail bars can order in bulk, because weekly budgets are tight and storage space is limited.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM INC.View All

REPEAT PERFORMANCE

TWO-TIME SELLER

2 mins read
Inc.
March - April 2021

MAY THE BEST BRAND WIN!

Zico founder Mark Rampolla recently bought back his coconut water company after a sale that decimated the brand. Now he’s rebuilding it with a new team, but facing fierce competition from an old rival.

10+ mins read
Inc.
March - April 2021

HOW BORING BENEFITS CAN PAY OFF

The pandemic, the grim economy, and the stress of remote work have made employees’ physical, mental, and financial well-being more important than ever. At the same time, bosses are trying to meet their employees’ needs on a tighter budget. One solution? Voluntary benefits.

3 mins read
Inc.
March - April 2021

Is This a Business?

Marco Zappia, a former bar director in Minneapolis, has an idea for a cocktail commissary business.

2 mins read
Inc.
March - April 2021

How To Spy On Your Rivals

Inc. doesn’t recommend corporate espionage—but if you can get creative while staying on the right side of the law, go for it. That’s what John Ross, CEO of Test Prep Insight, was thinking when he heard that one of his competitors was meeting with a potential buyer. Ross—who was also contemplating a sale of his Sacramento-based online education company, wanted to get some intel on the buyer. But how?

1 min read
Inc.
March - April 2021

Cybercriminals Target SMBs, But New Technology Helps Fight Them Off

Contrary to popular belief, big companies are not the only favored targets of cybercriminals. SMBs are just as attractive.

2 mins read
Inc.
March - April 2021

HR Technology Adapts to Remote Work's Permanence

From social issues to virtual collaboration, HR technology is evolving to meet the needs of future employment models.

2 mins read
Inc.
March - April 2021

I Was Wrong: No More Mr. Nice Guy

For three years, Dan O’Malley tried to be the boss everyone loves—never criticizing, always smiling. Now, he says that was the wrong approach.

2 mins read
Inc.
March - April 2021

Should You Be More Like Bezos?

As the Amazon founder exits the CEO role, he leaves his successor a set of rules that might be helpful to any entrepreneur bent on conquering the known universe.

9 mins read
Inc.
March - April 2021

Invitation To a Crisis

Sometimes, a little added pressure can help your team scale new heights.

10+ mins read
Inc.
March - April 2021