our welcome at the house, so we outsourced a lot,” he recalls. Until nine months ago, they didn’t have a warehouse of their own. They decided to test out a partial-year lease to see if it was the right choice, and it was. When that temporary lease ended on August 1, they landed at their locale on Old Fern Hill Road.
Righteous Felon’s offerings are ever expanding
Having their own warehouse has allowed them to capitalize on their business model, and expand even further. “Most of the orders we do here have 25 different items, which is a nightmare for artisan businesses,” says Brendan. “So we launched a separate business called ‘Artisan Brands.’” The Felons grew their distribution in a somewhat unorthodox way, selling directly to vendors, such as Carlino’s and DiBruno Bros., rather than to distributors. “Usually you wan to sell a pallet or a truckload to a distributor, who then parses it out,” he notes. “But we just distributed it ourselves. After four or five years doing it that way, we realized we could help other smaller brands like us.” They were already shipping jerky products around the country, and they realized they could partner with large hotels to solve a common problem: stocking mini bars with a compelling assortment of products. “It helps us sell more jerky, but they’re also buying a solution to their problem. We consolidate it all here, with a single bill, providing a one-stop shopping experience.” Those smaller brands include companies selling chips, chocolates, and anything that would make a worthy addition to a hotel chain that is looking to make a unique, local statement with its mini bar offering. “We’ve stocked entire mini bar sets for Kimpton Hotels,” says Brendan. “The Ritz Carlton just picked up five local brands. Some of these brands are only three months old, and they’re ecstatic.” While other companies are out there doing this already, there isn’t competition in the artisan space. “The trend is toward sourcing local, so we can include items that are local to different cities. They order everything through us, and the local items arrive the same day as the rest of their order because it is drop-shipped to them.” Their bespoke in-house software facilitates the entire process.
Righteous Felons never sleep. “I don’t really stop,” says Brendan. “It’s pretty constant, with cell phones and laptops. I’m always thinking about how we’re growing. My mind is constantly figuring out how the hell we’re going to do what’s next.” Short-term incentives are key. “Every person who works here receives a weekly bonus based on how we did that week,” he shares. “We’re a really small company, and in the competitive employment pool, if everyone knows their success is proportionate to the success of business, it’s
going to be reflected in their weekly and monthly compensation.” It's a domino effect. “You can focus on having a good week, and then that week will turn into a good couple of weeks. You have a good month, and next thing you know, you have a good year. You have a couple of good years, and then maybe one day, you’ll have a great company.” It is a bold truth. In the words of Victorious B.I.G. (that peppery sweet Victory stout-infused gastro-lovechild): “Flavor always favors the bold.”
SEPTEMBER 2019 THEWCPRESS.COM
Voice of the Borough