David Verdugo / Broski Ciderworks LLC
This week we meet David Verdugo of Broski Ciderworks LLC in Miami, who tells us how his university pastime grew into a business venture with his brother, and offers some sound advice for startups.
How did you get started with your business?
Two brothers, one dream. My name is David, I was born in Ecuador, a small country in South America. At the age of 10, my family and I moved to the United States to beautiful and sunny Miami. My dream, was always to become an engineer, following the footsteps of my father and grandfather. When the time came, I began my studies at the University of Florida. I graduated as a civil engineer and proceeded to get my master and my PhD in engineering as well. Throughout this time, studies and exams would fill me with stress, and interestingly, I found that brewing beer and wine was a way to relieve the built up anxiety. Quickly, brewing became my passion. I would brew so many beers and wines and send them to all my family and friends. At the time, my brother was a manager at a local wine distributor. He began to share my brews with his colleagues. I began getting messages from him encouraging me to brew more ciders. I did.
While working as an engineer, my brother brought up the fact that there were no craft cideries in South Florida. He asked me “Should we start a craft cidery?” and I did not hesitate twice. We both jumped on the journey and began the company that is Broski Ciderworks today. Dedication, passion and a brotherly love, all our dreams came true. Broski means brothers. Broski means family.
What market research did you do when planning your business?
Proper business planning for Broski Ciderworks was a key element to our current success. The business plan was written and revised almost 2 years prior to opening our doors. One of the best tools to research and plan is through the use of online tools like IBIS World Industry Report. Which gives a detailed look at your industry statistics, projected market growth, as well as competition. Learning about your competition is a great way to research your market. This, and other online tools, are extremely helpful in understanding your industry. In addition, knowing your customer is key. Researching what customers like was fundamental. Learning their preferences, how they consume craft products, how they interact on social media, all helped us develop and cater our craft ciders to the South Florida drinker.
How do you make use of Google products in your business?
We use our Google business page to interact with customers, Google Maps for directions and awareness, and most importantly our website which is readily found on the Google search engine.
What’s your biggest challenge today?
Being a minority business owner poses its challenges. From the beginning we have had to fight and struggle to make others aware of the amazing products we make. The odds were not in our favor at the beginning, however, time and perseverance pays off and now, Broski is widely known to brew the best ciders in our State. Our focus is to grow and encourage more minority groups to embark on making their business a reality. To serve as an example.
What do you hope for in a year’s time?
Brewing cider is my passion. My goal is to create a cider culture in South Florida. Every pint of Broski Cider is brewed with dedication, commitment, hard work and a lot of love. Our hearts are in every cup.
In a year, I hope to use that motivation to establish our company among the world’s best cideries and continue winning awards for our taste and quality. To continue growing our company with the same focus and mentality and to use our knowledge to further inspire young generations of entrepreneurs is our industry and beyond.
What’s your best advice for a new business owner?
“For Sure Cider Queen” – It’s the saying we always repeat at our business. In other words “FSCQ.” The things we focus on:
F = Financial Responsibility. Our ability to make the best products while keeping a tight check on company spending and cost of production. A winning company is always positive. S = Sales. Focus our team to always sell our products. Sales is king. Give your sales team the tools to succeed. C = Customer Service. Every broski that walks though our business doors must feel party of the family. Customers must feel the broski experience. Focus on creating your business experience. Q = Quality. Quality, quality, quality. It speaks for itself. Do not make changes that affect your quality. Consistency is key.
On behalf of the Small Business Community, thank you David
Jason Hill / Client Focused Advisors
Roland Kidwell / Adams Center for Entrepreneurship at FAU
David Verdugo / Broski Ciderworks LLC