Denice Ingalls owns Sky River Brewing, a honeywine maker in Sultan. She recently took the time to answer a few questions about how the company’s holiday season is shaping up.
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Q: What sort of sales trends do you generally see around the holiday season?
A: As with most wineries, we are generally very busy during the holidays. ‘Tis the season to not only enjoy a wonderful wine, but also pick up a favorite to share with friends and family.
Denice Ingalls of Sky River Brewing in Sultan. (Herald photo/Dan Bates)
Q: What has business been like this season?
A:This holiday season things have started out slow, but have been gaining some momentum recently. It’s my feeling that big retailers are discounting so heavily on so many big ticket items that it has captured much of the consumers attention. As the holidays draw closer people are beginning to take care of the more intimate gifts on their lists.
Q: What’s your top-selling item around this time of year, and why?
A: This year we’ve had a lot of attention and success with our newly released Sky River Raspberry Honeywine. The wine has an indulgent quality, and a vibrant red hue, that fits perfectly with the holidays. And, our guests at the winery are thrill to find out that it is made from local Washington raspberries and honey.
Q: What have you found to be the best way to promote your products?
A: Sky River Winery produces honeywines, which is a small niche within the wine world. Consequently, our best promotion comes from our customers, through word of mouth.
Q: If you had to write a wish list for your business with next year in mind, what would be at the top?
A: My wish is that some of the big questions on interest rates, healthcare, accounting regulations, taxes, etc. are resolved, one way or the other, so that all parties in the marketplace will begin to move forward. There was so much worry and anxiety, born from uncertainty about what the future held, that in 2009 businesses and individuals are reacting, rather than acting. We’ll all have a happier, healthier, more prosperous 2010 if we begin to move forward once again.
Know a small business we should write about? Email Herald writer Amy Rolph at firstname.lastname@example.org.