Brad Messier and his partner Elizabeth Guilbault, of West Maquoit Vinegar Works, have been making small-batch craft vinegar in Brunswick since 2018. Their vinegars are unique in flavors and focused on quality ingredients, many of which they source locally. Initially, Messier connected with Maine SBDC at CEI Business Advisor Brad Swanson, who helped him identify marketing gaps, specifically with digital marketing, eCommerce, and packaging. Swanson then introduced Messier to fellow Maine SBDC at CEI Business Advisor Jenn Stein, who specializes in hospitality and food businesses, so they could dive even deeper.
Stein set up a schedule for check-ins to provide accountability. Working together, they further improved his digital presence, focusing on social media posts and ad content. They worked on displays and strategies to move inventory. They are now working on a strategy to expand into new markets as well as bring on employees. In addition to one on one advising, Messier took advantage of Maine SBDC and CEI’s free business webinar.
Messier’s dedication to growing the business and ability to utilize the resources available have contributed to an increase in sales both online (over 200% increase in the last year!) and in-person during the pandemic and provided him with a path for the future!