As I sit at my desk, cold beer in hand (a Brick Lane Pale Ale to be exact), I am getting myself into the zone to introduce today’s interview with Simon Farrugia. Simon is my brother, and since we were kids, Simon has dreamt about owning his own business. He could see self-employment as a viable option back then and it has been inspiring to be a part of Simon’s journey as he has learnt to seize the moment and take the plunge.
Simon launched Frothy Beer Club (FBC) in 2019, and he refers to his endeavour as a beer and alcohol delivery service that stocks a large variety of craft beers, wines and spirits, with the mission to get people a drink, when they need it.
Within the duel of doves community, Simon took his idea to the next level by sharing his progress and collaborating with individuals on his brand, website design and build, business strategy, SEO plan and marketing schedule. Seeing this unfold gave me chills in real-time as this is what duel of doves has been started for, a space to call on a talented network for advice and mentorship as businesses and/or projects advance. It is now 2020, and it is inspiring to see how far Simon has come in one short year. In the following interview, you’ll gain a glimpse into Simons unique business, the way he thinks and how he defines success.
Don’t you just love a cheeky Saturday arvo beer or 4? Well, I do. There is always that moment, the moment of dread when you are about to run out of booze, and there is no designated driver insight. You know the one I mean, the moment that causes you to think, how the hell do we get more alcohol and keep the good times rolling?
I’d relived this painful situation too many times since starting my drinking career, and finally, on a fateful Saturday arvo I announced: “Fuck it, I’ll do it myself”. So, I found myself, wondering how on earth do I start an alcohol delivery service?
The essence of Frothy Beer Club is to provide convenience in the delivery of booze, on-demand. Taking inspiration from the name of Dollar Shave Club, I used this as a template and came up with Frothy Beer Club. Making customers part of a club over time has paid off as a sense of community has formed, and in August (2020), we had a customer retention rate of 47%. The club aspect is our unique selling point, after your first purchase you’re part of a collective, whom we look after from a service point of view. You’re not just buying beer from us; you’re getting cold ready-to-drink alcohol brought to your door, very quick.
I wanted the name to simply be, Beer Club, but that was already taken, so I ended up adding Frothy as a descriptive word. The feedback on the name has been fantastic.
We’ve been operating for a year now, and the most significant learning is that results take time. You can’t expect to blow up overnight, like my good friend and music artist (shameless plug) Jordan Astra says, “Just keep showing up”.
Man, currently we’re in COVID and I can’t think of anything more delicious than a crisp cold pint of James Squire Chancer Golden Ale.
We’re continuing to grow our beer range and will be focusing on adding more craft options, the more unknown or independent the better. If you’re an independent brewer hit me up - you’ll get automatic distribution to part of the west of Melbourne.
Due to an increase in orders we’ve had to stop physically fulfilling orders and use third party channels and drivers. Taking inspiration from the Uber Eats and Door Dash model we’re replicating this on a more local level which will automate the process. An easy decision to make that aligned with our mission, we need to ensure that orders are delivered ASAP and cold.
Again, taking inspiration from Uber Eats and Door Dash we’re upgrading the website to look more like a menu rather than building a cart of alcohol products. Our service is more comparable to ordering from a bar than buying off dan Murphys or a bottleshop. This is an exciting development for us, and we cannot wait to test it in the market.
In conclusion, there are so many gems in here to dig into, and we may need to follow up with Simon again as he progresses into this new business model. An interesting point that we didn’t cover is that FCB started as a side hustle and Simon was the first guest on the Side Hustle Podcast. Talking to Simon and hearing his passion and tenacity in that recording inspired us to take the plunge ourselves and turn that initial interview into the podcast we know today. If you want to step back in time and hear Simon’s passionate account of FBC, we recommend you take a listen; he will inspire you. And if you would like to speak to Simon, he is always available to chat and collaborate in the duel of doves space, request an invite.
duel of doves is a curated community, created to encourage thought-provoking discussions through connecting and collaborating with like-minded people. A professional online home away from home, sans the office politics, where we can be ourselves and get sh*t done.
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