Today I'd like to welcome back one of my contributors, Titus Kimbowa. A junior at the University of Washington at the time, Titus first approached me after a talk and asked me how to grow a network on Twitter, balancing the line between professionalism while building your personal brand. His drive and curiosity have taken him far in the last two years I've known him, and I'm honored that Fresh Jess is the first to bring you his new venture. Read on to discover Winegarden!
As a student at UW, one of the best experiences I was lucky enough to get involved with was building startups. Being immersed in startups gave me an opportunity to meet interesting people. As a kid from a little town in Uganda, the only place I could think to meet such wonderful people was in my dreams. During these meetings, a consistent social connector was wine. Aside from wine being an acquired taste that was lost on me, I knew nothing of its intricacies. After multiple attempts, I was finally able to grasp the basics of wine. There’s clearly a big learning curve.
Soon after I finished school, I was burned out! Working three jobs to pay for school while being a full time student took a toll on me. I decided to break from the stresses of work and school, and absorb more of the unique culture Seattle had to offer that I couldn’t properly appreciate in the past. To my surprise, I find that wine is again at the center of my cultural experience. I realized in order to fully appreciate what Seattle had to offer, I would have to uncork this wonder and learn firsthand what makes it so intriguing.
As I discovered and learned about the diverse selection of great wines, I noticed that wine is not well-cultivated here. Specifically, locally-sourced wines have yet to take a crack at Seattle’s eclectic culture. Wines made in Washington have won numerous awards on the global scale, yet Seattleites know more about California wines than Washington wines. Either we just don’t like Washington wines or the marketing sucks.
I’m with the latter.
The Seattleite in me wouldn’t allow me to give the city a pass on enjoying an inferior wine that’s not from Washington. I got in touch with a friend, Thomas Winegarden who had talked about a wine delivery service that he wanted to build. We discussed different ways in which the technology could be built and settled on a platform, to which local wine shops and wineries would market and sell their wine then have it delivered to consumers on-demand or at a set time that day. The challenge lies between the seamless communication between the customer, driver, and winery/shop. The delivery charge starts at $10 and $6, respectively.
We set forth on the journey to create a service that puts the customer at the center of every transaction. At Winegarden, it's now our mission:
We believe that shopping for wine should be an unforgettable, fun, and delightful experience.
Winegarden not only puts Washington wines at your disposal, but leaves little to no time between you and the perfect glass. Additionally, we put the guesswork out of wine by making it easy to search and discover wines that best fit your taste preference and budget. Washington wines are world-class and are slowly making waves across the globe. We want to accelerate this trend by providing the best service to every Winegarden customer.
With this goal in mind, we set out to land our first set of customers. Knocking on doors, and using referrals has been the only way we’ve delivered wine. During this period, we’ve learned a lot about the nuances of delivering wine. We are now ready to announce it to Seattle and take on more orders!
Join the revolution at www.JoinWinegarden.com.
Titus Kimbowa is a young entrepreneur living in Seattle, WA. He was born in Kampala, Uganda & moved to the States when he was 12. He’s currently a senior at the University of Washington and serves as vice-president of the UW American Marketing Association, and he's interning as the product marketing analyst for stealthy start-up Webtuner. He’s got past experience as part of the Zagat team at Google, Crown Social, TEDxYouth Seattle, and starting up an enterprise travel company. In his spare time (which he rarely gets) he likes to play basketball, read, and hang out around Seattle.