Exclusive: Free Flow Wines And Gotham Project Collaborate On New East Coast Kegging FacilityJune 16, 2015
Wine-on-tap players Free Flow Wines and Gotham Project have partnered to build a new East Coast kegging facility in Kearny, New Jersey. The 10,000-square-foot joint facility, which will offer kegging and logistics support to wineries, importers and distributors throughout the region, is expected to open by the end of 2015, pending regulatory approval.
The site will be the second outpost for Free Flow, which plans to continue operations at its 25,000-square-foot Napa-based headquarters. According to Free Flow co-founder and CEO Jordan Kivelstadt, the East Coast site’s proximity to Newark—the U.S. market’s largest port for imported wines—will allow Free Flow to significantly grow its import portfolio, which currently accounts for roughly 7%-10% of the company’s business. Free Flow’s total portfolio includes more than 220 brands.
“We do work with New Zealand, Argentina and Chile, and we also have a few Italian wines, but we really want to get deeper into the European market, and the East Coast is a much heavier consumer of European wines than the West Coast,” says Kivelstadt. Free Flow, which shipped around 225,000 nine-liter case equivalents in kegs last year, is projecting shipments of approximately 450,000 nine-liter case equivalents for 2015. The group has a current footprint of 49 states.
Meanwhile, Gotham Project will be relocating operations from its current 3,500-square-foot facility—which is also based in Kearny—to the new joint site. The New Jersey-based company has a portfolio of approximately 50 domestic and imported SKUs, including own-brand and partner brand offerings, and currently ships to 32 states, with plans to add four to five new markets next year. Gotham Project co-founder and managing partner Bruce Schneider tells SND that the group is expecting to ship 45,000-50,000 nine-liter case equivalents in kegs this year, up from around 35,000-40,000 nine-liter case equivalents in 2014.
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