Taking a cue from on-demand service apps such as Uber and CropMobster, wine industry veteran Cheryl Durzy has launched Liberation Distribution TM (aka LibDib), a web-based distribution platform compliant with the alcohol industry’s three-tier model. Working with software developer Richard Brashears and attorney Frank I. Hoppe, Durzy’s vision of “an outlet for small-scale and artisan producers” has launched in California and New York, with plans for a roll-out to all 50 states to be completed within the next three years.
“Large distributors don’t support small makers,” says Durzy, “but the demand for craft beverages and unique flavors is growing. Using LibDib, someone who only has a small amount of product can list it as available. LibDib acts as the distributor, so if a county or state has an ‘at rest’ law [wherein a product must be taken to a warehouse before being delivered], we take care of that. We’ll make it easy for restaurants, bars, and retailers to experiment with small amounts of new or unfamiliar product—and for smaller producers, or those with just a small amount left at the end of a season, to get their products to more outlets.”
By automating the process, Durzy says, LibDib simplifies both ends of the distribution chain. “It’s a single point of contact,” she explains. “In addition to listing product, they can upload sales sheets and marketing materials for buyers. And it’s all tracked, so if they’re contacted by TTB, we can generate all the records they need for an audit.”