Inc. 5000 & Volio’s Ambition

Being ranked as one of the fastest growing private companies by Inc. Magazine is incredible. The best part is that it gives me a chance to talk about how great the people of Volio are — after all that is how we got to where we are today.

Inc 5000 Rank

Wine is a tough business. Low barriers to entry create a supersaturated landscape and an almost unlimited supply of choice for consumers. In addition, wine hasn’t done a great job adapting to the next generation of drinkers after the baby boomers. With quality wine coming from every continent, the hard part for Volio’s customers isn’t finding wine, it’s finding our wine.

Volio behind wine glass

Volio is focused on European Imports with a heavy concentration in Italy where the average retail shelf offers 40-50 Italian selections. Italy alone has over 40,000 wineries fighting to export to the US. The only way you get our wine on the shelf, or on a restaurant list, is with a team of incredible people.

Wine tasting

A few years ago we got together at an all-company meeting to shape our company culture. Our “Values & Cornerstones” looked pretty vanilla and we needed to make it look/feel more like who we were. It was an incredible exercise. Our amazingly talented Director of Marketing sent out a survey with a lot of thought-provoking questions like, “What do you want your customer to say about you after you’ve left a meeting?” The team really engaged (because they are pros) and the responses showed how we were all moving collectively towards a few common themes.

Lucrezia Povero Florida

The feeling we want our customers to have after we’ve left became our mantra: Be F**king Awesome (or BFAs as we call it). I could have never imagined how much this would change the game for us, but it lit a fire under our company culture and accelerated our growth. We boil everything down to the principles we outlined together under our BFAs and we talk about them weekly, if not daily, through internal and external communication. It’s changed the way we communicate, helps us problem solve, and helps us measure ourselves to our standards.

Be Kind — The world of wine is vast, but the industry is small. Simply put, follow the Golden Rule.
Be Passionate — Passion leads to dedication. It implies an intent to learn and develop, it’s engaging, and if you have it, others can feel it and want to be around it.
Be of Benefit — If not, you are a burden and not a resource to your customer. Attention to detail and a sense of urgency are key drivers here.
Be Bulletproof — In our knowledge of product, market, and customer relationships.
No Bullshit — Listen to what customers say, don’t just wait to talk…and be honest. We aren’t supposed to know it all, but we should be able to find the answers and follow up.

Charles vineyard-1
Charles cellar

Our growth has come from our team and their collective commitment to see themselves “in” Volio, not “at” Volio. That kind of growth knows no limit!

– Charles Lazzara