Alc-A-Chino was not an idea generated in a corporate board room. Alc-A-Chino has been in the making for the last 50-years...maybe not the name, but the love of coffee.
As a kid, I can still vividly remember my Dad pouring some of his coffee into my milk every morning before school, hanging out & talking over our coffees. Looking back on those days of sharing coffee with my Dad, never did I think coffee would be the starting point.
My first business after college was opening a 1-hour photo in the Hamptons. I remember telling my dad that I was going to open a photo store while he was sipping his coffee and saying "WTF" While I had to learn the photo business, I knew my customers wanted fast turnaround of their photos, and they would hang around the store waiting for their photos. It was at this moment that that I 1st realized I need to be in the coffee business. I decided to open a coffee bar In the back of the photo store where customers could wait and have a coffee.
As life moved on, it was time to move on from the photo store. I remember the new owners coming in and saying "Coffee???" and part of the deal was to take out all of the coffee equipment. With all of this coffee equipment and a great new location in the Hamptons, it was time for the first "Planet Java". Helen C. created this warm and amazing space that served only the best coffee.
Unfortunately during this time, my Dad Passed away and I inherited a Fried Chicken business, YES, a fried chicken business. I quickly turned it into a Taco Bell and Subway. Back in the day, Fred DeLuca the founder of Subway was pushing breakfast and wanted me to serve Subway in the Hamptons. I told Fred, the foundation for any good breakfast was great coffee and Subway at the time, had really crappy coffee. He told me if I could do better, I should. With that challenge, I created a coffee program for the Subway system featuring Planet Java. We launched in Canada and the US and were serving Planet Java in over 800 locations for breakfast.
With the success of Starbucks Ready to Drink coffee distributed in the US by Pepsi, I knew it was time to bottle the ice coffees that were being served at Planet Java in the Hamptons. Back in the day, before you could Google everything, you had to actually search for a co-packer that could help bottle Planet Java. We did not have a customer for the bottled drinks, but knew if we could make it someone would distribute it, a true Field of Dreams moment. We produced our 1st Planet Java bottles (which came out awesome). I stalked the local Coke bottler in NYC for a meeting and when I finally got the meeting, they loved it and agreed to distribute Planet Java.
Six months later Coca-Cola bought Planet Java and I got a tattoo of Planet Java on my leg (not my best idea).
To me, there is no better business then the beverage business. Everyday, we make decisions on what we are going to drink. Fast forward to now. People love coffee more now than ever...and with this crazy world we live in, it was now time to SPIKE IT!
If you’re going to make a Spiked Coffee, it needs to be perfect.
It needs to be 100% Arabica coffee, Quality beans count!
It needs to be Sugar Brew. The alcohol needs to come from fermented sugar, not from wheat...after all, when was the last time you added wheat to your coffee?
Fresh milk from the amazing farmers in Wisconsin.
Only the best imported Dutch Cocoa.
Thanks for reading and enjoy Alc-A-Chino's responsibly.