News

Risk for Return - J Street Consulting

June 2, 2010 – J Street CEO, Jim Wolfe, on MSNBC. www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032619/vp/37455056#37455056. Commentary from J Street CEO Jim Wolfe was featured in today's MSNBC story about a Virginia distillery. As Assistant Professor and Entrepreneur in Residence at George Mason University, Jim is one of the region's leading experts on new and early stage companies.  His blog follows below:

Risk. Return. ROI. Rewards commensurate with the risks. Weighted average cost of capital. Discounted cash flow; present value; NPV. These are all phrases familiar to the modern business student or MBA. Entrepreneurs know that what they do is risky. In fact, many people simply define an “entrepreneur” as someone willing to take on the risk of a new or untried venture.

Local entrepreneurs Becky and Scott Harris know full well this interplay between what we would like to have, and what it really takes to get there. I recently commented for MSNBC on Becky and Scott’s new husband-and-wife venture in Loudoun County Virginia, named Catoctin Creek Distilling Company. It’s the first legal distillery licensed in the county since the days of Prohibition.

Full disclosure: I don’t know Becky and Scott, and I have never visited their new facility. But I hope to meet them soon. And I’m certainly hoping to sample their product. They produce several labels of truly organic distilled liquors (an interesting brand positioning for this product, I think), including an aged rye whiskey, white whiskey (not aged), gin, and even a Virginia Brandy.

The Harris’s financed their new venture partly from savings, and partly from an SBA backed loan. That’s where the risk comes in. It’s very tough to start any business; tougher still to enter a highly regulated industry such as distilled spirits. Add to that the intense competition of literally hundreds of competitors and, well, you get the idea. In a word: Risk.

But the returns are there to be had, if Becky and Scott can execute. Not only financial returns and payments with (hopefully) profits to any investors, but a return in the form of the culture, the lifestyle and the passion that comes from such a wonderfully interesting and romantic business. (OK, maybe I do read business plans the way others read Hemmingway or Updike, but to each his own.) Building a successful startup business – certainly valuable. Building a business you could leave to your children and grandchildren – now that is actually priceless.

Jim Wolfe
J Street Consulting CEO
Entrepreneur in Residence, George Mason University

Reposted with permission of Jim Wolfe, J Street Consulting.  Original posting is here.

Latest News

June 2017 News

Happy June!    Old Tom Gin is back!!! We are very pleased to announce the return of our "Old Tom" style of Watershed Gin!  Available starting June 1st, until it runs out.  Quantities...

Read more

Press Release: Catoctin Creek Announces …

New facility in Virginia will push award-winning craft distillery towards goal of doubling production by next year PURCELLVILLE, VA, June 1, 2017 – The owners of Catoctin Creek Distilling Company are happy...

Read more

Catoctin Creek Wins Double Gold at San F…

Catoctin Creek Distilling Company Wins Multiple Medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition Awards include Double Gold Medal for Roundstone Rye Whisky – Cask Proof, a pre-Prohibition style rye whisky...

Read more

Contact Us

Catoctin Creek Distillery

Catoctin Creek Distillery
120 W Main St
Purcellville, VA 20132

Tel (540) 751-8404


Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence

Latest Events

Summer Seafood Boil at Catoctin Creek

  JUL 7   Summer Seafood Boil at Catoctin with War Shore Oyster Co. & Magnolia's 7:00pm—9:00pm Summertime means seafood, so War Shore Oyster Company and Magnolia's at the Mill are teamed up with us to do...

Read more

Catoctin Creek Bottling Workshop

  JUL 8   Bottling Workshop 10:00am—12:00pm Catoctin Creek Distilling Company will conduct a BOTTLING DAY on Saturday, July 8, at 10:00am. Volunteers wanted. Learn how to bottle, cap, seal, and label Roundstone Rye. Get your...

Read more

Speakeasy Night at Catoctin Creek

JUL 15   Speakeasy Night at Catoctin Creek 8:00pm—11:00pm What's the secret password?  If you don't know it, we don't know you!  If you do know it... you're in on Loudoun's hottest Speakeasy Party!  We'll have...

Read more