We asked Cassidy Miller of Buddy Buddy Wine to chat with us about her journey and what it's like launching a business during a pandemic.
She also shares with us some uplifting advice about starting a business.
Thank you for talking with us, Cassidy. We love your wine!
Tell us a little bit about yourself — where are you from? What's your background, etc?
Hi! I’m Cassidy, I’m from Riverside in Southern California. I moved to San Francisco a little over 11 years ago and have lived here ever since. After college I started working in photo and video production and still do. Over the past few years my love for natural wine began to grow and I was curious on what kind of career I could pursue in wine.
I was super interested in wine production and had been introduced to Jason, of Vinca Minor, through a mutual connection and began helping him out here and there. Last year with quarantine in full effect and no longer being on set for photoshoots I found myself sitting behind my computer screen more and more. I grew increasingly aware that this career was not fulfilling to me.
I knew I loved wine and the wine community, so I spent a lot of time researching what avenues I could possibly take. Jason was looking to bring someone on to help him with harvest and I ended up quitting my full-time job to work with him.
What inspired you to start your own wine and cider company?
I’ve always had the feeling that I would end up owning my own business in some capacity but was never super sure of what it would be. After working harvest it felt like all the things I loved and had done leading up to it, all rolled into one.
I’m very into the idea of creating a brand from scratch -- working on branding design/identity while also being able to create something consumable with my hands that my community can enjoy. I love the feeling of being excited to try something new and I hope that translates in each bottle of Buddy/Buddy.
What was the process of creating Buddy/Buddy Wines? How did you get started? Vinca Minor x Buddy/Buddy — are you working out of the space together or is it a project together?
I started Buddy/Buddy last year while working as a harvest intern at Vinca Minor. During harvest we had the idea to work with apples and pears alongside the grapes. From this idea our first collab was born, a conferment of Sauvignon Blanc and pears.
The opportunity to start my own project was presented and I jumped at it, going all in. This year I’ll continue to work out of the space and grow my little B/B baby.
Biggest piece of advice for anyone looking to get into the beverage industry?
Truly do not be afraid to start!
You can figure anything out and if you wait until you think you are ready, you’ll be waiting forever. I’m no expert and don’t claim to be. I think that’s been one of the most fun things about starting Buddy/Buddy is this newbie mentality where I don’t feel held back by restraints of what is and isn’t and what should and shouldn’t be in the wine industry.
What's your favorite part of having your own wine company? Biggest challenge?
I kind of touched on this earlier but there are so many things I love about wine. I am so stoked to try new wines and get something that feels out of the box or delights me. If I can do that for others, I’d be one happy girl!
Biggest challenge has definitely been figuring out all of the legal hurdles that come along with making wine. I’ve been learning on the fly but every logistical challenge is worth the feeling of bringing my B/B dreams to life.
To support Cassidy & Buddy Buddy Wine: click here.
Edited by Isabella Preisz, discover her work and podcast: click here.