Barrel O’ Fun!
December 01, 2011
THE BARREL HOUSE
Owner/Manager: Sue Marchbank
Nature of Business: Winery
City: San Angelo, Texas
SBDC Advisor: Peggy Hodges
Owner of The Barrel House, Sue Marchbank, is living her long sought after dream. She has always wanted to own a winery and she has done just that!
As a longtime active member of the Texas Grape Growers Association, Sue spent several years trying to find just the right building in just the right location in Brady, Texas.
When this particular building, located on the north side of the square in Brady became available, Sue knew it was just perfect. She pulled up the worn carpet, stained the floor, painted the walls and artistically painted the wood work. She added pub tables, comfortable upholstered chairs and a fireplace. She is open on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sundays. She has already established a nice group of patrons.
In the beginning, Sue contacted the Angelo State University - Small Business Development Center for assistance. Advisor Peggy Hodges met many times with Sue over the course of three years. “Peggy was steadily helpful and reassuring, always forthcoming with tips and business advice. I always looked forward to her visits, knowing that I would feel more optimistic and confident as a result,” Sue commented.
Sue has plans to add equipment to the winery in order to be able to bottle her own wine, a full bodied merlot. In order to move forward, she will need to complete her business plan. “My major obstacle was developing a business plan, an ongoing project with which Peggy has helped immensely!” Currently she carries wines bottled from area wineries, gift items and aprons.
Opening of The Barrel House added one more job to the economic base of Brady, and Sue is confident with growth will come an increase in employees.
“Peggy was steadily helpful and reassuring, always forthcoming with tips and business advice. I always looked forward to her visits, knowing that I would feel more optimistic and confident as a result.”- Sue Marchbank
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