Episode 185

24-yr Old Entrepreneur Josh Martin on Knowing Your Customer’s Why, Winning Contests and How to Get $.25 Email Opt-Ins

Josh Martin - Blank Wines and Rollin Blue BBQ
December 8, 2021
SUBSCRIBE: iTunesStitcher

Josh Martin is fearless. At age 24 he’s winning contests, designing new products, building communities and partnering with some real movers and shakers in our industry. In this episode I grill Josh (pun intended) on his success with his BBQ company and his experience in the wine business. There are tons of lessons in this episode whether you’re running an 8 or 9 figure business or just getting started.  

  • How Josh won the Million Dollar Brand Scholarship Award
  • Influencer marketing mistakes to avoid
  • Keys to $.25 email list opt-in strategies
  • How to run good customer surveys and getting useful data
  • Understanding the “why” behind your product and how that influences marketing and future product launches
  • Plus more!

Mentioned in This Episode:

Joshua Martin

   - Via LinkedIn

Rollin Blue BBQ

- Website

- Amazon

- Facebook

Blank Wines

Ryan Daniel Moran

Capitalism.com

“12 Months to $1 Million” by Ryan Daniel Moran

Rollin Blue BBQ Wireless Meat Thermometer

Rollin Blue BBQ Rubs

“The Brisket Blueprint eBook” by Rollin Blue BBQ


Transcript:

Brett:

Well, hello, and welcome to another edition of the eCommerce Evolution Podcast. I'm your host, Brett Curry, CEO of OMG Commerce. And today I've got a treat for you. We are digging in to a merchant success story. And not only is this story inspirational and fun and enlightening, but this guy is like... He's young and he's making it happen. He's got a couple of business ventures out here. He's winning awards. And so you're going to learn a lot, and this is going to be a really fun conversation. So I've got with me on the podcast today, Mr. Josh Martin. And Josh is the founder of Rollin' Blue, it's a barbecue brand, largely on Amazon.

Brett:

We'll kind of break that down. And then he's the co-founder of Blank Wines. Now, Josh is 24 years old and he's got these two successful businesses. And I found out, so I got to hang out with Josh at Ryan Daniel Moran's lake house, he's part of the Capitalism Fund, as am I. And this dude knows a lot about wine. I was grilling him all my burning wine questions and he knows so much about wine it's crazy. So anyway, with that intro, Josh, welcome to the show. How you doing, man?

Josh:

I'm doing great, Brett. Thank you so much for having me on. I'm really excited to be here and hopefully share some stuff that helps some people out.

Brett:

Absolutely. It's going to be good, going to be fun. So, you won this contest that Ryan Moran laid out, and I want to go through that story in a minute, but prior to getting into eCommerce, what were you doing? And what got you interested in the eCommerce game?

Josh:

So, as you said, I'm fairly young, I'm 24. So honestly, before I really got into eCommerce, I was still in college. And really, I always knew from a young age that I wanted to do something entrepreneurial. But started out flipping stuff on Craigslist and eBay in high school, and went to college, studied wine and viticulture there, and had a couple internships- ...

Brett:

Didn't even know that was a thing. So you have a degree in wine, correct?

Josh:

Yes.

Brett:

There's probably a better name for it, more technical name for that.

Josh:

Yeah, the technical name is wine and viticulture, and it goes through the business aspects of wine, because they have their own whole complicated mess in the wine industry. Then there's viticulture, which is growing of the grapes, and then there's enology, which is the wine making. So, I concentrated on the business side, but I learned a little bit of everything. So, I'm going through school and I get a couple internships and then instantly I just knew, like this... I don't know how the corporate world's going to go for me. I don't think it's going to last too long.

Brett:

Some entrepreneurship in your family too, right? Like your grandfather owns a winery or something like that, right?

Josh:

Yeah, a vineyard. He was a serial entrepreneur as well, so I think that's kind of where the bug comes from. That's a whole, whole nother story, came over from Mexico with pretty much nothing and then ended his life with a few properties, few businesses and just amazing story. So that's kind of where I draw some inspiration from, for sure. So yeah, I was going through and realized like, hey, I've always wanted to do something, I'm kind of doing some stuff on the side, but I was just looking for something that I could really sink my teeth into. And I was looking into real estate and investing and swing trading and got into crypto for a little bit. I tried probably five or six different things, and I found eCommerce and this starting your online business.

Josh:

When I first got into it, I just jumped in head first. And I was like, oh, it's a side hustle, it's this, it's that, I'll arbitrage on Amazon. And then I started realizing, oh wait, no, this is an entire business where you can build a brand and you can actually make a difference and help people along from point A to point B, instead of just, oh, I'm going to flip this, buy it cheap and then resell it, but really actually make a difference. So that's kind of when I just realized that I fell in love with eCommerce and creating business and creating change for people. And the first time that materialized was with the barbecue company. Along with wine, I've always loved cooking, they kind of go hand in hand. I just love ...

Brett:

They totally go... Yeah, people drink wine while they cook, pairing wine with food, the whole ambiance of smoking meat and drinking wine. It's a beautiful thing, right?

Josh:

Yeah. Yeah, it is. And grilling's something that I always loved. And I kind of jumped into that and got a little bit, one step deeper into it. And then I found smoking, and I was looking for a place that kind of was a crossover of something that I enjoyed. Because when you start a business, you're just immersed in whatever category that is, in whatever person that is, and whoever you're trying to serve. So it helps if you enjoy it, in my opinion.

Brett:

Yeah, totally. It helps you relate to the customer better, it helps you get through the grind, the long nights and the long hours, if you at least somewhat enjoy the product and it resonates with you then, yeah, it makes it, the whole process easier, for sure.

Josh:

Definitely.

Brett:

Cool. So, you won a contest, so talk about the contest that Ryan Moran put together, and what was that process like? And I kind of want to preface this by saying, hey, I talk to a lot of listeners of this podcast and I know we've got some people listening to the podcast that have an eight figure business. I've got a lot of friends and people that are having seven figure, large seven figure exits right now. What's cool is I think we can learn a lot from somebody who's scrapping and someone who's just going for it and figuring stuff out like Josh. And you're getting some serious traction with these businesses. And so, just wanted to kind of preface what we're about to talk about with that. But what was this contest that Ryan Moran threw out, and how did you go about winning and dominating this thing?

Josh:

Yeah. It was just perfectly timed. One of my friends told me about Ryan, started listening to some of his content. Like third podcast I listened to, he brought up this contest that he was putting on. And I think this was when he was writing his book. So his book is 12 Months to $1 Million, great book, kind of lays out the whole game plan, that's helped me a lot. But in the beginning, that was before that was released, he was laying out that structure, but in the form of a contest. If you go through the course, submit an application, and we're going to have a reward for a few businesses that take action, find their person, really speak to that person.

Josh:

And then I just took that and totally ran with it. And, kind of funny, it was based off a voting system. And I spent a lot of time thinking of who I want to serve, how I want to serve them, writing out the business plan. What's the first product, what's kind of that gateway product that's going to help me, or help this person get to where they want to go? And what's going to be product 2, 3, 4, 5? Because it happens a lot easier if you're really thinking about who, and what their goals are.

Brett:

Yes. Yes. Yeah, the what becomes much clearer and is much easier when you get a clear picture of the who.

Josh:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Exactly. So yeah, just running with that, and then put some of the little marketing knowledge I had at that point behind it to start a Facebook group, run a couple giveaways, start building an email list, doing all that fun stuff. And to my surprise I actually won. I think there was over 300 contestants, so I was like, oh, well, we'll see if I win, I'm still going to give it my all. And then I did. One of the prizes was a little bit of a capital investment. And then the thing that was really helpful was getting into the incubator, which is Ryan's kind of back room for new businesses. So that's just been amazing, meeting so many different people who are starting brands and just learning from them, sharing what I learn, and just a great community to build on, really help each other out.

Brett:

Yeah. It's amazing. And it got you into the group that's around the Capitalism Fund, and some pretty established folks, and that's how I met you. And so, yeah, you got to hang out with Ryan Moran more, and so some really cool things happening because you're just hustling, man, and you're making it happen. And so a few things that really struck me, when you and I were hanging out in Austin and chatting, one was your extensive knowledge of wine, and so I was fascinated by that. But two, also your approach to product development and getting feedback from your customer. So, really understanding the who as you were developing it. So, talk about that process. So, you got Rollin' Blue. What was your first product and how did you utilize that customer feedback to refine and really kind of nail that product?

Josh:

Yeah. So this is a good story. The way I do it now is because I did it completely wrong the first time. So, when I won that competition... I was actually going through, I didn't even win yet, I was like, speed, speed, speed. I got to get something up, I got to get something moving, that's how I'm going to learn, it doesn't have to be perfect. Let's get it up and go. So I started with a grill brush, which is a good product, but-

Brett:

Grill brush. Got it. Okay.

Josh:

And it had some uniqueness to it. So, there's an issue with wire bristle grill brushes, and they can break off into your... When you're cleaning on your grill, you put a piece of meat down, it gets stuck in the meat, your kid eats it, someone eats it, it gets stuck in their throat. Happens thousand times a year. So that was kind of the first thing. I was like, problem, solution, no more bristles with this brush that I'm creating. But I went to a manufacturer in China and I just went for speed. I ordered some samples of a couple and just picked one. I was like, all right, let's go, let's learn as I go. And launched the product, learned a bunch about Amazon pay per click, and building an audience for prelaunch, different things like that. But once I actually started getting a little bit of momentum, I got the terrible email that no one wants to get from Amazon, saying your product is suspended. And I didn't want to believe that. It's never fun.

Brett:

That's the stuff nightmares are made of, right? You go to Amazon Sellers, waking up in a cold sweat, imagining they got that email.

Josh:

Yeah. So, went into research mode, I got to figure out why. And I was actually infringing on a patent, the way that the coil wrapped around the metal, someone actually had a patent on that. So, that was the way to do it all wrong. I had to pull everything. I still had 400 units left, or something. And that got me thinking, you know what? I was getting okay traction on Amazon with pay per click, just kind of playing that game. But the people in my group and other groups that I would talk to, other Facebook groups, not just the one that I owned, but people weren't that excited about a brush. People were like, oh, I like this. Yeah. I like this method. I like this method. I like this. So, next time I was like, all right, well, I'm going to do it right. So, I started going into all these different Facebook groups, and that was the first place. And I just started posting as myself and just saying, "What is the single thing that's helped you become a better smoker, better barbecuer, better griller?

Brett:

Great question. Great question. Yeah. And again, one, understanding, hey, if the goal here is to build a brand, and not to launch one product, but three, four, and five, understanding that a lot of people, their grill brush, enh, don't really care, right? It's just a thing. Who knows the brand of their grill brush? I don't know, probably almost nobody. So that's pretty interchangeable. But, so you have the courage to ask the question. You also, I will say, just moving fast, there is something to be said about that. And especially when you're young, you're just trying to figure things out, sometimes you just got to go for it and you're going to make mistakes anyway. So, while you should have checked a few things a little closer, of course, there is something to be said about speed, so that's certainly worth noting. So, okay, cool. So now you're reaching out and you're saying, "Hey, what made you a better smoker?" Awesome question. So then what'd you find through that process?

Josh:

Yeah. So I talked to a few, I did some polls, I just messaged some people, talked to a few hundred people online. And the one thing that keep kept coming up over and over again was thermometer. And I thought, oh, wireless. Yeah. Yeah. Because really, it's just kind of a guessing game at that point. The internal temperature is... You might think it's something and it might not be. ...

Brett:

Which is like, just by the way, a quick side note. So I love to grill, I got a great outdoor kitchen now and I set up... The key to grilling good chicken, I used to have people tell me, "Hey, you just, you feel the chicken, you got to get a feel for what it feels like when it's done." And that sort of works, but inevitably you're going to overcook it. Good chicken, you cook it to like 150, 155, take it off rapid. The residual heat inside of it will get it to the 165, which is the desired temperature. Perfect grilled chicken. So yeah, without the thermometer you can't do that. It's all just guessing and you're going to mess up.

Josh:

Yeah. Even worse than over-cooked chicken is under-cooked chicken.

Brett:

Exactly. Much rather the overcooked chicken than to miss work from food poisoning. Cool. So you heard thermometers, but what made you think, okay, well this is a product, this is a business, versus this is another thing that while it's important, nobody really identifies with the brand, or whatever.

Josh:

Yeah. So, I guess after talking to people, I realized that was the key thing that really helped people. And that's what I wanted to be in the earlier part of that journey. So that was kind of the first things that got them excited and helped them so much. So it's like if I can be at that point, that person might not be to the point where they're buying other products, like the higher end knives for trimming big cuts of meat or brisket or something. But all these cool things they want to do in the future, with a little bit more high end touch to it, that is more niche, but this is like the good first step that someone's making that effort to upgrade their skill.

Josh:

So, I wanted to be at that first position, and that's kind of where I thought it was in my mind. Not so early, like the grill brush, where anybody could be getting a grill brush, but someone who's making that extra effort to improve their cooking. And I guess the brand building piece happened a little bit after that. So, talking to people definitely helped me get my who, but it was a little bit later, once I had built up an email list where I started doing some surveys, just asking people general questions about, "Hey, why do you like grilling? What's your favorite thing to cook? Who do you cook with? What days do you cook?" Stuff like that. And one of the two big things, like the why, why, why, when you start getting down to it, was connection.

Josh:

So creating memories really was what it was, when you get people together to cook out, usually the family, friends, enjoying yourself. And then the second piece was stress relief, which was not a immediate one that I came to. But after talking to a lot of people it was like, it's almost a therapeutic thing. It takes so many hours to smoke, especially something like a brisket, could be on for 18 hours, and it's just kind of this hobby focus thing that you just enjoy doing. It's perfecting the craft, you know?

Brett:

Exactly. There's art to it, there's science to it, there's the challenge, there's the care and attention that goes into getting it right. And then there's also the reward. There's the feedback of, hey, this turned out amazing, or it didn't, and then you learn from it. And yeah, that's just so cool. I guess that really does explain why barbecuing is so magical to a lot of people. So, cool. So then what did you get right, in the beginning? So what did you nail with this product and with this approach?

Josh:

Well, with the second product I made sure to do all of my research in terms of patents, really talking to my supplier, dialing it in. And then actually what I didn't do the first time that helped me a lot was beta testers. So I have a mini group of, I think it's about 20 people right now. So it's separate from my big Facebook group where that's kind of more community, we're looking for people to share recipes, share what they've cooked, share pictures, all that. This one's a little bit more targeted at research and development. We actually send out some products at cost to people, and they can use it and then we get their feedback. And then they say, "I like this," "I don't like this." And then we take that into account. And that has been extremely helpful before, in that development phase before we actually go out and launch the product and do our first inventory run, that's been extremely helpful.

Brett:

Yeah. And it's just one of those things where getting products right is so hard, and to try to do it without feedback and without a community and without people sharing with you, that's really tricky. So, in fact, talk about now, this is exciting, you just launched a line of meat rubs, a pack of three meat rubs, which is super cool. And you and I were actually talking about this when we were in Austin, and I kind of like, and I even did this poll one time, just with friends, like, hey, what style of barbecue do you like best? Do you like KC style? My family's from Kansas City, I am too, go Chiefs. Do you like KC style? Do you like Memphis style? Are you a Carolina barbecue? Are you a Texas barbecue?

Brett:

I will say, I like all of it. I tend to be more of a meat rub fan. So KC style is usually sauce-based, which is great too, I'll take that as well. But after hanging out in Austin some, man, it's hard to beat Texas-style barbecue. But anyway, I digress here, I like this topic too much. You kind of polled your audience, and you're like, hey, I'm going to do a Carolina rub, and a Memphis rub and whatever. And people are like, "No, no, no, I don't care about that." You want to talk about that experience?

Josh:

Yeah. Yeah. So with the rubs is going to be, I guess, technically the third product, which we just launched today. And in the research phase of that, I thought, like you said, it'd be super cool to do a USA pack, almost, where it's all these different regions of Memphis, Carolina, Kansas City, Texas. Even in California, like Santa Maria for tri-tip, I thought that would be awesome. But that's not what the people wanted. So, I went into my group and I put out the ideas and was talking to people and they were just like, "Nope, we'd rather have"... Overwhelmingly, people were like, "No, I'd rather have it be meat-based." So pork, fish, chicken, all purpose, beef. And I was like, well, hey, these are my customers and they know what they want. And I'm only working on assumptions. At the end of the day, it's like, it's not necessarily about me. I might think that I have a good idea, but I don't think I'm ever going to put my quote unquote good idea above the feedback that I'm getting, because... that's really what it's about.

Brett:

100%. Yeah. And that takes some humility, and it takes understanding. And it's one of those things where, yeah, I think it's kind of there's like this intrigue and this magic about different styles, and the rich history of barbecue in different regions in the United States. But most people are just like, "No, I need to know, do I put this on beef or do I put this on chicken?" And even people that are really trying to get good at smoking and grilling, they still want to know, "What meat do I put this on?" They want to get it right if they can. And so yeah, kudos to you for asking and then pivoting and giving the people what they want.

Josh:

Yeah. And then I took that a step further, because I was like, well, if they want it to just be cut and dry, here's how it is. So, I was talking to people and kind of the next progression of what you do in a cook, you get your meat, you season it, and then what's next, you got to choose your wood, put it on the smoker, whether it's pellets or an actual-

Brett:

Chunks of wood or whatever.

Josh:

Chunks of wood, yeah. So then I was like, all right, well, let's do a little research and see which smoke would pair best with these rubs. That was another fun thing to do, a lot of testing on that, lot of rubs, ribs.

Brett:

That's fun, man. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That is a labor of love right there. So then you're able to put on the packaging, "Hey, this beef rub really pairs well with these wood varieties and things."

Josh:

Exactly.

Brett:

Nice. Nice. That's awesome. Cool. So let's do something kind of fun. You talked about, hey, I made this mistake, didn't look at trademarks for my first product. What were some other mistakes made that you learned from? Because we all like to learn, we all like to hear failure stories, right? Sometimes painful to relive, but we all learn from them. So, other mistakes you made in the early days.

Josh:

Yeah. So one of the good ones is influencer marketing, the ever-changing influencer space where it's hard to lock down influencers, and that's going to be the person to take you to the next level. I think they can be, but in the beginning I thought it was just as simple as you reach out to someone, you pay them for a post, and then boom, magic. Traffic comes, and then sales, and it's great. So I guess when I was in that naive place, I reached out to someone. It's kind of embarrassing to say, but it was a Babes for Trump page.

Brett:

Babes for Trump?

Josh:

Instagram page, yeah. And my thinking was...

Brett:

This is for the barbecue...

Josh:

For the barbecue.

Brett:

The thermometer, or the grill brush?

Josh:

This is in the grill brush days, still. And this was when I was like... It's predominantly men who are interested in barbecue, and the demographic fit, but the psychographic didn't really overlap. Yeah. And that was really the big takeaways. I paid someone that just... For three posts, and it just bombed each time. Like people- ...

Brett:

Nothing. No lifted sail. Nothing happened.

Josh:

Yeah. No, I asked for the metrics after the first one and he sent me those, and they were like 10 people clicked, on an account that was like 80,000 people. And after that he wouldn't even send me the next two, so it was probably like zero. But the big learning experience was, it's really about the engagement and the connection that that person, that influencer, that thought leader, has with their audience. It's got to be more than just a Babes for Trump, with Instagram bikini pics on there. There's got to be some more to it. And that was a great learning experience, and luckily it didn't happen when I was a way bigger size and I was trying to do it with a much larger ...

Brett:

Yeah, totally. Yeah. You were at the right stage. First of all, the product you realized you're going to pivot away from. You were at the right stage to make that mistake. And it's a good reminder that influencer marketing is not just about follower count. It's not just about do the demographics line up, but yeah, do the psychographics line up? And why are people looking at the Babes for Trump page? It's because they're just enjoying the pictures and aren't really in the right frame of mind to buy, and stuff like that. So yeah, understanding the psychographics, and is there trust there? Am I looking for recommendations from this influencer in a particular category? So yeah, hey, we all have those thoughts of, yeah, all we need is influencer marketing, all we need is a YouTube ad and it's going to go viral. And, yeah, it's never quite that simple.

Josh:

Yeah.

Brett:

Totally makes sense.

Josh:

What it did lead me to was thinking deeper of what's actually going to help someone, and how can I use that in my marketing? And eventually what that led me to was creating an ebook called the Brisket Blueprint, which is that's like the toughest thing for... It's like the hallmark of a great smoker, is their brisket. That's kind of what people in the space judge it on, because it's the hardest thing to cook. So, a lot of people had difficulties. There's a million different ways to do it. Oh, this way works the best, that way works the best. So I put together about a 20-page ebook of a collection of all these different recipes in one. I did some testing with it. And it really is doing very well right now. So that's kind of my main lead source that I'm using right now. And I'm getting 25 cent opt-ins, actually.

Brett:

No way. ...So you're running Facebook ad to get the free Brisket Blueprint. And then you're talking about thermometers and other things from there?

Josh:

Yeah. Yeah. Right now, my two primary advertising channels is the lead magnet email list building on Facebook and then pay per click on Amazon. But yeah, just building up that. And then right now I'm actually working with the rubs. One of the reasons that I was really excited to launch the rubs is a free plus shipping offer on a little sampler pack. So that's the plan, is to put that as the second page, after the Brisket Blueprint opt-in, where they get that via email, they go through the whole email sequence. But have that be right after, so I can start building that customer list. And it's nice to have a consumable, where someone can taste it, they can see the quality, the flavor profile, all that good stuff, and then get them in quick. And then on the back end, get that customer lifetime value out of it.

Brett:

Yeah, that's amazing. And so how is that free plus shipping offer going, or did you just start that?

Josh:

So, I've not launched it yet.

Brett:

Got it. Okay.

Josh:

Because I just launched the rubs today, actually. So we're at pretty much right as we hopped on this podcast, the first email was getting sent out in that sequence. So, excited to check after the call.

Brett:

Yeah. I can't wait to hear how that's going. I can't wait to try the rubs as well. So let's do this. We don't have a ton of time left, I want to spend most of the time on kind of the building of the barbecue brand, and just love what you've done there, and the way you're learning for failures, but also learning from your customers and pivoting and just all the things you're doing there. But let's talk about Blank Wines. So what was the genesis for the idea behind Blank Wines? Because I think that's a fascinating story.

Josh:

Yeah. So the idea for Blank Wines actually started in college. So, studying wine, we were learning... It was one day I was just talking to, well, now my co-founder, Lars, and we're just chatting and we're just like, it's kind of crazy that there's an entire major for a beverage, like a whole college major, not just at Cal Poly, but there's, I think, almost 10 schools now that have wine as a full major.

Brett:

I think there are a lot of college students that would say they majored in beer, as an example. But I don't think it's quite the same as what you're talking about.

Josh:

Almost the same.

Brett:

Yeah. Yeah.

Josh:

But yeah, so we're just kind of like, this is kind of crazy. It shouldn't be this complicated, because at the end of the day it's a beverage. And there's like two main problems that we were talking about when the idea came up, was accessibility, or lack of accessibility, to boutique, craft, small production wines, where you really find that passionate wine maker who's excited about it. And then the second piece was kind of just snobbiness, like wine always has this unapproachable, "Am I doing this right? Is this the right way to hold the glass? Do I have to smell it before? How do I spin it?" All these questions, it's like the end of the day, it's just, "Do you like it, or do you not like it?"

Brett:

Yeah. I love that so much. Wine is fairly unapproachable, and it is a little bit pretentious and snobby. So it's hard for the average consumer. But yeah, and you and I had a fascinating conversation, talking about how, hey, most of the wines you find on the grocery store shelves are probably all coming from the same vineyards. It's all basically the same stuff, right? So it's hard to experience this craft wine, a lot of passion and expertise goes into making it. And then it's got to be easy to consume too. So what's kind of the value prop of Blank Wines? What do you guys do to solve those problems?

Josh:

Yeah, so the idea is... Well, one, for the accessibility, is shipping directly to your door. So most wine that you get at the grocery store is made in these gigantic, gigantic vats, that are 100 feet tall, and you could probably have a bottle of wine for the rest of your life and never even finish one of those, per day, and never even finish one of those vats. It's just a astronomical amount. And what happens when you make wine in that big of volume is you lose the depth, you lose the character, the nuance.

Josh:

And the fun part about wine, because wine's a living organism, it's ever changing in the bottle. That's why, when you age a wine for 30 years, it tastes different than what right when you bottle it. So the idea is to give people access to these small production wines that have this beautiful character and passion behind them. But without having the issue of coming out to the wine industry, which, by wine industry I mean Napa, Sonoma, are the main two in the US. And by the time you come out, you get your flight, you go through everything, it's going to be a $3,000 weekend, you know? It's a lot easier if you can experience that in the comfort of your home, with your friends.

Brett:

Yep. That's cool. Yeah, I love it. And so I am not a wine connoisseur. I do enjoy wine. I've had a couple of expensive bottles of wine. And I can't really say that I've got a defined palette at all. But I can tell like, whoa, this was really quality wine, versus say, I won't pick on any particular brands, but the stuff you buy at the grocery store for 10 bucks. You can definitely tell a difference. So then what about the approachability? Because you guys do something really interesting with the label, and then also why do you call it Blank Wines?

Josh:

Yeah. So I'll start with the approachability. So there's a lot of questions surrounding wine, and we thought there's not much transparency. You never really know what you're getting in the bottle. You don't have to put really anything on the bottle, except for the percent of alcohol, where it comes from, and what varietal. But what most wineries do is they put that stuff really small in the back and you don't even know. You just see pretty label with cool artwork, and then you buy that and the wine's kind of the afterthought. So what we wanted to do, and what we're doing, is we want to bring wine to the forefront of that. So you're buying the wine itself, you're paying for the quality, you're paying for the actual wine, you're not paying for the label. So we took a modern, simple, almost educational approach to the label, which has, the biggest thing on it is the varietal.

Josh:

And then under you have the descriptors of what it smells like, what it tastes like, and kind of the texture that you get. So some examples of texture would be, if it's a big-bodied wine, it kind of has that weight to it, so it could say something like bold. And then that's the front. And then even on the back, we have more descriptors of... There's four pieces of wine that are characteristics across everything, and it's sweetness, body, tannin and acidity. So we broke that down in every wine that we have. The back of the label is consistent. So if you like a big-bodied wine, you can look at the back of the label and you can see, all right, this has a big body and low sweetness. And I like that other one that had a three on sweetness and a one on body, or vice versa, whatever it is. So you can figure out, navigate if you're going to like it or not, based off of everything else that you have.

Brett:

Yeah. So, and then, yeah, exactly. So then you begin to understand your palette, and really, yeah, the ultimate question is not how expensive it was or what the label looks like, it's did you enjoy it? And if you enjoy it, great, then get more, and then here's how to know what you like, so you can find more of it. I think it's brilliant. I think it's awesome. Kudos to you guys. I hope it's a smashing success. So Joshua, we're kind of running out of time here. If someone's listening, first of all, we're kind of ending the day here, my day, and it's a little bit earlier for you there in Napa. But I want to have a glass of wine and go smoke some meat or something, but if people are listening and they think, okay, I need to check out both, maybe the meat rubs and the thermometer, how can they learn more about Rollin' Blue?

Josh:

Yeah. So Rollin' Blue, we have our website at rollinblue.com. So, R O L L I N B L U E dot com. And we're also on Amazon. So you can just go ahead and search Rollin' Blue Barbecue on there as well. And then for wine, for Blank Wines, we're at blankwines.com. So, B L A N K wines dot com.

Brett:

Awesome. Love it, man. Hey, really appreciate the time. I appreciate you doing this. I think a couple of key takeaways is man, listen to your customer, be willing to pivot as you get the feedback. I think ask great questions, you're asking such good questions, right? Like what made you a better barbecuer? Why do you barbecue in the first place? All of those things are brilliant. I get this sense, Josh, you're fearless, you just get out there and do it. You're young, but you're like, man, I'm going to go fast. I'm going to maybe break things, to use the Facebook mantra, go fast and break things. But you're going to learn and you're going to grow, and kudos to you, man. You're doing so good with the barbecue business and the wine business, and I can't wait to watch it continue to grow.

Josh:

Thanks, Brett. It really means a lot coming from you. I really appreciate it. And thank you so much for having me on.

Brett:

Absolutely. So check it out, go get you some barbecue stuff or a glass, a bottle, several bottles of craft winery, craft wine, and enjoy that. And so Josh, we appreciate it, man. It's a ton of fun. We'll have to do it again. So we'll have to do an update edition here in a few months.

Josh:

Yeah, I'd love that. Looking forward to it.

Brett:

Sounds good. All right. And as always, thank you for tuning in. We'd love to hear from you. What would you like to hear more of on the podcast? Give us your feedback. Hey, leave a review on iTunes or on your favorite podcast app. Means a ton to me. And with that, until next time, thank you for listening.















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