American wine storage company on buying spree, eyes existing facilities in the UK
After having been founder and unit leader of secure information management giant Iron Mountain’s entertainment service business, which preserves the master recordings, tapes and films of every major film studio and music label, Jeff Anthony two years ago founded Vino Vault to provide the same secure concierge services for wine collections.
This week, Vino Vault completed a two-month buying spree by purchasing its fifth location in the U.S. – La Cave Warehouse in Dallas – and will immediately begin overhauling the unit’s facilities and services. Now, says Anthony, he’s planning to continue expanding in the U.S. and has an eye on Great Britain.
“Our clients are not tied to one location, so we plan to be in every major collector market in the world in order to serve them wherever they are,” the CEO of the Los Angeles-based company said. “We are currently looking at potential acquisitions in the UK for our first non-US location.”
The keys to Vino Vault’s business plan, Anthony says, are standardization and expanding the expectations of collectors for storage services. “Right now the variance in quality and services available across wine storage businesses – and even facilities within the same chain of storage businesses – varies dramatically,” he says. “Bringing each of our acquisitions up to a common standard is our first priority.”
Vino Vault also says it is reinventing what its calls the “collector experience. “We’re building a tech and service layer to remove a lot of the hassle of wine collecting,” Anthony says. “From inventory management and one-click deliveries via mobile app to collection analysis and turnkey auction management services provided by our chief wine officer and his team of collection experts, our goal is to remove all the boring and tedious parts of wine collecting.” According to Anthony, the company also offers a turnkey service with auction houses to sell their clients’ wines for them.
The company currently has three locations in Los Angeles, one in greater New York City and one in Dallas. Collection size ranges from 14 cases to 1,000 cases in current facilities. But, Anthony says, “Some of our facilities act as cross-dock facilities for auction houses and distributors, so we may have many times that number of cases from a single commercial client for a short period of time.”
“I’ve always been a wine collector, and as we continued to advance our standards for proper storage of our entertainment clients’ asset [at Iron Mountain], I often wondered why my own wine collection – which is also fragile, temperature sensitive and irreplaceable – was not getting the same standard of care,” Anthony says. “After talking with other collectors, we realized that there was an opportunity to standardize high quality storage across the country – and the world – for wine collectors.”
Vino Vault acquisitions-based business strategy has been moving rapidly. Two weeks prior to the Dallas purchase, Vino Vault acquired New York Wine Storage Company in metro New York and in early January purchased the Wine Locker in the San Fernando Valley. Last fall, the company acquired two Los Angeles locations – The Best Cellar and The Wine Hotel.