Founding and Building Barefoot Wine

Michael Houlihan

with Michael Houlihan

Co-founder of Barefoot Cellars

Founding and Building Barefoot Wine

Founding and Building Barefoot Wine 1163 1200 33Voices

Moe Abdou chats with Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey, co-founders of Barefoot Cellars to discuss their new book and what it took to build one of the most known wine brands in the world.

The Barefoot Spirit

Each business has its own unique story; none more inspiring than the one featuring Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey, the co-founders of one of America’s most beloved wine label, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly.  In 1986, with no money, and little business or wine experience; Bonnie and Michael took a courageous leap to help resurrect a fledging label, heavily in debt.  From the beginning, they knew they were in over their heads.  

Not only were they industry outsiders, more importantly they hadn’t fully grasped the breadth of the regulatory scrutiny facing wineries.  As with every entrepreneurial journey, they made plenty of mistakes, spent many sleepless nights and faced a decade of economic hardship, but through it all, they never wavered on their commitment to serve their customer.  What Bonnie and Michael figured out early on was that the linchpin of any new venture was not only a happy customer, but in their case, it was also a worthy cause;  They called it “worthy cause marketing,” and its simple premise will change your marketing perspective: