NEW YORK, January 25, 2019 – OnDeck (NYSE: ONDK), the leader in online lending to small businesses, today announced Wild Women Winery, a boutique winery and tasting room located in the heart of downtown Denver, Colorado, is the OnDeck Small Business of the Month for January 2019.
The husband and wife team of Ross and Charlene Meriwether opened Wild Women Winery after enjoying successful careers in corporate America. Ross had been an IT professional and Charlene was an educational consultant. Neither had experience with winemaking or retail sales, but both were wine lovers and were eager to move beyond the corporate life and own their own business.
In 2003, the Meriwethers stumbled across an opportunity to open a franchise winery in northern Texas.
“We didn’t want to do the same thing all the time,” said Charlene. “Our first winery was an opportunity to completely change things up. Immediately, we loved it. And I really enjoy walking into the door knowing that no two days will be alike.”
The duo ended up opening three successful wineries in Texas before looking west to Colorado in 2007. Their idea for Wild Women Winery was to bring wine making to Denver, a city traditionally known for its craft beers and many micro-breweries.
With Ross acting as the winemaker and Charlene managing the front of the shop, Wild Women Winery departs from the traditional, highbrow views of wine and provides guests with a fun and uniquely customized experience. The Winery’s Tasting Room offers wines by the glass, where guests are welcomed to taste the surprising selection of original flavors in the regular 5oz glass or the 9oz “Big Girl” glass. From the Royal Ruby Chocolate Port, a dessert wine that carries a chocolatey note, to the Red Tango Malbec, each wine carries its own unique flavor, label, and name. Guests can even work with a vintner to craft wine with custom labels and within 10-12 months’ time, they will have their own bottles of wine, designed to their specific tastes.
“Our personal guarantee is, ‘if you are not having fun, we will ask you to leave’,” said Charlene. “The idea is that when you walk into the door, you should be having a great time.”
In 2014, Ross and Charlene faced financial challenges as they looked to grow the business. Finding a traditional loan from a bank proved difficult, so the couple began searching online for a lender who could provide quick capital for their inventory needs. They found OnDeck.
The Meriwethers used the financing from OnDeck to fund inventory expansion, purchase raw materials, and meet payrolls. Today, Wild Women Winery is prospering and expanding. Wild Women Winery products can be found in 50 liquor stores and the Meriwethers hope to add more. They have hired additional employees to help with front of the house work, distribution, and the scheduling and execution of commercial expansion.
“Denver is a growing community,” said Charlene. “I see the business expanding with the City as more and more residents learn the pleasures of wine. We would like to add more tasting rooms and open near the Denver International Airport area, which is now a little city in itself.”
“OnDeck is delighted to recognize the achievements of Ross and Charlene Meriwether in following their dreams and achieving small business success,” said Andrea Gellert, Chief Revenue Office, OnDeck. “With offices in downtown Denver, OnDeck is not just a lender to the Wild Women Winery, but many of us are frequent customers as well. We are delighted for their success.”
All the wines at Wild Women Winery are produced, bottled and labeled in house. To learn more about Wild Women Winery, visit: www.winerycolorado.com. To see a video or Ross and Charlene Meriwether at work in the Wild Women Winery, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIurp-vHTbA&feature=youtu.be
The Small Business Spotlight series from OnDeck is designed to highlight and reinforce the vital importance of small businesses. Every month, OnDeck spotlights the achievements of its small business customers and how they are thriving as a result of receiving capital from OnDeck. To learn more about Ross and Charlene Meriwether’s small business journey, visit: www.ondeck.com/smallbusinessspotlight
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OnDeck (NYSE: ONDK) is the proven leader in transparent and responsible online lending to small business. Founded in 2006, the company pioneered the use of data analytics and digital technology to make real-time lending decisions and deliver capital rapidly to small businesses online. Today, OnDeck offers a wide range of term loans and lines of credit customized for the needs of small business owners. The company also offers bank clients a comprehensive technology and services platform that facilitates online lending to small business customers through ODX, a wholly-owned subsidiary. OnDeck has provided over $12 billion in loans to customers in 700 different industries across the United States, Canada and Australia. The company has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is rated 5 stars by Trustpilot. For more information, visit www.ondeck.com.