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6980 Santa Teresa Blvd., Suite 201
San Jose
CA, 95119
United States
Cheryl Durzy

Alcoholic beverage distribution for businesses of all shapes and sizes

LibDib's platform makes selling, searching and purchasing easy and convenient for everyone.

Liberation Distribution, Inc. (LibDib) is a distributor of alcoholic beverages enabled through a modern web platform. Restaurants, Bars & Retailers legally and efficiently purchase boutique wines, craft spirits and microbrews from Makers of all sizes. LibDib is changing distribution by leveling the playing field for everyone.

Efficient Delivery

Products are shipped direct from Maker. Fewer touches, less mistakes.

No Minimum Order

Money stays in the bank, not on the shelf. Order what you need, when you need it.

Drink Local

Connect with Makers nearby to offer truly local and craft beverage selections.


One consolidated invoice. No paper or checks. Maker payments automatically deposited.

Sign Up

Distribution, done differently

Instant Access

Our industry is evolving. Wholesale customers seek local, small batch and family-owned products. LibDib provides a modern web platform to legally and efficiently bring them to market. Three-tier distribution in California and New York is now available to Makers from anywhere in the world. Expansion into other states coming soon.

10 Minute Distribution

  1. Enter your product information
  2. Set your prices in each market
  3. Engage with a network of on-premise and off-premise buyers that purchase your products via our modern web and mobile platform

Total Control

Makers choose products, price, place and quantities.

Quick Payment

LibDib's electronic payment ensures prompt and dependable A/P.


Save time and money.


Sell to buyers at restaurants, bars and retailers.

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Cheryl Durzy talks about LibDib
Meet The LibDib Maker: Cooper Garrod
Meet The LibDib Maker: Cooper Garrod
A video about one of LibDib's small, family-owned wineries located in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Seeking Wine, Beer & Spirits Producers in Arkansas, Nebraska and North Dakota: 3-Tier Distribution Now Available on

Makers from 47 states are using LibDib’s web-based platform for distribution in California and New York

San Jose, CA, June 21, 2018 — Liberation DistributionTM (LibDibTM), the first technology company to offer a three-tier compliant web-based platform to sell wholesale alcohol, is calling all wine, beer and spirits producers in the states of Arkansas, Nebraska and North Dakota to join LibDib today and start selling to restaurants and retailers in both California and New York. LibDib is a licensed distributor with a technology platform that efficiently connects brands directly with buyers, and the only distributor to provide legal market access to ANY licensed Maker. 

“Since LibDib’s launch in March, 2017, it has been a goal of mine to have at least one Maker in every state. Makers in 47 states are now signed up on the platform and I want 50!” said Cheryl Durzy, Founder and CEO of Liberation Distribution (LibDib). “So, I ask Makers from Arkansas, Nebraska and North Dakota to consider LibDib! You’re making some amazing craft products and we hope you’ll join us in doing distribution differently. Next goal: compliant, 3-tier distribution to restaurants and retailers in all 50 states.”

LibDib now offers almost 2,000 products for distribution in California and more than 1,200 products in New York. Over 1,500 active resellers are on the platform and restaurants, specialty stores and large chains in both states are purchasing craft products from LibDib. 

“I can tell you that joining LibDib completely changed my business,” said craft beer producer, Scott Novosel, owner and founder of O Light Beer. “LibDib is the distributor any small producer should be working with. I would not be where I am today without them.”

LibDib’s benefits to beer, wine and spirits producers include:

  • Setting up distribution in a new state is as easy as entering information online and uploading a license.  
  • Increased efficiencies in the delivery process via 3PL or Common Carrier.
  • A low average margin of 15%.
  • No bill backs, no aging inventory or buying back product.
  • Timely payments, with easy to read, real-time sales reports available 24/7.
  • All Makers (regardless of size) are treated equally. No favorable placements, advertising or incentives.
  • Sales materials are uploaded once and are available in all active markets.
  • Business-changing features in the online distribution platform include one-click re-ordering, purchase suggestions, and direct communication between Makers and accounts. 

How to Sign Up

Makers can visit and input their products of choice into the system. After uploading licenses and basic information, the maker defines product selection, calculates the listed wholesale price and defines where to distribute. Due to price posting in New York, transactions will go live in in that state in the following month. The LibDib web-based platform automatically handles the invoicing, payment processing, collections, and taxes, allowing both makers and retailers to do business in a more open, efficient and cost-effective way.

About LibDib

Liberation Distribution, Inc. (LibDib) is a distributor of alcoholic beverages enabled through a proprietary desktop and mobile friendly web platform. LibDib changes alcohol distribution by leveling the playing field for everyone. Using LibDib, Restaurants, Bars & Retailers legally and efficiently purchase boutique wines, craft spirits and microbrews from Makers of all sizes. The company was founded in 2016, launched in March 2017, and is based in San Jose, California. LibDib can be found online at as well as on Twitter, Facebook, InstagramYouTube, and LinkedIn

News Archive

Wine, Women and Wholesale: My thoughts on WSWA
18 May, 2018

I returned from Vegas almost two weeks ago (I had a trip to Florida and New York in between….ah, the start-up world) and I am just now catching up with life. 

First and foremost, what a great event. The attendees are top notch. It was a very productive three days. We touched base with and met distributors, suppliers and other potential partners, and it was absolutely worth our while. 

The content of the conference section of the event is always super interesting. This year, Madeline Albright and Rich Karlgaard spoke. However, my favorite part of the conference was incoming President Barkley Stuart’s speech. Barkley is taking over as President of WSWA.  He had a powerful message about his agenda. Barkley’s number one priority is to increase the number of female executives at the wholesale level and the overall diversity of the alcohol distribution business. Barkley also said that if the pace of hiring and promoting women in our industry continues as is, it would take 100 years for wine and spirits wholesalers to catch up to the status quo.

As a woman who recently started a distributorship, this was great to hear. Barkley told a really moving story about his mother and her career in film/storytelling about prominent women activists. 

I had a chance to speak with Barkley in the halls for a few minutes. He was with Deborah Brenner, founder of Women of the Vines and Spirits. Clearly, progress on his agenda has already been made as he sits on the board of Deborah’s popular organization (I can never get tickets to the conference…she always sells out so fast!) A very friendly, impressive and humble man, to say the least. 

However, something stood out to me at WSWA, especially since LibDib was exhibiting on one of the “looking for distribution” supplier floors. There are a lot of women hired to pour tastings and attract distributors to the booths. Many (but not all) of these women are dressed in branded outfits that are short and tight. Otherwise known as "The Booth Babes" for lack of a better word. 

I started thinking about Barkley’s new agenda and this Booth Babe phenomenon. Aren’t Booth Babes typically hired to attract men to their respective booths?  And if WSWA is trying to increase the number of women executives in the organization, isn’t it somewhat alienating to women that suppliers are projecting that they only care about their male counterparts? 

To get another perspective, I spoke with LibDib’s CTO Rich Brashears. Rich is very wise and comes from many years in the software industry and attending huge conferences. One of his comments was that the technology industry wanted to attract more women software engineers to high tech companies. So the “booth babe” went bye-bye. And the number of women software engineers increased. Interesting. 

If WSWA took a stance on the daytime* business-to-business part of the trade show and asked suppliers to implement a dress code for booth workers, would that help women feel more comfortable in the workplace and amongst their peers? Would they stay in the industry longer, being promoted and mentoring other women to do the same? 

There might be something I am missing here; I recognize that I am a newcomer to this side of the business. But do we really want young ladies walking around in very tight, short white dresses with a Maker brand on the chest? Do other women in the industry find this ok? I would love to learn more. 

Cheers to progress and the future of the beverage business!

*I think all bets are off at evening events–which are more bar/nightclub themed. This is the alcohol business and attracting consumers to certain brands via these methods is the norm.

One Year of LibDib: How Small Wine, Beer & Spirits Have Found 3-Tier Distribution Success
22 March, 2018

Small producers finally have an effective platform for 3-tier distribution

San Jose, CA, March 22, 2018 — Liberation Distribution (LibDib), the first technology company to offer a three-tier compliant web-based platform to sell wholesale alcohol, today celebrated the one-year anniversary of distribution done differently. A year ago, today, LibDib launched their online platform and for the first time all beer, wine and spirits producers were given an option for successful distribution within the three-tier system. As part of their announcement, LibDib shared stories of four producers who have taken control of their distribution in California and New York and have found success using the LibDib distribution model.

“I started LibDib to help the little guys and I am beyond excited that our Makers have found successful distribution that is allowing them to grow and thrive,” said Cheryl Durzy, Founder and CEO of Liberation Distribution (LibDib). “Makers and accounts are embracing this new way to distribute and together we are evolving a system that was set up almost a century ago. It’s been an amazing year!”

As of March 2018, the LibDib platform offers 1,500 products for distribution in California and almost 1,000 products in New York. They have nearly 1,500 active resellers on the platform with access to small production, craft products, including restaurants, specialty stores and large chains. Since their launch in March 2017, LibDib has added more than a dozen new features to their online distribution platform including one-click re-ordering, purchase suggestions, direct communication between Makers and accounts, and more. 

A large number of Makers on the LibDib platform have found successful distribution. For their one-year anniversary LibDib is highlighting a few of those makers including:

– O Light Beer – Scott Novosel dreamt of making an organic light beer for the past ten years. In September 2017, he launched O Light, the first and only certified organic light beer on the market. At first Scott tried self-distributing in his home state of California and although he is a self-described “hustler,” he quickly realized there was no way he could scale doing all the work himself. In January 2018, Scott started using LibDib and in just two months, O Light beer was picked up in 142 retail locations in California. Scott says that the key to his success is that with LibDib he spends his time selling, rather than managing his distributors. When accounts are ready to buy, he can instantly submit their orders via the LibDib online platform. He loves that LibDib handles all invoicing and payment processing so he can go back to doing what he does best: producing a great tasting organic light beer. LibDib is “truly transparent” which gives him real-time feedback on how his beer is selling and where he’s finding success. He says, “LibDib made my dream come true of providing an organic, light, and delicious craft beer to far more customers than I could have hoped for.” 

– Rhine Hall Distillery – Rhine Hall was founded in Chicago in 2013 by Jenny Solberg and her father, Charlie. They first sold in their home town of Chicago. When they wanted to distribute into other markets, they couldn’t find an ideal distributor partner in New York or California. Jenny had relationships in New York and didn’t want to hand those over to a distributor as the in-between. LibDib was perfect for her because it allowed her to make the sales, keep her relationships and work the market as she wanted to. New York will soon be their second biggest market after their home state of Illinois. She says, “With LibDib I’m in control of the whole distribution process. I don’t need to connect with the distributor rep and deal with pricing. It’s all done online. No one has time to wait for 5 people to contact you to sell what was agreed to the first time you met an account. I show up, make the relationship and sell right then and there.”

– VING Vodka – Flo Vinger started VING Vodka in the Spring of 2017. Using startup money from family, she invested much of her and her family’s life savings into creating a unique vodka that’s made with the highest quality organic ingredients and produced without any additives and zero sugar. She found that most alcoholic beverages don’t list the ingredients on the label and wanted to produce a vodka for the wellness community so that people would feel good about what they are putting into their bodies. When Flo was looking for a wholesaler, every distribution deal presented didn’t feel right to her. The financial terms were confusing and could potentially put Flo at risk. Libdib was exactly in line with Flo’s values and offered supportive, open collaboration, as well as immediate distribution in California and New York. VING contains no histamines so Buzzfeed tested VING Vodka for “Asian Glow,” the video received over 8.5 million views and VING was instantaneously in global demand. LibDib was able to respond immediately and continues to provide an avenue for VING to be shipped internationally and nationwide. Now seven months into her business, Flo says that production has increased exponentially because of her successful distribution with LibDib, adding: “LibDib is giving spirit entrepreneurs an opportunity that did not previously exist. If LibDib didn’t exist I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

– WildAire Cellars – WildAire was founded in 2005 by the Driscoll family. Based in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, this small production winery offers boutique Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Driscoll’s wanted to distribute their wines to specific fine dining establishments and high-end wine shops but found that it was tough to get a distributor. As a small production winery, they were unable to compete with the larger wineries who provided incentives to distributors.  In 2017 they signed up with LibDib and found that this new way of distributing leveled the playing field for them. They could control their target accounts and could work the market as much as they wanted. WildAire now has placements at key locations in California and have increased their sales in the San Francisco Bay Area. They say, “LibDib is a distributor who looks after the little guy. They go beyond what’s on their platform to provide a lot of other services like suggesting target accounts and providing us with suggestions on shipping and fulfillment.”

About LibDib

Liberation Distribution, Inc. (LibDib) is a distributor of alcoholic beverages enabled through a proprietary desktop and mobile friendly web platform. LibDib changes alcohol distribution by leveling the playing field for everyone. Using LibDib, Restaurants, Bars & Retailers legally and efficiently purchase boutique wines, craft spirits and microbrews from Makers of all sizes. The company was founded in 2016, launched in March 2017, and is based in San Jose, California. LibDib can be found online at as well as on Twitter, FacebookInstagramYouTube, and LinkedIn

Liberation Distribution, LibDib and the LibDib logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Liberation Distribution, Inc. Third-party trademarks mentioned in this release are the property of their respective owners.

Be Successful With LibDib
05 March, 2018

Every day at least three new Makers sign up on LibDib. Not all of them “go live” right away (due to compliance, waiting for other markets, or just poking around) but most have the same question: How can I be successful on the LibDib platform? 

LibDib is a different way of looking at distribution. Sometimes it’s hard for Makers to wrap their minds around it. Our margins are half of traditional wholesalers. And Makers know up front that they are in charge of their own destiny when it comes to sales and fulfillment (with LibDib guiding you on how to be compliant).

Something most Makers know, especially those who have worked with distributors before: You need to have your own relationships with buyers. You need to be out there selling. There are multiple ways to do this and LibDib can provide the tools and and the access. But ultimately, selling and fulfillment is up to you.

Here are a few tips on how to be a LibDib success:

  • Share Your Story: LibDib provides every Maker with a (free!) place to post their story. Research shows that consumers (and therefore buyers supplying those consumers) are seeking products with authenticity. They want stories, experiences, a way to relate. A picture is a thousand words, a video…10,000. Even a quick phone video with an introduction, a quick shot of your still or vineyard, a pat of the winery dog. Be yourself, your authentic self. Don’t be the guy with a blank logo, pictures or labels. We actually built an algorithm to show “no image” products last in a search….we want our storefront to look good! Tasting notes, recipies, history of the brand….it all helps. Spend some time and have a great looking storefront on LibDib.
  • Price it Right: Make sure you are pricing for wholesale sales, not retail. Give your buyers the opportunity to make margin. That is one of the first things an account with look at. Here are some good tips on pricing. And remember, buyers can see your retail prices on your website. Unless you are Williams Selyem, make sure to build in good margin for the final account. On LibDib, there is complete transparency on what we are making as the distributor.
  • Link Up!: Do you have a trade section on your website where accounts can go to find out who your distributors are? You should!  Do you have a “Where to Buy?”page on your website that shows a map of your accounts? You absolutely should. Another great thing about LibDib is our Makers know every account (always live, updated depletion reports!) that is purchasing, so you can add to your website in real time.
  • Have a Plan: What is your plan to touch accounts? Are you going to do it yourself? (I highly recommend this; the best salespeople are always the Makers themselves!) Ok, maybe you can’t clone yourself….I totally get it. A salesperson or broker arrangement might work for you then. Let us know, we have a number of recommendations based on your needs. Or perhaps carve out some time to research 5 accounts you’d like to target in the marketplace. Then try another 5. Email them and schedule a call. Offer to send a sample. If you can, visit the marketplace (and let us know…we can help).
  • Follow Up (IRL and on the platform): Did you get a sample request from an account? Did you make a pitch and was told to touch base in two weeks for the order? Make sure you follow up! Leave no stone unturned. Once you make a sale or invite an account to the platform, a notification sequence is activated for reorders. This gives you the time to focus on new business.
  • Invite AccountsInviting accounts to the platform (or inviting someone that is already on the platform) gives buyers a view of your products right when they log in. It also puts them into a marketing sequence that reminds them of who you are and what you do.

  • Sell Through: Offer to do tastings to promote sell through of your products. Ask the buyer if they need POS (should be downloadable from LibDib) or if there are any other opportunities to push for that second, third and fourth order. Sell through is key to building distribution. Do you have social media accounts that you can push your users to stores (there are some TTB rules about this….be aware) carrying your products? Can you do a wine/distiller/brewery dinner?
  • Sell via the platform=data=leads: A new LibDib feature! The more you sell via the LibDib platform, the more leads we can provide. We are super excited to start beta testing our new “Prospects: feature. We use data (sales, customer, supplier and product segmentation) to find the right buyer matches for Makers. We provide contact information, a “hook” and the preferred way to reach out. The more data we have, the more prospects we can push your way. Also, as we grow, buyers that log in and curate will have a “recommended for you” window, which is based on other points of data. The more you use the platform, the better likelihood of expanding your distribution and account contacts.

Stay tuned for LibDib webinars and future user conferences/events that will continue to educate and help everyone become the superstar Maker you all deserve to be.


Things I Learned in Florida
22 January, 2018

I was invited to speak at the Beer Industry Summit this past Monday where I was a participant on an e-commerce panel. I also stayed for the Wine & Spirits Daily Summit the following day. Both events were super interesting and I thought I would share some tidbits from my five days in the Sunshine State (besides the fact it was freezing there).

  • The content that the average person scrolls through every day on their phone is equal to the height of the Statue of Liberty.
  • Breakthru Beverage receives approximately 3,000 requests per year (across all markets, but still!) for distribution.
  • If a new brand had to pick just one thing to really invest in, packaging is key.
  • Craft = honesty. Consumers like to buy from small companies and local families because they don’t think they will get “ripped off” by their neighbors.
  • Captain Morgan was very close to being killed before it was released.
  • When Tito’s first came out, nobody would take it. The few distributors that did in the very beginning are reaping the rewards today.
  • Mike’s Hard Lemonade’s White Claw Hard Cherry Seltzer is delicious.
  • When looking at the success of a brand, accounts sold/cases sold is not a good indicator. Look at reorders. Also, consider Instagram – how many people are taking pictures of your brand and engaging with the product?
  • On-Premise experts are seeing trends for locally made products, especially amongst travelers and millennials.

Nielson shared some data that was really interesting.

  • 75% of new products fail.
  • Rosé, ultra-premium gin, bubbles and Cabernet Franc are trending.
  • Tequila is up 8% on premise. Cognac is picking up speed.
  • Sangria RTD is a new product that is growing at a tremendous rate.
  • Alternative packaging (kegs, cans, boxes) continue to grow.

One big rumor in the halls: The big distributors are really tightening down on their portfolios. One in particular now has a 9-month vetting process before taking on new suppliers. It’s like having a baby!

A lot of great content. Many great connections. And so many data points when it comes to three-tier consolidation, the large proliferation of new and exciting craft products, incubation partnerships with distributors, and e-commerce habits and growth…LibDib is on to something big.


How Retailers Benefit When Distribution Is Done Differently
11 December, 2017


Over the Thanksgiving weekend, I received an email from a key buyer asking me to outline the benefits of LibDib to retailers such as himself. He was invited to the platform by a winery in Oregon that he had done business with years ago, who had ultimately lost their distributor and had to spend their time focusing on Direct to Consumer sales. They are very small and could not find another wholesaler to distribute their products in California. Until now (gooooo LibDib!). Their award winning wines are on the LibDib platform and are available for restaurants, bars and retailers in both of our current markets (NY AND CA).

So, clearly one of the benefits LibDib has to offer retailers is access to small production products that otherwise would not have a route to market.

However, there is a lot more. Let me share:

    1. No minimums. Traditional distributors have trucks that cost money to drive around. More often than not, there are 5 case or $500 order minimums. This is usually just fine for larger customers; most retailers need at least that of their Tito’s and Jim Beam. However, a smaller retailer may only want 6 bottles of one item. With LibDib, no problem. Because our suppliers are fulfilling direct (for the most part, depending on state compliance rules), and paying for shipping themselves….this is no longer an issue. Producers can add whatever quantities they want within the LibDib platform and price accordingly. One bottle, 6 bottles, 10 cases, rainbow packs, or gift packs; it’s all possible with LibDib.
    2. No more “shit” sandwiches. Sorry for the vulgarity here. But a very smart distributor sales person once described this phenomenon to me. All distributors have things they “have” to sell. Something that’s on quota for the month and most often is from their largest suppliers who have a large influence over the monthly sales plans. So my very smart friend would put together a “shit sandwich.” On the inside was something the buyer wanted. On the outside, two things that the sales rep needed to sell. She would wrap it all up in one nice “sandwich.” Funny, but true. At LibDib, we are the ONLY distributor that doesn’t have to make quotas or sell anything in particular. It is entirely up to the buyer what they want. 12 bottles of 95 point Comartin Cellars Pinot Noir? OK! 6 bottles of Drake’s Organic Vodka? No problem. How about 48 cans of O’Light Organic Beer? You got it!!  
    3. Access to the best, most enthusiastic and educated sales force EVER: The Makers themselves. Said retailer, that I was conversing with prior to my turkey dinner, often has choice words for distributor sales reps. He can get frustrated because they don’t know enough when he has a question. Understandable, but how can they? The system is set-up for failure. Sales reps at most distributors have thousands of products and hundreds of producers in their book. There is no possible way to be an expert on even 1/100th of the portfolio. Especially when they are bombarded with the things they have to sell that month. I have said time and time again, there is no better salesperson than the Maker themselves. With the ability for Buyer and Maker to connect immediately (no salesperson in between), the passion and excitement for their products is intoxicating (ha…literally and figuratively!)  This only helps Buyers when selling to their end customer.
    4. One place….for everything. Buyers on LibDib can go to one website and do everything. Discover. Buy. Shop. Pay. Review invoices. Check delivery status. Connect with Makers. Download POS. Watch videos about cool distilleries and wineries. Get the latest media scores. It’s all inside the platform. Makers have the control to update their pages which means information is in real time. And the platform continues to get better and better everyday (thank you to my awesome engineers).
    5. Products are always current vintage. The LibDib model is different in that Makers more or less fulfill directly. This means orders are coming direct from the cellar. Product is current vintage or the most recent batch. Inventory is not “sitting around” in warehouses around the country, collecting dust until someone pays attention. Buyers get access to what is current, not what was shipped via pallets a year ago. 
    6. Supporting small, family-owned business is now EASY. Small businesses are the heart and soul of this country. Most restaurants and retailers are small businesses themselves. LibDib makes it easy to support fellow small businesses with the ability to discover and order all in one place (no tracking down 10 different Makers who self-dib  for a reorder), one invoice and payment (via ACH or check or even credit card where legal). LibDib brings the conveniences of big business to small Makers.
    7. Consumer tastes are changing. The research is there and if you haven’t seen it yet, it’s coming. Consumers have less brand loyalty. They want to try new things. They care about the quality of products they are consuming and what they are putting into their bodies. They want to support local and family owned. Consumers crave authenticity. And that’s entirely what we are selling. It’s a brave new world out there, and LibDib is bringing new, exciting, small production, craft products to market every single day.    
    8. MAKE MORE MONEY. At the end of the day, retailers and restaurants can make more money selling the products LibDib is offering. You can try and compete at 20 points with Tito’s all day long. OR, you can make more money with Ving Kale, Lemon and Cucumber Vodka. It’s got a great story, the product is high-quality and the reorder rate is through the roof.

So that’s my story. I want to make things easy for buyers and makers to do business together. I won’t interfere and try to sell you random stuff. My goal is for you to find the right products and for Makers to find the right buyers. Consider LibDib a matchmaker. Coming soon…swipe right

From Wine to Silicon Valley, It's All About Selling
11 December, 2017

I spent 20 years selling and marketing wine. I have a decent palate (especially after taking the Advanced WSET and Intro to Sommelier courses) and know wine well.  I was super comfortable with selling my family’s wine and I have spent years perfecting my pitch and had it down. However, with the formation of LibDib a little over a year ago, I have been thrown into this Silicon Valley start-up life; raising money, building a company with good people, creating strategic partnerships, pivoting, investor relations and strategic thinking.

If I have learned one thing, this start-up CEO thing really goes back to selling. Selling this idea of mine with the ultimate end goal of three-tier distribution for anyone, anywhere.

I have spent the last 20 months selling my heart out. I have probably gone through my pitch (the a 30-second pitch, the  30-minute pitch and the 2-hour over drinks and dinner pitch) about 5,000 times.

I started selling the concept last spring to a core group of about 10 trusted industry friends, just to get feedback. I also went to a few VC contacts to get their ideas on next steps. Both said the same thing—go find your technologist.

Next was Rich, CTO and COO extraordinaire. I met Rich a few years prior when he built a fabulous app called Wine with Friends. But more importantly, he has been building platforms and software for the last 20 years. At first he said “Yeah, cool idea I will help put a team together for you, but call my company when you have the data.” He called me the next day…and said, “I’m in. Can I run this for you?” The rest is history. P.S. Rich loves good craft Gin too.

Once Rich was on board, the first few investors came next—and that was really new to me. Learning about the different types of financing for a start-up, shares, valuation, risk, TAM, SAM, growth projections, cap tables, SAFE agreements, scaling, angels, seed rounds, Series A, B and C, exit scenarios. I had to sell my passion, but within the language of investors. I spent lots of time reading various web sites (Y Combinator, Quora, many many blogs) and did my best. It worked and we signed up our first believers.

With that money, I started selling to those that eventually became our team. First came the builders. Finding talented engineers, pitching them to give up their well-paid, cushy enterprise jobs with free food to join a lean and mean start-up…that was very important. I have a great team of people – all with 20+ years of engineering experience. They built the LibDib platform from scratch and day after day they work on making it better.

Now it was time to start selling to the initial users, the Makers themselves. I made a list of 100 people I knew and started smiling and dialing. This is what I love to do.  Ultimately, I am a Maker in start-up CEO clothing. Telling my story and explaining the vision to other people who have lived the problem that LibDib is solving is my absolute favorite thing to do. I still do it when I can.

Launch day was imminent, so now…time to talk to the press. Industry media were unbelievably receptive and wrote some great stories about what we are doing.

After launch, we had Makers and products on the platform, ready to sell. Time to work on our first buyers. It’s a different sell to accounts. LibDib is a new way of doing things. There are many, many buyers that love the direct connections with the Makers via LibDib. They see the benefit of lower margins, nearly non-existent minimums and buying products that are unique and can make everyone more money.

Ultimately, it’s all about selling. The team, investors, the industry, and the users. It’s a little different selling a small production Cabernet vs. the vision of LibDib, but I truly love and believe in what we have built and accomplished thus far.

A Message to Retailers: It's Time to Get Crafty
04 October, 2017

It seems everyone in the industry is talking about how independent retailers can survive in the age of Amazon. We love Brad Rosen’s article “Did Amazon Just Kill Liquor Retail As We know It?” for that reason. The Amazon acquisition of Whole Foods is scaring a lot of industry people--and rightly so. One of the major reasons I started LibDib was due to consolidation (you can read all about my sales woes in another blog post).

Sure, my first frustration was distributor consolidation but it’s happening all around us: consolidation of family brands into large companies, distributors buying up small distributors, and so on. So what does all of this mean to you, the retailers? I’d say it’s time to change it up. It’s time to get crafty,

I’m not saying break out that old scrapbooking kit, I’m thinking more Beastie Boys style. It’s time to throw down and show your customers you mean business. It’s time to bring truly small production craft products into your stores.

By craft products, I mean stuff that previously was incredibly difficult to get a hold of. We all know that the key to independent retail shops is great customer service. That’s what keeps me coming back to the speciality store in my hood. They understand me and they recommend really great products that they know I will love.

And what do consumers love right now? Unique, small production stuff. That’s where LibDib comes in. Since we launched in March we’ve had Makers signing up on our platform each and every day. The majority of these Makers are people with incredible products who couldn’t get distribution and therefore, couldn’t get into your store. Now they can (in California and New York at least, more states coming soon!).  And because we charge a much lower margin than other distributors, you can sell these products at a competitive price. I should also mention that we are web-based so you can order craft products from the comfort of your office or in the back room during inventory counts. Makers ship directly to you and it’s super easy.

I’m not saying LibDib is going to save the world from Amazon but I do hope that what we are doing as a company will help all of the small guys survive and thrive. The small retailers, the restaurants, the bars, and the Makers; I want you all to succeed together.

So, my message to all of you retailers out there is don’t panic. Just reevaluate and change things up. Start using new technology like LibDib to order products. Change up your product offering and bring in super cool, new stuff that the larger chains just aren’t going to carry. Give your customers some beverage options to get excited about again. Get crafty.

Consolidation has given only the large brands a voice and shelf space. It’s time to change that and do distribution and retail differently.

Running a Small Business: What I've Learned About Priorities
15 September, 2017

I’m a small business owner for the first time in my life and I must say, over the past year I’ve learned a lot. I don’t sleep much (I’m working on that) and I assume that many of our LibDib Makers, restaurants, bars and retailers are in the same boat. I’ve spoken to many of you who work long hours, have dumped your life savings into your business, and are working hard every day to make it happen.

Literally every day I get thrown a 100 things and for me, the most important thing I’ve learned is prioritization. Every morning I look at my to-do list and I pick the most important things I need to do that day. Here’s a little insight into what I’ve learned to focus on.

LibDib Priority #1 - Staffing

Given my business, staffing is number one. I need to have enough people to get the job done and I need to hire good people. I spend a lot of time making sure the people we hire are doers. I need people working hard and I need people who are flexible. I may ask someone to do a task that isn’t in their job description and I need them to get it done. Luckily, we have an amazing team who are all committed. I couldn’t do it without them.

I also have an amazing right hand man, Rich Brashears.  He is not only the co-founder and CTO of LibDib, but he really operates as the COO. He sleeps much less than I do, and he works twice as hard. He’s truly the reason LibDib has the best engineering team around. And, he’s definitely a cheerleader for all of us.

LibDib Priority #2 - Revenue

As the head of LibDib I need to make sure that I’m focusing on things that involve revenue. I put aside a large part of my day to make sure that we are focused on things that make money or that bring in an investment. After all, I have a staff to pay and people who rely on me.

LibDib Priority #3 - Is Everything Working?

Every single day I take a look at our systems. Are they working? Is there anything that needs to be improved? I have regular meetings with the team where we report on all processes. As a technology company and a distributor I can tell you, there’s a lot to check. I have a feeling that most of you feel the same way. Making sure things are running smoothly and adjusting things as needed, is super important.

LibDib Priority #4 - Networking

As CEO, my job is to network. In fact, this week I’m attending Women of the Vine Executive Summit in New York and the WSWA Women’s Leadership Council in DC. I’m meeting with partners, talking with Makers and overall working the market. I really enjoy this part of the business as I love meeting new people. Also, being able to network with other women in this male-dominated business, is a huge plus.

I hope this helps you just a little bit. As you struggle to check off the 100 things on your to-do list, remember that all small business owners deal with it. Once you determine what the 4-5 buckets are each day, you can more easily figure out what’s most important. I don’t have it totally figured out but I know that learning from other business owners has really helped me. And if you can get some sleep at night, that’s just a bonus.

Promoting for Makers: It’s Hard to Do Marketing When It's Your Own Business
05 September, 2017

Like you, I’m a small business owner and like you, I struggle getting everything done each day. There’s just not enough time! And that’s why many small brands aren’t able to market themselves. They simply don’t have the time or budget to go big. So they go home. I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to give up, there are a few things you can do each week to start (and keep) the marketing ball rolling for your brand.

First, when it comes to marketing, set aside some time for it.

Be it 1 hour a week or 5 hours a week, set aside a time each week to work solely on marketing. Start from the beginning. Figure out your competitive set. See what they are doing in social media, online marketing and public relations. Find out where they fit into the market and most likely you’ll find a spot where your products should be. Draft up a quick plan that will get you in front of the accounts and the consumers who could potentially buy your products.

Start your social media channels BUT commit to managing them.

Set up at least a Facebook page, Twitter account and an Instagram account. Add photos, logos and product information and make sure that all social accounts are consistent with naming and imagery. After all, you want it to reflect who you are as a brand and your products. Again, look to your competitive set or even other brands you like and emulate what they are doing. Don’t copy them (obviously), but pick a look and feel that works for you and then stick with it.

Manage your social media.

There is nothing worse for a brand than an abandoned Facebook page. So, once you start, make sure you set aside time each week to post. You don’t have to post every day but at least post a few times a week. Share photos of you working in the vineyard or distilling. Bring people into your story and brand.

Send your product to the people who matter.

Submit your products to competitions. Find out which journalists write about your product category and send them a sample (if they accept samples). Be sure to include marketing materials and tech sheets on your products when you send them.

Hire someone to help.

As a business owner you also need to know when to outsource. So, if you are overwhelmed, ask around and find a marketing consultant. Ask them to create your marketing plan, brochures and social media sites. You can typically secure consultants at competitive rates (the web is great for this). It may seem like you don’t want to spend the money on marketing, but that $500 spend could open up a lot of doors for you.

This is a tough business. We love it, but it’s tough. Compound that with everything you do and it can be overwhelming. Believe me, I know. But if each day or week you work on promoting your brand, over time it will grow. It may take a while for that to happen, but it will increase your brand awareness and hopefully brand loyalty!

Sales Strategies: Sell It Yourself, Hire a Broker or Hire a Sales Team
23 August, 2017

You’re on LibDib. You’ve posted your products. You’ve created a nice-looking page. You’ve figured out a competitive retail price. What’s next? Selling.

Ugh you say. We hear you and that’s why we want to put in our two-cents about selling. Many Makers assume that once you get a distributor, they do all of the market work for you. Wrong! With any distributor, you still have to work the market. It’s part of owning your own brand. A typical distributor would require you to create a go-to-market plan and while isn’t traditional, we want you to be successful in selling your products. So, what’s your plan?

You have a few options:

  1. Create a target list of accounts and go after them.

  2. Hire a broker who will charge you a percentage fee but will work the market for you.

  3. Hire a sales person who will charge you a percentage and an up-front fee.

Which option is best? Well, it depends.

When I was selling my family’s wine brand, Vegan Vine, I set up a sales plan that included targeting vegan restaurants. I would give them a call, follow them on social media, look at their menus, and just try to determine where their interests lie. I would then work hard to build a relationship with them. For more of my rambling about how to work a market go here. Incidentally, my next blog post will include my creative ideas on how best to work a market.

If you hire a broker or a sales person, they will work the market for you, hitting the street and creating a relationship. For many Makers, using a broker is super helpful. They do the dirty work and serve as your experts. You can work the market with them several times a year. Brokers make sense for a lot of people.

You can also hire a sales person or sales team to help you out. An independent sales force will work for your brand and call on the accounts that are most likely to buy your products. One of the companies we’ve worked with is BevStrat ( who offers an independent sales force for Makers. They create go-to-market sales plans and can help you implement your sales strategy. BevStrat owner, Brian Rosen, is currently open to new Makers and we hope to work alongside them as we roll LibDib out nationally.

We are also currently in the process of putting together a recommended list of brokers. If you are a broker who works in California and New York and you would like to be included on this list, please email is at

Remember a goal without a plan is just a wish so make a plan that works for you. Best of luck selling!

OND....Act Now
08 August, 2017

OND: October, November, December. The three-month period when distributors do not allow new brands, work-withs, price changes, new product introductions, or pretty much anything supplier related. OND is when 40% of the booze in this country is purchased. If you are a distributor sales rep, its heads down and sell, sell, sell. 

In the old world, if a Maker did not have a distributor lined up by September 1, they could forget being a part of this busy season. There was no access to the market for OND. Sales reps also needed to be trained/tasted, product had to be placed in the warehouse, and OND incentives put in place (good luck with that small suppliers).

That’s all changed with LibDib! We can provide access for OND holiday sales.

Thinking of a gift pack? No problem. Traditional distributors often get worried about post-holiday inventory of gift packs and other specialty items. Via LibDib, Makers have the ability to get creative with their product mix. 

That being said, there are filing deadlines in NY and they are coming up August 23 for October 1 distribution. In California, we have a little more freedom without the price postings issues.

If you want end of the year sales, now is the time.

Get on the LibDib platform, start inviting accounts and suggesting orders. It’s intuitive, easy to use and will hopefully change distribution for businesses of all sizes, everywhere.

Distribution, Done Differently.

Liberation Distribution (LibDib) is Now Available to Restaurants, Bars and Retailers in New York as the Company Unleashes New Platform Ambassador Team
01 June, 2017

New York and California restaurants, bars and retailers now have access to hundreds of boutique wine, beer and spirits products via the LibDib platform

San Jose, CA, June 1, 2017 — Liberation Distribution (LibDib), the first alcohol distributor and technology company to offer a three-tier compliant web-based platform, today announced that LibDib is now live in New York. As of today, restaurants, bars and retailers (RB&Rs) in both New York and California can purchase hundreds of boutique and craft products that previously were unavailable. In addition, LibDib announced that the company has created a platform sales team in both states to increase the adoption of the LibDib platform by RB&Rs.

“We are so happy that we are providing all Makers access to distribution,” said LibDib Founder and CEO, Cheryl Durzy. “Adoption in California has been tremendous and as of today we now offer restaurants, bars and retailers in New York access to this new way of purchasing unique and craft products. We are also excited to welcome our new platform ambassador sales team who round out our unique approach to alcohol distribution.”

LibDib now has more than 450 products on their multi-state distribution platform, with new Makers and RB&Rs signing up every single day. Products include boutique wines, craft spirits and microbrews (available in California only) made by Makers of all sizes and from more than 20 states and 8 different countries.

“In addition to the products we currently have on LibDib, there are 200 more Makers in our compliance and logistics pipeline,” continues Durzy. “This is the ultimate testimony for the need of something like our platform in the marketplace.”

Restaurants, bars and retailers in California and New York can now order from LibDib to receive products from Makers of any size and from any location, whether down the street or from across the globe. Licensed resellers can create an account and sign up on The LibDib web-based platform automatically handles the invoicing, payment processing, collections, and taxes, allowing both Makers and retailers to do business in a more open, efficient and cost effective way.

About LibDib

Liberation Distribution, Inc. (LibDib) is a distributor of alcoholic beverages enabled through a proprietary desktop and mobile friendly web platform. LibDib changes alcohol distribution by leveling the playing field for everyone. Using LibDib, Restaurants, Bars & Retailers can legally and efficiently purchase boutique wines, craft spirits and microbrews from Makers of all sizes. The company was founded in 2016, launched in March 2017, and is based in San Jose, California. LibDib can be found online at as well as on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

Liberation Distribution, LibDib and the LibDib logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Liberation Distribution, Inc. Third-party trademarks mentioned in this release are the property of their respective owners.

Liberation Distribution (LibDib) Launches the First Web-Based Three-Tier Alcohol Distribution Platform
22 March, 2017

New distributor uses technology to open alcohol distribution to any winery, brewery or distillery, while giving restaurants, bars and retailers access to a larger variety of boutique craft libations

San Jose, CA, March 22, 2017 — Alcohol distribution has not changed since the inception of the three-tier system at the repeal of Prohibition in 1933. Today, a new path to distribution is available to beverage alcohol suppliers with the unveiling of Liberation DistributionTM (LibDibTM), the first alcohol distributor and technology company to offer a three-tier compliant web-based platform. With LibDib, any maker of specialty wine, craft spirits and micro brews can easily set up distribution.

“Distributor and producer consolidation has created a closed market where the little guys cannot get their product into distribution and accounts are being squeezed to purchase beer, wine and craft spirits from the very largest suppliers,” said LibDib Founder and CEO, Cheryl Durzy, a 20-year wine industry veteran. “While managing my family’s brand I became incredibly frustrated by the lack of options available today. All brands deserve a route to market and LibDib creates an opportunity where makers and buyers can work directly together. LibDib is distribution done differently and distribution that’s open to everyone, not just a select few.”

Today, makers can visit and input their products of choice into the system. After uploading licenses and basic information, the maker defines product selection, calculates the listed wholesale price and defines where to distribute. Transactions on the LibDib platform will go live in California on April 5, 2017, allowing restaurants, bars and retailers in the state to order from makers of any size and from any location, whether down the street or from across the globe. Anyone interested in the LibDib platform can create an account and sign up starting today. Due to price posting in New York, transactions will go live in the coming months.

The LibDib web-based platform automatically handles the invoicing, payment processing, collections and taxes, allowing both makers and retailers to do business in a more open, efficient and cost effective way. The company has been beta testing with a select group of makers and on and off premise accounts over the past few months. 

“The alcohol distribution market hasn’t changed for more than eighty years and is ripe for innovation,” said LibDib CTO, Richard Brashears, a twenty-year technology industry veteran who specializes in defining and developing complex software. “Just as the hotel and transportation industries have evolved with two-sided web and mobile platforms, LibDib has used technology to change the distribution process and make it easier, more cost effective and more efficient than ever before.” 

In addition to using technology to create a new system for distribution, LibDib is also implementing market friendly business practices such as: 

  • Charging a lower margin for makers with most transactions at 15%.
  • Processing payments in 30 days or less and providing on-demand sales reports.
  • Giving makers as much freedom from Franchise Laws as legally allowable, enabling them to leave at-will and at no cost. 
  • Giving restaurants, bars and retailers a large and varied selection of boutique products from which to choose.
  • Enabling direct communication within the platform between makers and accounts.
  • Creating a level playing field for everyone with no unfair incentives or price breaks.
  • No aging inventory sitting at the wholesaler warehouses.
  • Eliminating the middle man and any potential for a sales representative to strong-arm the sales process.
  • Allowing RB&Rs to buy only what they want, when they want it. No minimums. 
  • Giving access to unique, local and limited availability wines, craft spirits and beers.
  • Sales materials and POS are always up to date and accessible online.  

Makers and importers from everywhere are invited to visit and onboard their products today. The company plans to expand to other states in the coming months. 

About LibDib

Liberation Distribution, Inc. (LibDib) is a distributor of alcoholic beverages enabled through a proprietary web platform and mobile app. LibDib changes alcohol distribution by leveling the playing field for everyone. Using LibDib, Restaurants, Bars & Retailers can legally and efficiently purchase boutique wines, craft spirits and microbrews from Makers of all sizes. The company was founded in 2016 and is based in San Jose, California. LibDib can be found online at as well as on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn.