Orion Stang, Dilecta Wines

In this week’s small business success story, we check out a business that practically ground to a halt during the shelter in place.

Business at Dilecta Wines in Paso Robles, Calif. froze in March when Governor Gavin Newsom issued the stay at home order. The tasting room was suddenly closed and there was no word on when it would reopen. Overnight, owner Orion Stang found himself facing an uncertain future.

Orion says it was scary in the beginning. He took quick action by cutting payroll and streamlining the workflow. He also spent much of his time planning for what to do when things reopened. Now that restrictions are easing, he has a plan in place to succeed.

small business success dilecta wines orion strang paso roblesA Plan for Success

Even before the shutdown, Dilecta Wines offered tasting appointments so clients could receive the wine maker’s personal attention and story. Now, those tasting appointments are spaced out and have smaller groups to allow for social distancing. While that might seem detrimental to business, it has had the opposite effect. Clients are receiving a deeper level of connection with the winemakers and that’s translating into sales. It’s also offering a unique experience that visitors don’t get with other wineries.

Orion says he expects to book more in-home wine tastings in the future. He is developing more one-on-one experiences for club members and tasters. He’s also exploring the idea of a satellite tasting room in another city or a pop-up tasting in a desirable vacation spot.

How the Past Shaped the Future

Orion built Dilecta Wines slowly, from the ground up, so it’s no surprise that he’s weathering this storm too. He released his first vintage in the fall of 2011 but took his time before opening his tasting room in 2017.

Along the way, Orion has used pieces of his past to help further shape his business. Growing up with an artist mother, he used his unique eye to create the artistic labels that grace the front of each bottle of wine.

Orion is both a sommelier and a professionally trained chef. He has used that experience to add extra flavor to the handcrafted Rhone wines Dilecta specializes in.

Orion also spent years in the wine industry before opening Dilecta. He did everything from hoeing weeds to driving a tractor to doing spreadsheets. That experience helped him streamline when he needed to.

Orion is confident in where Dilecta is going in the future and his experience and spirit make us confident as well. Cheers!

If you’re interested in a remote tasting, please reach out to Orion Stang at Dilecta: orion@dilectawines.com or visit the tasting room virtually at www.dilectawines.com.

Towne Advisory is very proud to know great business owners like Orion. If you would like to find more small business owners who are doing their best in times of crisis, check out our previous posts. Professional Coach Amber Setter is tackling new challenges in the work from home reality. While the Securion Group is helping small businesses deal with the pitfalls of these difficult times. Meanwhile, Killroy Pest Control is offering new services to help people deal with their latest worries. Way to go everyone!

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