Dave Muir is the founder of Fruit Hills Winery, a start-up business located just south of Bristol, Indiana. The business is located on a farm that has been in the family since 1851 and has produced fruit since 1898. Dave began making wine as a hobby several years ago and considered turning his hobby into a business. He eventually decided to do so and began performing research, turning to the ISBDC for the first time on July 22, 2009.
Dave received extensive research assistance from the ISBDC including wine consumer demographics, sales mix by type of wine, industry trends and forecasts, financial benchmarks and an industry overview. Armed with that research, Dave moved forward with continued support from the ISBDC and with additional assistance from a Collegiate Management Assistance Program project with students from the Entrepreneurship Society at the University of Notre Dame. The students provided assistance in feasibility assessment and in development of a marketing plan. Dave continued working with the ISBDC throughout the process of writing his business plan, which succeeded in securing funding for the new venture via a Patriot Express SBA loan.
Fruit Hills Winery opened for business on November 27, 2010. Housed in a newly constructed building on the family farm, the structure includes a wine making facility, tasting room and a sales room for fruit produced on the farm. Continued ISBDC engagement will focus upon marketing and on scaling up to higher levels of production.
Please visit Fruit Hills Winery and Orchard’s website for more information.