Healdsburg-based Sonoma Cider has come to the attention of the business folks at Forbes, who named the new company as one of the nine “Hottest startups” of 2013 (though Forbes did mistakenly say the company is based in San Francisco, but hey, close enough).
“Rather than bootstrapping, this hard cider company has been run with a tech startup’s aggressive emphasis on growth. Founded by Robert Cordtz, David Cordtz and Fred Einstein, Sonoma Cider has been able to leverage $2 million in venture capital and crowdfunding via CircleUp to get on the market less than a year after founding. As the hard cider market doubles thanks to rising popularity among those who can’t drink beer, the San Francisco-based company is on track to ship 10,000 cases this year – about five times the amount competitor Vermont Hard Cider’s Woodchuck shipped in 2012. With 2013 revenue at $300,000 as the first bottles hit shelves just before Thanksgiving, the company has a projected 2014 revenue of $2.3 million.“
Sonoma Cider may be new, but founder and CEO David Cordtz is no stranger to the region and to the cider business. He’s been CEO at Vibranz Tea, founder and CEO of juice company Sonoma Sparkler, and winemaker at Cordtz Brothers Cellars. He was also once cidermaker and sales manager at Sebastopol’s California Cider Company, maker of the Ace line.
Cordtz said he plans to roll out the new cider in eight states, on the West Coast and in the upper Midwest centered around Chicago.
“We were very pleased and surprised to be chosen by Forbes magazine as one of this years hottest startups … We plan to continue to produce creative and hopefully somewhat disruptive ciders on the national scene,” Cordtz said Thursday after the list was released.
Other hot startups in the Forbes listing were Boxed, a phone app allowing users to buy products in bulk; Blue Apron, a Brooklyn-based service that delivers complete, pre-measured meal kits to your door so you can cook at home without all the bother of shopping; Coinbase, a portal for buying and transferring the virtual online currency Bitcoin; Estimize, an app that allows users to join in crowd-based analysis of various stocks; FlightCar, a service that allows you to park at a major airport and have the company rent out your car to other users while you travel; Hired, a recruitment and talent cultivation employment site for tech companies; Homejoy, a site where homeowners can find cleaning and housekeeping services; and WillCall, a phone-based app allowing users to buy tickets to concerts and other events.
– Sean Scully