News & Blog

January 31, 2020

A bit sad 🙁

It is a gloomy day in West Tennessee and a bit warm to be the last day of January. Marjie just asked, “ Where is the snow? I thought someone said it was going to be a cold, hard winter”. “Lucky you, you don’t have to miss a day of school”. I don’t think she liked my response.

Today I’m a bit sad. For 6 years I have been using “Shopkeep” as my point of sale software provider. For those unfamiliar with a POS system, think of an old cash register with a modern look. This is my cash register, and where I enter my inventory descriptions, quantities, prices, customer data and pretty much everything about my business. My sales histories, credit card transactions and, most importantly, 6 years of sales and customer info is stored on a distant Shopkeep cloud…. I think?

Six years ago I recall sitting at my kitchen bar and doing endless Google searches and reading endless reviews about the many POS providers and finally narrowing it down to two or three. I absolutely wanted cloud-based with IPad terminals and a small footprint. After doing a few online demos, I chose Shopkeep. And now, six years later, this lukewarm POS marriage with counseling, a lot of arguments and the threat of separation… I started chatting with “Square”. Yep, Square is the biggest cloud-based, IPad POS provider in the country. I am not a sheep, and I hate going with the Walgreens or WalMart of POS systems, but after six years of Shopkeep, I think I finally know what I really want. And for fear of sounding too techie or like a spouse coming out of a bad relationship, I’ll just say, one of the many advantages of being a billion dollar company is you can hire the best developers and programmers money can buy.

So, on your next visit to White Squirrel Winery, you will see one of those little white terminals with the grey square on the back… the one’s you see in all the coffee shops, donut shops and dress boutiques. And that too makes me sad. I was rooting for the small guy… the one that was there when I started.  

Just google “movies about wineries” and you find movies that are goofy, serious, romantic and even a thriller… Sideways, Walk in the Clouds, A Good Year, SOMM, Wine Country. To my surprise, of the 53 movies listed I failed to see a single movie, not even a documentary that shared the real life story of running a vineyard and winery. Maybe that’s the reason so many folks come into White Squirrel Winery with an burning curiosity about the business. Afterall, there are more counties than wineries in Tennessee (95 -vs- 54), more dairy farms than wineries in Tennessee (220-vs- 54) and even more breweries than wineries (82 -vs-54) in our state. So, for the next several months I will share the real life decisions, drama, struggles, triumphs and sometimes, romantic lighthearted fun of owning a real and working winery. You will get to know my family and the all the folks that help hold and put this business together. So, stay tuned as I tell the real story and post to: “The Wine Doesn’t Make Itself”. Bill (01/27/20)