I spent some time in Birmingham this past week. I very much enjoyed all that the city is growing towards and is an especially different place since I went to school there at the beginning of this century.
In a few weeks, I'll be down in Orlando to take a peek at the East End Market. I follow that up with a trek to New Orleans. In May, I'll check out Southern Makers. We'll be announcing two Batch Tours by the end of this month, showcasing some new cities where we're finding passionate and talented people making delicious, high quality items.
And while you may recognize some of these city names we announce, many more places are being put on that map. In particular, my friend Erin has been telling me more and more about Elkmont, Alabama. Every week, we get emails from people in places big and small curious what Batch could look like in their neck of the woods. No matter if I've never heard of where you're calling from, because every inquiry and every dream we have here boils down to one truth that I'm sure you'll be hearing more and more:
Location doesn't matter. But local does.
It no longer matters where you brew your beer. Thanks to the Internet and sophisticated shipping companies, you can get those hops anywhere you like. Just build a customer base that is passionate about your drinks and you can be a success. Or you can make caramels in a place like Watertown and sell them by the thousands like our friends at Walker Creek. Your zip code is less important than your passion.
While entrepreneurs aren't swearing off the big city in droves, they are rethinking a move. I'm convinced that you can stay put, especially if that allows you to stay focused on your talents and passions.
Get thee to a kitchen, even if that kitchen is just down the hallway. Just get cooking and pouring and making and baking. As you do your unique thing, making your wonderful creations, people will flock. The city of origin on a label is less and less important than what's inside the bottle.
So, make. Make where you are. We'll find you. Quality always attracts fans, customers, and lifelong support, well after the bright lights of a city have faded.
Sam Davidson is the co-founder and CEO of Batch and writes here each Monday about the company. When on the road, he tries to find the most unique local flavors he can and takes pictures of it.