Thursday, March 7, 2019

The Cellar is For Sale

Dave Koepke plans to start a brewery. That’s created a dilemma for him. Koepke is owner of The Cellar Homebrew shop, which he moved to Oshkosh from Fond du Lac three years ago. At the time of the move, Koepke was already entertaining the idea of launching a brewery. Initially, he thought he could operate both businesses in tandem. His view on that has since changed.

“I realized that I can't manage this and get a brewery off the ground at the same time,” Koepke says. “The shop is one of those businesses where the owner has to be here and know the customers. The brewery isn't going to leave me enough time to run this business the way it needs to be run.”

Inside The Cellar.

Koepke now has The Cellar up for sale. "I'd like to find somebody in the next couple of months to begin taking over and train them," he says. "I'm basically going to be available until December 31. I'm going to be doing other things, but the person who takes over will have me until the end of the year to walk them through the transition."

Koepke opened The Cellar in Fond du Lac in 2009. He moved the business to Oshkosh in 2016 to be more centrally located among homebrewers in the Appleton - Oshkosh - Fond du Lac corridor. His current location at 465 N. Washburn Street, is just off Highway 41 and includes a warehouse along with the retail space.

"I've priced it very reasonably," Koepke says. "You couldn't buy all this, put it in here, and start this business for what I'm asking. Everything is in place. This is going to be a turnkey business when I sell it."

As for his brewery in planning, Koepke is currently exploring his options. "I don't have a spot yet," he says. "Right now I'm looking at Fond du Lac or Oshkosh. More than likely, it will be a brewpub, not just a brewery and taproom."

In the meantime, Koepke is still at The Cellar helping area homebrewers with their beer. "I just want everyone to know that I’m not closing the store," he says. "I’m not going to abandon the customers who have built this business. I've been doing this 10 years. I've put a lot of time in building the clientele and the reputation. It's not like the business is capped. It's still growing. It's been great, I've really enjoyed it, but I just can't do this and do a brewery build-up at the same time."

Koepke says he’s open to talking with anybody who may have questions or an interest in what running a business such as The Cellar entails. He can be reached using the contact information on The Cellar's website.

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