The Upper Haight is the home of a brand-new business you might not have heard about: Foot Of The Bed Cellars. Based out of its founder's apartment on Page Street, it's a subscription-based wine delivery service that bottles and labels surplus wines and sells them directly to consumers, in three- or six-bottle-per-month bundles, for a flat $15 per bottle.
Foot Of The Bed just completed a successful round of fundraising and ended its posting period in anticipation of getting its permits later this summer from the ABC. We sat down to talk with founder Luc Bergevin about the company and his plans for the future.
Bergevin, who has lived on Page Street for three years, said he first got into wine during college, while he worked around vineyards in Paso Robles.
"I really liked the farming, agriculture aspect of it," he said. In Los Altos, after college, he met a group of home winemakers, and "I learned what goes on in that process, from harvest to bottling. I really developed a real appreciation for that."
One friend gave him a barrel of Sonoma zinfandel, which he kept in his bedroom. The only place it fit was in a narrow spot between his desk and the foot of the bed—hence the name.
After four years working in and out of tech marketing, Bergevin hatched the scheme for Foot Of The Bed. "I've been thinking about starting this business for three years," he said. "It's a super satisfying thing—I wanted the idea to be right."
Foot Of The Bed's business is based around buying bulk, finish-quality wines from wineries, which it then bottles and labels to sell via subscription to wine drinkers.
"There's this gap in the market where a lot of finish-quality wine sits in tanks, with no end buyer," Bergevin said. "What we're doing is buying up those lots—one red and one white per month."
Martin Sheehan-Stross, who is also the sommelier for Michael Mina, is his partner in the business, and will be helping him select the wines.
"We sort of think that a lot of younger folks are interested in wine, but don't have the time or money to learn about it," he said. The subscription is an entrée to engaging with wine, with minimal hassle.
For now, most of the company's offerings will come from Napa and Sonoma counties. Bergevin said that while Foot of the Bed isn't married exclusively to California wines, "there's enough stuff that's interesting that's really close by."
Foot Of The Bed recently closed an initial round of fundraising through family and friends. With their first $100,000, Bergevin said they're shooting to be off the ground by August, with the first shipment for subscribers landing in September.
"We're just really excited," Bergevin said of the launch. "We love that we're in San Francisco; I love living in the Haight. I'm just excited to be up and running."
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