It’s been a crazy few days. I’ve been stressing out so much. I hadn’t heard from Kevin Coelho from HGC Imports in over a week, even after I sent him a thank you email and everything. I had already booked my 2 week flight to LA and it was coming up fast. Also, I hadn’t heard back from Fatima at Best Beverage after our initial meeting. I was originally supposed to go in last Friday for their Friday tasting, but Thursday she called me and had to cancel. I was a little bummed, but she said to call her the following week and we could schedule some time. I called her early this week and left her a quick message just saying that I was leaving for California on Friday but that I wanted to just touch base and see how things were etc. She finally called me back yesterday! We spoke very briefly and she wished me safe travels and asked me to call her when I get back to town and we can set a date/time to meet again. I was so relieved about that! And in the same day Kevin called me to set a date for our meeting in San Jose. We spoke twice – Wednesday and Thursday. He was very nice and welcoming and wants to make as much use of my time in San Jose as possible. The way he talks to me sounds as if he’s meeting with me to go over the position he’s offering me rather than a position he’s interviewing me for, which is pretty exciting. My brother, Tom and his new wife, Amparo, and I are all going up to San Jose Tuesday – Saturday. I’ll be meeting with Kevin briefly on Tuesday and possibly for dinner. Wednesday he wants to have me come into HGC Imports and tour the warehouse and meet everyone. Thursday he has a meeting with a grocer all day, so I’m going to spend the day with his brother going out on sales calls and things in the area. Friday I’m going to meet with Kevin again mid morning and lunch and to finalize our time. It all sounds so insane. I never thought in a million years that I’d be a-flying to California for an interview, and b-flying to California for an interview in the wine industry!!! It’s all happening so fast, and I’m so excited. I feel like I just graduated, I feel too young to be having this much success so far. Friday after I meet with Kevin again, my brother, Amparo and I are going to head north to Napa Valley to see some vineyards and just visit the area. I drove through Napa so briefly this summer I didn’t really get a chance to experience anything, and I didn’t stop into any wineries at all, so I’m very excited. Kevin said that if there’s time, him and his brother would like to show me around Napa, so maybe they’ll join us and be able to be our ‘tour guides.’ We’ll see what happens, it’s all very exciting. Now I’m just waiting for an email from Kevin to finalize the itinerary and everything.
It’s incredible how lucky I’ve been on this wine venture of mine so far, and I’m so grateful for all the help that I’ve been given along the way. I know if it weren’t for my families friends in Hawaii I would never have this opportunity in California or the job offer in Rhode Island.
Since everything has started to become actually finalized and everything, I’ve been thinking things over so much and trying to get a preliminary idea on what I’m going to do, which offer I’m going to chose, which coast I’m going to live on. I’ve also been thinking a lot about school. Although I’m so so very excited about everything happening with HGC, I’m leaning more towards Best Beverage for the following reasons:
I can attend grad school at Johnson & Wales and get my M.B.A in Hospitality with a concentration in event planning. I could also completely the WSET program also at Johnson & Wales at the same time. Expensive, yes, but worth it. I know that I do want to go back to school at some point and get a more business oriented degree, so I feel that Johnson & Wales Hospitality M.B.A program suits that need perfectly. Also, the WSET program is offered globally, it is not offered at a convenient location for me on the west coast. Another reason is that the living expenses on the east coast are wildly cheaper than the west. I would much rather have my parents help me pay for school (Johnson & Wales and WSET) than for living expenses. I know that I’m going to need their help in some way, and I’d much rather it be helping to further my education than just paying rent. I want their money and their assistance to be as constructive as possible. I’ve also been thinking that Kevin has my best interests in mind, he got me the interview with Best Beverage, so he’s interested in helping me find a job and succeed rather than finding me a job with him. So I believe that if I turn down something from Kevin now, I can stay on the east coast, go to school, gain experience and save enough money to afford living in California. I feel that I could call him in 5 years and ask for his help again, and he’ll either have an offer with his company waiting for me, or another contact to get me in touch with, like he did with John and Fatima at Best Beverage. This is all just my own initial thoughts on everything happening in my life. I have no idea what’s going to happen when I meet with Kevin, or even what the offer from Best Beverage looks like (I’m waiting on them to build me a package). An offer from Kevin might be too good to turn down, but an offer from Best Beverage may be just what I need to get myself started in this industry. Who knows. All I know right now is that this is all so exciting and I couldn’t be happier with even just having these interviews and contacts. I’ll write more during my time in California, hopefully with good and exciting news. But for now, I’m just going to keep my fingers crossed that everything goes well.
Also – Congrats to ms RosiePosie for getting an amazing offer from Hershey!! I’m so sad that she’ll be leaving me by the time I get home from my trip, but I couldn’t be happier and more excited for her! You can find her blog on innovative design and packaging at pigeononbrain.wordpress.com