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Barrow’s Intense Bounces Back From COVID-19 Troubles

Barrow’s Intense Bounces Back From COVID-19 Troubles
By Teddy Lyons
Date November 10, 2022

We recommended Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur back in 2016. Barrow’s is a Brooklyn-based producer of premium handmade ginger liqueur. We recently caught up with CEO Josh Morton to learn more about the company’s progress and future plans. 

Back in 2019, the company’s business was booming, and it had just reached profitability. 

And then COVID-19 hit. 

Since 80% of the company’s revenue comes from restaurants, the pandemic had a devastating impact on Barrow’s. The company fought tooth and nail to survive and at one point even began selling hand sanitizer. With assistance from government loans, Barrow’s made it through the pandemic.

Since then, Barrow’s has been doing very well. The company is selling in all 50 states and has now returned to pre-pandemic revenues. 

In 2021, Barrow’s recorded $1.2 million in sales. The company once again reached profitability and is showing consistent year-over-year quarterly growth of about 30%. Its bounce back from COVID has been remarkable. 

Go-Forward Strategy

Barrow’s is keenly focused on generating interest from national restaurant chains. The company will be in more than 200 P.F. Chang’s locations and feature on its winter cocktail menu from January through April. This should serve as a nice catapult to potentially sign other large chains. 

The beauty of Barrow’s is that its liqueur does not have many competitors. Therefore, once the company gets into a national chain, it tends to stay there given the lack of substitutes. So that is the company’s plan moving forward: continue the slow and steady growth of its national restaurant chain pipeline while continuing to build out its off-premise retail sales (currently about 20% of sales). 

Additionally, Barrow’s opened a Brooklyn-based tasting room in 2019. This gorgeous room is made to celebrate spirits distilled in New York state and offers another opportunity to market its ginger liqueur. While the tasting room was negatively impacted by COVID, it has returned to generating consistent revenue. Barrow’s will be expanding the room early next year. If you live nearby, check it out!

Future Fundraising and Exit Considerations

Barrow’s is not thinking about an exit anytime soon. While the company is profitable, it is not yet large enough or growing fast enough to be a realistic acquisition target. However, this could certainly change in the coming years, particularly if its traction with national restaurant chains continues to grow. In the meantime, the company may consider distributing a dividend to shareholders in the coming years (if it makes sense to do so).

Barrow’s is committed to self-funding its way to further growth. The company has gotten its gross margins to about 70%, which is quite remarkable for the liqueur space. And this has been a key reason why the company has reached profitability. As a result, self-funding certainly seems plausible for Barrow’s for the foreseeable future. If the company were to raise another round of fundraising, it would likely be through more traditional means like venture capital or debt financing. 

All in all, Barrow’s has had a bumpy ride since our recommendation. However, the company showed great resilience to get through the worst of COVID. And now it’s in a great position to double down on its national restaurant chain strategy and hopefully start generating big profits in the near future. We will be sure to keep you updated on any big announcements from Barrow’s in the future.

P.S. Customers have long been asking Barrow’s to release a comprehensive list of beverage recipes that incorporate ginger liqueur. In response, Barrow’s recently released a phone app with hundreds of recipes, so you can create a curated beverage that precisely fits your palate. Check it out!

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