So much has changed over that time and this year Goodwill Wine finally turned a profit. We have always donated a set dollar amount from our wines regardless, and in the first few years this money came from my part-time job. As the business grew I was able to leave that job and a few years later I moved out of the warehouse and into a little rental house. While personal profits remained elusive, the business continued to grow, as did the donations.
Then came the investors and we began to expand. As we got bigger, so did our overheads - a bigger warehouse, more staff, marketing, labeling machines, printing machines, forklifts, pallet racking and a bigger selection of wines.
Growing soaked up much of the money, but it drove a huge increase in turnover, and consequently doubled and then tripled our donations.
Last week I spoke with our accountant and I'm happy to report that Goodwill Wine is finally making as much money as it is donating to charity. This is a watershed moment for us and the beginning of the next stage in our journey - to donate even more from every bottle sold.
My goal from the start was to create a sustainable business without all of the greed, and while this has taken a little longer than I had hoped, thanks to all of our wonderful supporters we have finally arrived.
Many of you have been on this journey with me for quite some time and many more of you are new. But you all have one thing in common.. You got here early. Somehow you have seen the method in the madness before it morphed into the mainstream and in so doing, you have kept me afloat in so many different ways. For this, I really can't thank you enough, it is the thing that keeps me going.
I am looking forward to seeing my family this Christmas (fingers crossed). Like a lot of you it has been far too long between drinks and as we begin to tentatively venture back out into the world, I am wishing you all the love that you so richly deserve. I hope you get to celebrate this coming holiday period with your favourite people and above everything else, you all stay safe.
I want to thank you again for taking the chance on me, it has changed my life and in no small way the fortunes of so many great causes.