Dreyfus, Ashby & Co. is a national importer and marketer of a carefully chosen portfolio of fine wines and spirits.
Headquartered in New York City, Dreyfus, Ashby markets its products in all fifty states through a network of wholesale customers.
The Company supports these wholesalers with a team of 20 Dreyfus, Ashby sales specialists located in 17 major markets across the country. Dreyfus, Ashby has been a wine importer for more than 70 years.
The Company represents primarily quality-oriented family wine producers as exemplified by its owner, Maison Joseph Drouhin.
Now headquartered on the 15th Floor of 630 Third Ave. in New York City, Dreyfus, Ashby was founded in London, England, more than 70 years ago. The company’s founder, Swiss born Michel Dreyfus, followed an uncle into the wine business and became an almost legendary figure in the trade.
From the outset, Dreyfus, Ashby devoted itself to dealing in superior wines from renowned vineyards and estates. Slowly, but with unerring taste, the new wine merchant began to acquire the right to represent one famed property after another. For a decade and a half the company prospered, until gathering war-clouds burst over Europe, effectively choking the wine trade to a trickle. Invited to bring his expertise to the United States, Michel Dreyfus transferred his operation to New York. Following the end of World War II and with the resurgence of the wine trade on the continent, Dreyfus, Ashby once again became a prime factor in the wine-importing business.
Dreyfus, Ashby was purchased by a major distiller in 1957 and operated as a separate division under the presidency of its founder, Mr. Dreyfus, who continued to develop its quality wine business. During the 1960s, Dreyfus Ashby evolved from a regional importer-wholesaler to a national importer selling its products to a network of wine and spirit wholesalers throughout the country.
With the retirement of Michel Dreyfus in the mid-seventies, the company strayed from its original philosophy, devoting some of its effort toward mass market wines and spirits.
In 1983, the new management structured Dreyfus Ashby, redefined its objectives and reemphasized its original position as a supplier of high quality imported wines and spirits.
Two years later, in order to assure the continuation of the company’s renascent fine wine and spirit philosophy, a key Dreyfus supplier, the Joseph Drouhin firm, took financial control of Dreyfus Ashby. Joseph Drouhin is a highly reputed Burgundy wine grower and négociant based in Beaune, France, and is wholly owned and controlled by Robert Drouhin and his immediate family.
Organization – Philosophy & Objectives
The objective of Dreyfus Ashby is to build successful sales and distribution for a selection of complementary high quality wine and spirit products. As the company adds to its portfolio, it is quite prepared to deal with products meeting these criteria even though current or potential volume may be limited. At the same time, however, it recognizes the importance of maintaining the overall volume growth necessary to support a quality organization and gives careful attention to the brand franchises showing greater growth potential.The company seeks strong ties with suppliers and customers who demonstrate inordinate aptitude and interest for the high quality segment of the market. As the wine and spirits industry moves rapidly toward increased concentration of volume in the hands of a few large wholesalers whose supplies are dominated by fewer and larger international public companies, Dreyfus maintains its quality position and its human scale of operation. The company feels that the distribution of fine wines is best served by those who have the specialized knowledge and the patience and consistency to build quality products.
Dreyfus Ashby distributes its products in all fifty states through wholesalers and state boards. The more than 100 wholesalers in the Dreyfus Ashby network range from small family operations to giant, multi-sales force metropolitan distributors. Where necessary, the company divides its products among different wholesalers in the same market in order to better match product to distributor. Dreyfus Ashby continually monitors its wholesaler network in response to the rapidly changing wholesale environment.
Company Sales Force
The company’s sales and promotional efforts are executed through five regional directors who operate with a marked degree of autonomy. The large geographical area and the diversity of interests and consumption habits favor this kind of decentralized structure. Regional autonomy also fosters stronger personal relationships with customers, stimulates individual creativity and better permits the patient building of local brand franchises. Each regional manager is aided by a number of Dreyfus Ashby area managers, totaling 14 throughout the country. Their combined task is to be in close contact with their local distributors and to also call regularly on the best on and off-premise accounts in their markets.
Although larger wholesalers frequently buy in container-lots direct from foreign ports, Dreyfus maintains U.S. stocks of its products both as a backup for its large customers and for regular supply to smaller customers. The availability of local stocks is an important ingredient in the building of small, specialized brands.
Dreyfus maintains products on both coasts in accessible high traffic areas facilitating efficient pick-up by wholesalers. The East Coast warehouse, in North Bergen, NJ, by the Port of New York, is in an area generally used by wholesalers for consolidation of goods from many wine and spirits suppliers.
On the West Coast, the Dreyfus inventory is in the air-conditioned Western Wine Services Warehouse. From this location, merchandise is easily consolidated with regular shipments of premium California Wine from Northern California to wine wholesalers throughout the country.