Tiburon, CA-based First Growth Brands Inc. and its champagne brand Faire La Fête is experiencing fast growth and have lofty goals for 2022.
Sales of the champagne have grown more than 620 percent since mid-2019, the number of outlets has expanded from a few hundred to nearly 3,000, and the brand can be found in every major metro market in the country.
Top locations such as Michael Mina’s Bungalo Kitchen in Tiburon, the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles and Bobby Van’s in New York are serving Faire La Fête by the glass. And it has become the No. 1 French Sparkling in the sub $50 category in Albertsons-Vons-Pavilions, the 2nd-largest grocery chain by market share in Southern California.
Speaking from the company’s frugal headquarters above the Boardwalk shopping center in downtown Tiburon, First Growth Brands CEO Edward Holl said, “Over the past two decades, cheap Prosecco became the dominant imported sparkling in the US, with its lead brand La Marca selling as much as the entire Champagne region combined. That’s because the average American can’t afford the $50 entry price or $28 by the glass price, of French champagne. So, they turned to Prosecco.”
“We decided to do something about that,” Holl continues. “Our consumers love France and all things French, and we’re giving it back to them with hand-harvested champagne, among the highest quality with half the sugar of tank-fermented Prosecco, at 1/3 the price. With our consumers, it’s just no contest.”
Contributing to the brand’s ability to avoid stock shortages this year is the bond that First Growth has forged with the farmers in Limoux, who now see their 500-year champagne history displayed across the US. “This will undoubtedly become America’s biggest French sparkling,” said First Growth director Andy Gibson, formerly the head of marketing for Bacardi and Fosters.
Former global head of sales for Diageo and Johnnie Walker, Ron Anderson, has also joined First Growth as a director and shareholder and said, “In my forty years, rarely have I seen a brand with as many built in characteristics for success as this has.”
And what’s next for the brand? “We aim to be No. 3 in French champagne by the end of next year, by putting everyday champagne joy into the hearts of many more,” Holl said.