After getting married and moving to California, Alex and Jenn Root Martell took a cidery tour in their home state of Virginia. With each sip, they came to realize that making and selling cider was something they would love to do, especially for Jenn, who was gluten-free and wanted a canned drink for when her friends drank beer together. So, when they got home, the couple started home fermenting. Now, that hobby has developed into a 30,000 gallon per year cidery just south of San Francisco.
Finding a comprehensive business management software made with cideries in mind proved to be a challenge for the South City team. They used lots of spreadsheets and tried a handful of CRMs before landing on Ekos. Jenn is the company’s “co-chief and overseer of order” and she runs the business’s back-of-house operations. She struggled to keep all of the cidery’s forms, data, and spreadsheets straight when it all took place on pen and paper.
Since adopting Ekos in 2016, South City Cider has grown in more ways than one. The team has utilized the software to help improve and optimize their cider making process. South City has been able to better track and prevent batch loss using Ekos, helping the team make more and sell more.
“We’re always trying to limit our batch loss, and being able to track that in the most efficient way possible has really helped us clue in on what’s potentially going wrong when losses are high,” Jenn said.
On top of making more cider, South City is also using Ekos to streamline their operations and production information, leaving more time to grow and pursue new opportunities.
The team just entered a partnership with 47 Hills Brewing Company, which is giving the cidery a taproom for the very first time. The team created a new facility view to integrate the brewers’ tanks into the South City space and is working on getting their inventory tracked in the system. Jenn says before they did anything with the partnership, South City called Ekos and was met with confirmation that creating a new view would be simple.
“I think it’s going to be really lovely for our new partner to go into Ekos and transfer between storage and taproom so we can really track where product is going,” Jenn said.
In Jenn’s wheelhouse of accounting, the business runs through 50-75 invoices per week that previously would need to be inputted manually to QuickBooks. Jenn said the amount of time she saves using Ekos for her invoices is “unquantifiable.”
“Ekos is the best program available for a company of our size,” Jenn said. “It really does beat all of the spreadsheets and running around counting things.”