Last week, we hit a milestone by acquiring our 200th New Jersey account: The Stockton Seaview Resort in Galloway. So we caught up with our sales team: Justin Vitti, a CrossFit-loving solver of Rubik Cube algorithms, and Richie Rallo, a vegan Jersey boy who says “rad” a lot (but not in this interview, strangely). Here’s what the guys had to say about number 200:
So, which one of you nabbed the 200th account?
Richie: Technically me. But it was a team effort. There’s no ‘I’ in team.
Justin: But there is a ‘me.’
Are you guys competitive with each other?
Richie: Not at all.
Justin: We work well together.
Oh, c’mon. Not even a little competitive?
Richie: If I could grow a mustache, we’d be competitive.
… But you have a mustache.
Richie: Yea, unless you take a few steps back, and then you can’t even see it. Pisses me off, too, because my father has a dope mustache.
How will you celebrate the 200th?
Richie: Maybe a round of golf at the Stockton Seaview Resort. Nah, I don’t think they’d let us riffraff on the course there.
What’s the dream account?
Justin: I have dream accounts in Philly. They’ve got some of the best beer bars in the country. We’re already in many of the institutions, like Standard Tap, Johnny Brenda’s and The Grey Lodge Pub, and there’s more I’m working on.
What’s the best part of your job?
Justin: Reporters asking me what the best part of my job is. Also, every day is different. You have a routine you follow but you’re always
getting thrown new things. Beer is always changing and people’s tastes are always changing.
Richie: I like walking into a place where we’re already on tap and seeing people drinking our beer and raving about it.
Does beer taste better when you’ve sold it?
Richie: Yea, you could say that. Some people think it’s funny and some people thinks it’s arrogant that I always order Cape May beer, but I was doing that before I worked here.
What’s the best part of working together?
J: We’re two different personalities, but we complement one another. I struggle a lot with the hard sale, and Richie’s got it.
R: We zig and zag together.
What’s the most annoying thing about working together?
J: Richie’s a vegan.
R: Justin eats a lot of meat.
J: Yes. I’m Paleo 100 percent, 70 percent of the time.
Any reason you’re especially excited the 200th account is the Stockton Resort?
R: That was one that took a lot of paperwork. The conversation has been going on a while; the email thread goes back to January. There was a change in management, and then they got busy – an LPGA tournament came through, then it was the Fourth of July, so it’s nice to see it come to fruition.
What’s the goal moving forward?
R: I see Delaware as the next milestone, aside from self-distributing throughout the entire state of Jersey.
J: North Jersey is next. Right now, we distribute up to the border of Burlington County. Logistically speaking, Delaware, too. We’re on the ferry so we have that relationship already. The other angle would be New York.
For a brewery this size, is it typical to have only two guys covering the territory you’re covering?
J: We do more work than some of your typical brewery reps would do, because we don’t go through a wholesaler.
R: Other reps don’t take orders like we do, for example. That’s all done through distributors.
Does that make you feel… stressed? Proud? Sexy?
R: It helps us control everything, from quality to delivery to customer service.
And what sets your customer service apart?
J: I really care about the product. I’ve been a supporter of this brand since before I worked here. The beer can stand up to some of the most top-rated beers out there.
R: Aside from that, we’re both local guys. I have a second phone with brewery contacts, but I only need it for half of my accounts. Everyone else I had a relationship with prior.
Having driven all over the state for your job, what’s the most underrated thing about Jersey?
R: Diversity. Everyone thinks we have this hair gel, fist-pump, Snookie thing going on.
J: There’s a whole country western thing happening to the Northwest of us. And almost a Philadelphia mindset when you get to Camden and Gloucester County. Down here, I mean, we’re laid back beach people.
What’s the most surprising thing about your job?
J: The amount of paperwork involved.
R: We probably spend a quarter of our time on it.
So it’s not all schmoozing?
R: I mean, I like a good schmooze, but no.
What else should people know?
R: We’ll chat again at 500 accounts.
J: Isn’t that next week?