With an extraordinarily long resume in the industry — including several years with our distributor in the region — it wasn’t a difficult decision to bring on Ashley Pike as our newest representative as we expand westward into Pennsylvania.
“Ashley’s got strong relationships with a number of retail accounts in the Lehigh Valley and Berks and Lancaster counties,” says Director of Sales Bill Zaninelli. “She’s enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and has a strong will to succeed. It doesn’t hurt that she loves Cape May Brewing Company, and she loves being a part of it.”
Our Pennsylvania Regional Sales Manager, Erin Gale, is happy to have her as part of the team, as well.
“Ashley has great existing relationships with our customers in the new markets, particularly the Lehigh Valley,” she says. “She has a great work ethic and a fantastic ‘can-do’ attitude, and I’m happy to have her on the Pennsylvania team.”
She graduated from Nazareth High School before attending DeSales University in Center Valley, PA, outside of Bethlehem, so she’s particularly at home in her new territory of Northampton, Lehigh, Berks, and Lancaster counties.
Ashley has a tremendous amount of experience in the industry, having worked that area for both an independent brewery and for our distributor in the area, Origlio.
“I was at Origlio Reading, so we never had Cape May up there until now,” she says, “but we heard about Cape May and we knew the reputation. The Valley and the surrounding counties are very happy to have Cape May.”
As we expand, we’re getting into some uncharted territories — at least as far as the staff at Straight to the Pint is concerned. We usually don’t venture farther west than Philly, so Ashley had to explain that Northampton and Lehigh counties are “the Valley”.
“And Berks and Lancaster are… Berks and Lancaster,” she laughs.
Regardless, she says that we have a pretty decent following out there.
“I think a lot of people in Berks, Lancaster, Northampton, and Lehigh counties vacation down here,” she says, “or have vacationed close to here and connect our brand to this beautiful vacation destination.”
Walking into bars in the area, people see her Cape May shirt and instantly make a connection.
“They say, ‘Oh, Cape May! I know Cape May!’,” she says.
“My kid’s awesome,” she says. “She’s great. She’s super fun. Very outgoing. Natural performer. She’s always singing, dancing, dressing up. She loves live music because I love live music, so we love to go to shows.”
Ashley says that Keira is a “self-taught singer,” but she takes dance classes and gymnastics.
“Perhaps I should sign her up for some singing lessons for everyone’s well-being,” she jokes.
When she’s not working, it sounds like Ashley has a pretty full social calendar.
“I’m all over the place,” she says. “I like going to live music. I like going to music festivals. I’m pretty big into my dogs. Love the beach. Like going to baseball games; I’m a big baseball fan.”
“I’m from the north!” she says, defensively. “Once you go that far up north, you get to pick, because I’m like an hour and change from Philly and an hour and change from New York City, so it takes me just as long to get to The Bronx as it does to get to South Philly.”
Okay, Ashley. You get a pass.
“It’s more expensive to go to The Bronx because you have to pay all those tolls,” she says, “but it’s worth it.”
She’s traveled quite a bit to see games, too.
“I’ve been to Wrigley, I’ve been to US Cellular — that’s the White Sox,” she says. “I’ve been to a lot.”
Ashley and her daughter have two French Bulldogs, Weezie and Gus Gus.
“Weezie was my first French Bulldog — he’s almost eight,” she says. “I thought he was going to have breathing problems, so I named him Weezie, but it turns out that he has a longer snout and no breathing problems. Gus Gus is my daughter’s dog that Santa brought, and he’s named after the fat mouse in Cinderella.”
When asked where she goes for beaches, she claims to go “everywhere.”
“I love the Caribbean beaches,” she says. “I love the Carolina beaches. I love some of the Jersey beaches. If there’s ocean and sand, I’m happy. I love Florida. Key West. Key West is my happy place.”
And her love of the beach had a lot to do with her decision to take the job at CMBC.
“Beach. Beer. Two things that I really love,” she says.
But it definitely wasn’t her only determinant.
“It sounds corny, but I really like the business structure we have around here,” she says. “I really admire the careful way the company has expanded. I think the marketing looks great. I think the beers are delicious. Yeah. I’m really a fan of Cape May. I’m honored to share it with the established relationships I already have in The Valley.”
Even though she loves the beaches and she loves Cape May, she still hasn’t had the chance to visit our downtown or our beaches.
“It’s crazy!” she says. “Every time I come down here, it’s for a meeting, so I’m in and out so fast because I usually have an event — which, again, I have an event at 6 in Berks County. But, one day, I’m going to come down on a Friday, and I’m going to bring my daughter, and I’m going to put her in an office or something during the meeting, and then we’re going to go stay for the weekend. Someday.”
It’s a bit of a hike for her to get down here, but Ashley doesn’t mind.
“People are like, ‘Oh, you have to drive three hours to the brewery every few weeks?’” she says. “And I’m like, ‘I’m driving to this beautiful town.’ Even if I only get to drive around for a little bit, it’s worth it.”
Regardless, Ashley’s really looking forward to sharing our beers in her territory.
“What we do isn’t the same as everybody else,” she says. “It’s unique. It’s fun to introduce that. People get so excited when they see us about to launch at an account. My friends think that I’m the new Lehigh Valley hookup for Cape May.”
That doesn’t really stop.
“But it’s cool to work for a brewery where people want your beer,” she says. “Coming to a brewery that’s new to our area, people really want it. It’s nice to be a part of that.”
And Ashley’s been loving her time with us so far.
“Everybody’s been awesome,” she says. “Everyone works really well together. You don’t find this kind of workplace environment in many places.”
She’s been loving her access to her two new favorite beers.
“I love Always Ready,” she says. “It’s a flavor bomb, and it’s a lower ABV so I can enjoy this flavor bomb all day long and still hang. I love Crushin’ It, too. It’s unique. I feel like I’m eating an orange and drinking a beer at the same time, so it’s ‘healthy’. Then you realize it’s 8%, and you’re like, ‘Oops. I drank four.’”
If you see Ashley out in the field out there in Northampton, Lehigh, Berks, and Lancaster counties, be sure to say hello!