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The Hustle

Name: Vincent Shook (Florida Orange Groves Winery)

Posted By Graham Colton

Vincent Shook is the president of Florida Orange Groves, Inc., the company behind Florida Orange Groves and Winery. Since 1991, the Shook family has produced wine Florida-style. The winery officially opened in 1997, offering more than 43 kinds of tropical wines. Its signature citrus, tropical and berry wines are the only Florida wines permitted to show the Florida Sunshine Tree, which is the Florida Department of Citrus' official mark of superior quality. These wines are also the only Florida wine permitted at Disney's annual Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. Sometimes more than nine pounds of fruit go into the juice of a single bottle.

Years in Tampa Bay

46

Hustle (job)

President, Florida Orange Groves, Inc.

What do you do?  

Manufacture 43 different kinds of tropical Florida wines at our family winery in St. Petersburg.

Why do you do it?

For my family.

What was your Catalyst? (How did you get started?)

We were originally in the citrus business where we squeezed fresh juice for local retail customers. Since I was much younger (and not too long out of college and my fraternity), our juice business just sort of expanded into some experimentation with fermentation!

What’s a common misconception or unknown aspect of what you do?

Common misconception: Grapes make the best wine. Unknown aspect: Our wines are made 100 percent from juice other than grapes, and have won more than 345 medals to date, including several Best of Show and Best of Class awards.

What’s the most challenging part of your Hustle?

The seven-day-a-week demands of running a manufacturing business, a wholesale business, a retail business and a "franchise" operation.

What’s the most valuable piece of business advice/insight that’s helped you?

Research, and make sure a receptive and large enough market exists for your unique product(s) before you commit significant resources to any expansive investment/effort.

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