Brothers Bill and Tim Brandt are no strangers to the restaurant and alcohol industry. For years they helped their father operate two successful beer distributors in Northeast Philly. In the ’90s, the brothers found their way to South Jersey where they frequently shopped at Traino’s Wine & Spirits Marlton, a familiar and popular landmark to the area. It’s no surprise that when Traino’s went for sale in 2000, they jumped at the opportunity to buy the store and shake things up.
From the innovative ways they attract new foot traffic, to the top-notch customer service offered in the store, Traino’s is committed to finding new ways to stand out. We caught up with Bill Brandt at the Marlton location who gave us the rundown on what makes Traino’s special.
Heady Times (HT): What new initiatives have you implemented over the years to stay ahead of the curve?
Bill Brandt (BB): We realize that change happens rapidly, especially in today’s market, and are always willing to adapt. In our store, we carry ⅓ beer, ⅓ liquor, and ⅓ wine. Over the years, our beer department has grown, and today includes domestic, international craft and micro beers. We have beer geeks on the floor who are knowledgeable in beer and eager to help pick something out in one of our 22 coolers. We hold beer tastings on Thursdays and offer customers a create your own six-pack of single bottles and cans from our Mix-A-Six shelves any day of the week. Additionally, we have a Wine Director/Sommelier on hand to answer questions and who holds an informative wine tasting every Friday.
HT: Wait, the store has an app? Tell us more.
BB: We’re always trying to push the envelope when it comes to trying new things and incentivizing our loyal customers. The app offers discounts when you join our rewards program. On your 10th visit, you get 10% off your purchase. It’s that simple.
We post on BeerMenus routinely and are active on social media, letting our customers know about tastings and specials in the stores.
HT: You have a reputation for being a friendly, clean store. How do you maintain this?
BB: Customer service is our priority. We pride ourselves on hiring and keeping friendly, knowledgeable staff. We have 18 full-time and part-time employees in Marlton, and 9 in Voorhees. The Marlton store has had the same employees for years. Tim and I do whatever we can to support and encourage staff training and more education in the industry.
HT: You put on a rocking Wine and Beer Festival each year. What does this event mean to you and Tim?
BB: For the past 11 years, we’ve hosted a Wine and Beer Festival to honor our late father who passed away from Leukemia/Lymphoma. The event raises around $20,000 to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Southern New Jersey. This year’s event is scheduled for March 6, 2020, at the Tavistock Country Club, and we expect 400 guests to come out and support this great cause.
Going into 2020, Traino’s Marlton will be celebrating 20 years of business. Stay tuned for celebration plans.
About Kramer Beverage
Kramer Beverage is South Jersey’s largest beer wholesaler, owned and operated by four generations of the Kramer family since 1924. Kramer Beverage is based out of Hammonton, Atlantic County, and services eight counties in southern New Jersey with top brands from MillerCoors, Constellation, Yuengling, Boston Beer, Heineken USA, Pabst, Diageo, FIFCO and more. Kramer Beverage also distributes a wide variety of craft beers, from suppliers such as New Belgium and Sierra Nevada, to local favorites including Flying Fish, Double Nickel, Evil Genius, Glasstown, Sly Fox, and 2SP. For more information on Kramer Beverage, please visit www.kramerbev.com.