Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 11/28/14

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Some of the best learning happens when you read stories about real people and real companies. Read them for ideas, for lessons, and inspiration. This week’s stories and strategies from real life are about Harman Kardon, Which Wich, Canard Winery, Catullo Prime Meats, and BMW.

From JP Donlon: How to Re-Invent a 60-Year-Old Company

“Replacing a founder-entrepreneur and transforming the business at the same time is no small matter.”

From Frank Witsil: Sandwich chain owner discusses ingredients to success

“The first one I came up with was called the Main Street Asylum. It was topless bar. Topless, meaning it didn’t have a roof on it because it was the only thing I could afford to lease, a burnt out building. We were so successful that six months later, I opened another bar. Then, I followed up with theme bars. I did a bunch of them — 10 over five years — before selling all of them and starting my first chain, called Genghis Grill.”

From David Pierson: Drought revives ‘forgotten art’ at wineries: Farming without irrigation

“The gnarled zinfandel grapevines on Rich Czapleski’s land have borne fruit for more than 100 years, producing dark, intense wines that exemplify the special growing conditions in this coveted winemaking region. Over that time, the vines have weathered some of California’s worst droughts — including the last three years with little difficulty. Their survival isn’t owed to advancements in irrigation. Drip hoses like those seen at most vineyards across the state are curiously absent. Czapleski relies on dry farming — a classic method of cultivation that has fallen to the wayside.”

From Patrick Clark: Turduckens: How One Butcher Shop Built an Online Bird Business

“Last year, Danny Catullo stopped advertising his butcher shop’s mail-order turduckens online three weeks before Christmas. He was afraid he couldn’t keep up with demand for the holiday delicacy, which his Poland (Ohio)-based Catullo Prime Meats creates by cutting out the breastbones of turkeys and filling the cavity with a duck, a boneless chicken, and apple sausage stuffing.”

From Doron Levin: BMW genius: Apple’s concept moves to cars

“To help stay on top as global No. 1 maker of luxury automobiles, Germany’s BMW is redesigning the way its dealerships operate, a process that will include more ‘genius’ product specialists and fewer sales personnel.”

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