ADDRESS: 119 SW 4th Street, Corvallis, OR 97333
PHONE NUMBER: 541-758-1674
OWNER: Joel Rea
YEARS IN BUSINESS: 14
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 2 part-time and 2 full-time
WHAT THEY SELL: Home fermentation supplies and packaged goods to go
WHY YOU SHOULD GO: This Corvallis gem has all the supplies you could possibly need for fermentation projects, and they offer a broad and unusual selection of beers from around the world.
Joel Rea and his dedicated staff offer Corvallis residents and shoppers from afar the opportunity to find success with their home fermentation projects. In addition to their huge selection of brewing supplies, they sell beer, wine, port, champagne, cider, mead, and sake, from near and far, to be purchased and enjoyed. When you stop in, make sure to give a pat or two to Blue, Corvallis Brewing Supply’s friendly store mascot.
Joel, when and why did you start your business? I started my business in October, 1998, because I needed a job. I had graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Visual Design but realized that was not what I wanted to do. Our first location on Jackson Street was where 101 is currently. After two years, I moved to Madison Avenue where High Brow Eyewear now resides. Our current location here on 4th Street has grown to be a little too small, but it’s complicated to change locations, so we’re happy with where we are for now.
What are your specialties and favorites? That’s like asking me which of my children is my favorite. I would have to say the home fermentation supplies are my favorite. I enjoy helping people become successful at fermenting beer, wine, cider, soda, cheeses, pickles, etc. Also, I’m a beer guy – but I am fond of Champagne.
What does being featured as the Local Business of the Week mean to you? It means that I am “top of mind” to somebody!
What does your business do better than anyone else? Well, even though we are the only home fermentation shop in town, we still feel that it i crucial to give the best service, helping people achieve their objectives. Our products are top quality. Corvallis Brewing Supply is also a good example of a little gem that makes Corvallis unique and special for those who live here – as well as a place that draws people to Corvallis other than for football games.
What challenges have you faced as an independent local business owner and how have you met those challenges? I have had to blaze my own trail and to figure things out on my own, especially since there are not a lot of professional development seminars for home fermentation shop proprietors! There is constant work, always having something that needs to be done. I have met these challenges with a stiff upper lip.
What do you feel is the impact of local independent businesses on Corvallis? It’s a whole lot more interesting to shop locally. You can shop at your leisure. People have independent motives in Corvallis. In my opinion, there’s a strong likelihood that independents will continue to grow and thrive in Corvallis.
Is this your dream job? There are a lot of things I want to do, but living the dream is what I’m doing right now. When I was younger, I wanted to be a forest service employee, out working in the woods. That was actually my first job, but it wasn’t a realistic dream.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to start a local, independent business in Corvallis? Stick to it. Be flexible and willing to roll with the changes.
(Interview and article by Debra Hascall – December 23, 2012)
The Local Business of the Week program is designed to help the Corvallis community identify our locally owned independent businesses by featuring one business each week. The program is part of the Buy Local First campaign co-sponsored by the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition and the Community Independent Business Alliance (CIBA).