JANUARY 1, 2020- Sunnyvale, CA
In my own life, as in my business life, I have always tried to integrate elements of the ‘Eightfold Path’ that are at the heart of Buddhist tradition into what I do. Right View, Right Intention, Right Action, Right Speech, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration.
What started as a hobby in 1987 blossomed into a business in 1994 has grown into one of the largest mead producing companies in the world. It is hard to imagine that there are so many producers today when only a handful existed back then.
Now, Rabbit’s Foot Meadery is ‘the biggest meadery you never heard of.’
Twenty-five years have passed in what seems like an instant. As with all things, time passes, and people grow older. As we do, our goals change. The challenges we face sometimes force the direction we must go. New opportunities arise, giving birth to new ideas or change the focus of the original plan. Elderly family members require more attention, and that requires time and travel.
And so things must change to accommodate.
We have, after long and careful consideration, decided that we will close our Sunnyvale production facility by the end of 2020.
Rabbit’s Foot Meadery is not going away entirely, though. We are merely morphing into something different. Something wonderful.
We will continue to operate our business in Ireland, Celtic Meadery, and will continue to import that product into the United States.
We will open in our new location in the Sierra foothills as a destination meadery. Here guests can enjoy the weekend with us in our home, where we will discuss mead, mead making, sample many meads from around the world, and collaborate to make more mead. At the new facility, we will focus on small batches of unique meads that will be made available periodically throughout the year to members. Here the goal will be to continue the work we have done already with our Melia, Odin, Loki, Garavogue, and The Mead of Poetry.
Our time in Silicon Valley has come to an end. An end to our business here. Certainly not an end to our ideas, only a change to how and what we do. A new focus of our effort.
We have been creators and participants in the world of craft mead, from only a handful of producers in 1995 to now perhaps 400 or more in the United States alone. From our single facility in California to production on two continents, we have been part of the rise of mead around the world. The vanguard of the industry.
We hope that we have helped others by sharing our knowledge and wisdom that we have learned along the way.
We salute those who have followed in our footsteps. And it is with a great deal of pride that we see others, many our friends, leading the way and treading where we had never thought to venture, and, who are now doing what we dreamed of even more than us. The torch is still burning bright, and we hope that you will succeed as much as we have. However, it is time to pass that flame along.
As we set up the new facility, we won’t need all of our existing equipment, though, and so rather than sell it all piecemeal, we want someone else to have it.
Are you growing, do you need more equipment? Do you want to take on an investor? We have been fortunate in our industry and other ventures in Silicon Valley, and so we want to give back to the industry that we helped create. We are interested in providing you with equipment for a stake in your business. We have $1M in equipment that is state of the art, and we will either sell it or use it to invest in other producer’s businesses. Let me know.
To those who are just starting, I have a few words for you – stay the course. Make the best product you can. Don’t be afraid to sell it for a fair price. Don’t give in to market pressures and push your prices down. Don’t borrow unless you have to. Egos are a terrible thing; confidence is okay as long as you know the difference.
Cheers, and here’s to another 25 years.
Maria & Mike
Rabbit’s Foot Meadery * Mead
Red Branch Cider Company * Cider
Red Branch Brewing Company * Braggot