After more than a decade of closely working together, two of Australia’s largest family-owned liquor wholesalers – Paramount Liquor and Liquid Specialty Beverages – have entered into a joint venture to become the largest independently owned liquor wholesaler in Australia.
Paramount Liquor (Paramount), which currently operates in Victoria, South Australia, NSW and the Australian Capital Territory has taken an equity stake in Queensland-based liquor wholesaler Liquid Specialty Beverages (Liquid), which services the Northern Rivers of NSW through to Port Douglas in Far North Queensland through its two warehousing facilities.
Founded in 1992 out of a garage in Melbourne’s inner-North, Paramount has grown to be Australia’s largest family-owned on-premise specialist wholesaler.
Darren Terlich, Director of Liquid, said the partnership between the Rowe family, owners of Paramount, and the Harch and Terlich families, was a natural fit given their strong family legacies.
“Our family values and customer-service driven business models have always been aligned,” Terlich explained. “When the opportunity arose to join forces with Paramount Liquor, we felt that it was the perfect time to make the move.”
The joint venture is expected the bring the best of both businesses together, collectively servicing more than 9000 on-premise customers throughout the eastern states.
The process of integrating the two businesses will commence in early 2022. Paramount said this will see both suppliers and customers benefiting from a single, on-premise focused solution. It includes the adoption of a unified ordering portal, and the Paramount brand.
Supplier partners’ brands will now be marketed and distributed at a national level via five distribution centres, totalling more than 50,000m2, and career opportunities are expected to increase among the group’s more than 400 existing staff members.
Director of Paramount, Nathan Rowe, said the partnership is focused on delivering exceptional results to customers.
“We’ve both always been confident in our ability to deliver a best in class on-premise wholesale solution in our respective markets,” Rowe said.
“However, with the evolution of the Paramount Liquor business over the past 24 months and the expansion of our offering into retail, we see this new venture together with Liquid as taking our customer-centric service offering to the next level.”
Paramount launched its own banner group, called Sessions, in Victoria last year.
“Paramount has traditionally been a 95% on-premise based business and as a result, we have been greatly affected by the COVID-19 shutdown of bars, restaurants and cafes across Victoria, NSW and South Australia,” Rowe noted last year.
“Post COVID-19, it is evident that we need to diversify our business into the retail channel and the best way to do this is by using our existing reputation for paramount service and bringing on experienced personnel who played a significant role in moulding the retail banner group environment that exists today.”
Paramount intends to expand the Sessions banner group nationally. Outlets in NSW and South Australia are in the pipeline and the company hopes to have 60-80 stores up and running over the next two years.
With close to 90% of the nation’s population living within the new Paramount and Liquid network, Rowe said the partnership will strengthen their position in the Australian liquor market.