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How One Liquor Brand Impresses Its Most Important Customer: Bartenders

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This story appears in the August 2016 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

"Bartenders are our best salespeople and the opinion leaders," says Dragos Axinte, founder of 's Novo Fogo Cachaça. (Cachaça is a spirit made from sugarcane juice.) That's why liquor companies typically ply them with contests, free trips, premiums and cash. But as a small player, Axinte couldn't keep up with that. So he offers yoga classes, 5K runs and games. There's no firm tie to , but Axinte says it matters: Revenue in the first quarter of 2016 is up 164 percent over the year prior. So why'd it work?

Novo Fogo Cachaç
A fit bartender is a happy bartender.

Did bartenders buy into it right away?

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