Become a Distillery Partner.
Let us bring your spirits and stories behind them to Ontario, Canada.
When it offcially started.
Where it officially started.
The number of distilleries we’re proud to fly their flags.
Members, supporters and just amazing people.
Thank you for looking to partner with Specialty Spirits. We’re thrilled to explore bringing your unique spirits to the Province of Ontario.
Reasons to partner with us:
- No risk.
- No minimums.
- Manageable growth.
- No upfront salary for sales rep on the ground.
- Access to impassioned spirits aficionados and influencers.
- Access to restaurants and LCBO retail opportunities.
- Bring it up a notch or eight with our host of Specialty Services that include: SEO, social media, marketing, messaging and sales.
No upfront costs
It’s not easy to start a distillery, let alone finance it. Don’t add the stress of upfront commissions, fees, or additional staffing costs out of the gate expanding into new markets.
No hit to your margin
We don’t make the product – you do. We don’t define what hit to your bottom line you should take. Rather we work with you to price the product to appeal to our members – and is fair to you.
We want to form long-term relationships – The right ones. For a good partnership to grow, no one should feel stuck. Our agreement has a trial term and a “way out” for both of us.
Consumers have shifted to online for their research and purchasing. That’s why we’re an online-first organization. This means potentially higher visibility without fighting for limited shelf space.
We minimize the impact to your bottom line with a 10% commission rather than the usual 15%.
The LCBO backbone
The Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) is one of the world’s largest importers of liquor in the world. We have been fostering our relationship with the LCBO since our humble beginnings. By working with them, we can leverage their processes, departments, and experience in importing your products.
Our background in marketing means using best practices to increase your brand’s visibility through our online site and eCommerce.
On top of that, with our spirit-focused options offered exclusively through Specialty Services, you can focus on doing what you do best: creating one-of-a-kind craft spirits. In turn, that means we can do what we do best: fly your flag for others to see.
We’re here to support you in any way we can.
Experiential events and tastings
Our team works with Canadian Whisky Ambassador, Spencer Gooderham, and other talented whisky ambassadors who are ready to raise your brand’s awareness and increase sales up to 3 times more than pounding the pavement alone.
Restaurant and bar partnerships
We reinforce our online presence with an import licence. This creates more opportunities to put products into Ontario-based restaurants and bars. We put your brand in the hands, and on the lips of bartenders and customers.
Whisky-focused, not whisky-only
While we may have started with a strong focus on whiskies, you have other great spirits to be proud of.
We will represent and show them off too. We’re always having members asking us when are we adding “X spirit” to the model?
Additional spirits we and our members are interested in at this time: gin, vodka, rum, mescal.
A spirited bunch (See what we did there?)
At our core, we’re lovers of great spirits. Ontarians have always looked for spirits beyond their local LCBO’s shelves only to find the process too time-consuming and too expensive.
We have been developing our model since 2018 and are continually adapting it to serve producers and consumers better.
What’s required to begin?
Even with our Ontario license from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), we have to abide by the Provincial Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO). While there are a few steps to get your products listed in Ontario, we’re working hard to make this process as seamless as possible.
To get things going, here is what we need from you in order to import, list, and sell your spirits:
Approval from Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO)
To get started, we need your confirmation that you are entering an agreement with us as your agent. A simple LCBO formatted document needs to be filled out and sent back to us on your distillery’s corporate letterhead.
Written agreement to allow Specialty Spirits to bring your spirits into Ontario, Canada.
Enlisting an agent is assigning a person/company as your representative in Ontario, Canada.
They will be the point of contact for your products and will import under the rules and regulations of the LCBO. Our Sales Agreement confirms you agree to work with us.
Specifications of spirits
With information such as:
- Wholesale price per case
- Bottle quantity per case – 6, 9 or 12
- ABV or proof of spirit
- Bottle sizes
- Freight calculation per case
In some cases, the LCBO will require further information about your product or labelling. Our model tries to minimize this as much as possible.
Final document to get setup in the LCBO systems, ultimately helping you get paid for your product.
Once we have the completed attachments back, we take it from there to get you set up. Rest assured, we’re happy to provide guidance on pricing, freight and more. We want this to be as quick and easy as possible so that you can focus on creating sprits and not more paperwork.