Taste Radio Episode 227

Josh Cellars: Joseph Carr


Josh Cellars founder Joseph Carr describes entrepreneurship as walking the fine line between courage and stupidity. Although he admits to being more on the latter site, given the massive success of the wine brand it’s hard to argue that he hasn’t been on the right side. He’ll also admit, however, that he had to work harder than anyone to get his company to where it is today.

Over the past decade Josh Cellars, which Carr launched in 2009 and named as a tribute to his father, has grown to become the number one premium wine brand in the U.S. and is projected to sell four million cases by the end of 2020. While Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits acquired the brand in 2012, Carr has continued to represent Josh Cellars as its founder and steward, along with that of sister company Joseph Carr Wines, a producer of handcrafted European-inspired wines.

In an interview included in this episode, Carr spoke about how diligence and self-education were critical in turning his passion into a career and why he left a lucrative, cushy job to launch his own company. He also explained his definition of hard work and how Josh Cellars has articulated a positioning that is both premium and accessible.

In this Episode

0:39: Interview: Joseph Carr, Founder, Josh Cellars & Joseph Carr Wines — Carr spoke with Taste Radio editor Ray Latif about growing up as the son of a lumberjack and how hitchhiking across the country led him to California and the porchside tasting that sparked his passion for wine. He also spoke about why making a “personal commitment” to a career meant becoming fluent in wine and finance, how he quickly rose in the ranks to become the jetsetting president of an Australian wine company and how the events of 9/11 led to his decision to start his own company. Carr also discussed the critical role his late wife played in launching and developing Josh Cellars, why he pursued the negociant model of selling wine and why he urged entrepreneurs not to cash in their 401Ks. Later, he spoke about selling the first 1,000 cases of his wine out of the back of his trunk, how sales at a supermarket in New Hampshire was the first indication that Josh could be a big wine brand and how he won over industry influencers and gatekeepers.

Also Mentioned

Josh Cellars, Joseph Carr Wines