Charlie Hall’s first job after getting a degree in finance from Miami University, was selling copiers in Chicago. His boss told him he had to make 50 cold calls a day to keep his job. After six months, Hall got fired. Two days after he got fired, Spring Valley, a bottle watered distribution company that had been one of his cold calls, offered him a job.
After a few years of gaining experience and learning from Spring Valley’s mistakes, Hall, who had always known he wanted to run his own business, decided to start his own water distribution company. Alpine Valley
was started in 1990 in his mother’s kitchen.
“Their business model was solely to grow big and sell,” Hall says. “They made a lot of mistakes. It gave me opportunity to see what went wrong and learn from it.”
Hall originally started selling five-gallon water bottles to businesses and homes. Soon after starting, Hall opened up his first and only office in Woodburn in June of 1990. For the first decade, most of the sales and distribution for Alpine Valley was to local businesses and homes.
“We caught a big wave of the five-gallon water bottle service,” Hall says. “The growth was organic for ten or eleven years until the market started to shift. We just tried to grow moderately and offer good service.”
Since then, Hall has expanded his business to offer water filtration and coffee service for local businesses and grocery stores. With a decline in his main source of revenue, five-gallon water bottles, Hall started looking at trends and in 2005, Alpine Valley started selling coffee. Coffee now accounts for around 50 percent of Alpine Valley’s business.
Today, Alpine Valley sells coffee for by-the-pot brewers, espresso machines as well as the single serving K-cups, which have been growing in popularity over the past couple years. Alpine carries a large variety of products, live customer service and reliable maintenance on all there products. With 20 employees, a small fleet of trucks, Alpine Valley serves as a source of water and coffee for businesses all over the Greater Cincinnati area.
“We were always looking for more products we could put on our trucks,” Hall says. “We just paid attention to what was gaining traction and we went with it.”
Alpine Valley now sells K-cups through their website, alpinevalleycoffee.com, yet another way Hall has stayed on top of changing markets and adapted his business to fit. Hall is now working on making their website as user-friendly as possible and even engaging customers with social media.
Hall has also had a goal to give back to the community. For the past seven years, Alpine Valley has paired with Give Back Cincinnati, the City Gospel Mission and other local events to provide water for as many events as they can.
“Water is just a small part of what they need, but if we can help, we will,” Hall says. “People giving back and investing is what builds a community.”
By Evan Wallis