By Shane T Williams
Nearly 70 members of the NILWA family gathered for drinks and speeches at the Pullman Hotel Mascot then dinner at Cooh Restaurant to celebrate the National Independent Liquor Wholesalers Association or better known as NILWA for their 20th anniversary.
Reflecting back over the past 20 years, NILWA general manager Jenny Hughes said: “The industry has changed significantly over the years. Everyone has experienced change, including suppliers, account managers as well as the products we sell. Since I started at NILWA 11 years ago, there have been changes in our membership from time to time and with that change comes opportunity. We continue to achieve significant sales growth year on year and work hard to remain relevant with suppliers and customers in a fast-paced, ever-changing industry.”
NILWA has moved with the times and currently services over 4000 venues nationally, mainly in the on-premise. Its current membership includes D’Aquino Liquor Merchants, Festival City Food & Liquor, Gateway Liquor Wholesale, G H COLE & Son, Monacellars, Novocastrian Wholesale Liquor and Rivercity Wholesale Liquor.
Co-founding NILWA member Rex D’Aquino said: “NILWA was set up as an independent option for supply of services, mainly liquor, to the on-premise specific channel. Twenty years later we still have focus on our core values of customer service, customer needs, being on-premise focused with a national distribution network”.
All of the NILWA members are family owned businesses and D’Aquino added: “If you work with a NILWA wholesaler, they will know your name.”
Asked about the future of NILWA Jenny Hughes said: “There are exciting times ahead for NILWA. We’ve brought to life the Signature Drinks channel and marketing program which is designed for our customers. It has targeted brands and a POS suite that compliments the service we provide and adds value to our customers’ business.”