We had the good fortune of connecting with Vincent Anter and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Vincent, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
There were two main factors. Number one, I saw a hole in the market; there was no “Bourdain of wine”. No one had made a TV show that helped you learn and understand wine. There were some people in front of their webcams on youtube making wine videos, but no one was combining food, wine, and travel, and showcasing the wine world the way I knew it should be presented. When I was studying for my sommelier exam, I was looking for these video resources and couldn’t find them, and knew there had to be more people looking for them as well. The second was that I had a unique set of skills that lent themselves perfectly to starting the show: I still believe no one else could have created a show like mine without a large team and a lot of funding (I started the show with just me and bootstrapped). I had an IT degree (so I could edit video), a business degree (for the business side), the wine knowledge (from becoming a sommelier), and the presence in front of the camera (from years as a musician). It was a perfect storm of unique skills that allowed me to execute this idea easier than others. I don’t say this to brag: I say it to inspire others! If you have an idea that you know is great, don’t be afraid to execute it, because you may be the only one who can!
Please tell us more about your business. How did you get to where you are today? Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way.
I never celebrate my milestones for too long; I always feel like I could be working harder, or there’s more to be done. But I do take pride in other people resonating with the show. Please reach out to me and tell me they’ve “learned more from the show than years or wine tasting”, and how they can’t wait for the next episodes. That kind thing keeps me going when things get tough. Getting to where I am today professionally was taking all my years of experience in other fields and finding a niche that utilized them all. I couldn’t have made the show if I hadn’t worked for years in the restaurant industry, or struggled as a musician, or volunteered to do graphic design work for friends. Things you think are failures or challenges at the time often times have uses down the road; you just don’t know it yet. One of the best lessons I can offer is “good will be good”. If you are putting good work in, with good intentions, the byproduct will be good as well, even if the outcome may not be exactly what you envision. If you combine that with persistence, you can’t lose.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Los Angeles is such a diverse city, so it’s always hard to land on places to take people. I usually try and take them to Quality Seafood, which is one of the best seafood markets in LA; you’ve never seen so many different types of fish! It’s on the water in Redondo Beach, but it’s super casual; you can either take fish to go to cook later, or have them cook it and eat it on picnic tables nearby. I also always try to take people for a big blowout meal in Koreatown for Korean BBQ. It’s great for groups, and something that is fairly unique to LA, where we have the largest Korean population outside of Korea. There’s a million bars to show them, but La Descarga is one of my favorites: it feels like you’ve been transported to Cuba; theres a band playing in the rafters, and a cigar lounge inside the bar. And I always try to cook one night: I get pick the wines I want, the dishes I want, and relax without worrying about leaving my house; the best restaurant in town!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Gotta go cliche and shoutout my family; each of them brought something different to the table that to help me stay focused and not give up. My mom provided unwavering encouragement, my dad was essentially my business consultant, and my wife provides the rock-solid support needed when things get tough.