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Loose Goose grounded for good

A thank-you and farewell message

Posted: April 9, 2009 5:18 p.m.
Updated: April 9, 2009 2:20 p.m.
Peter Goosens waits to introduce the Pete Escovedo Orchestra, headliners at the 2008 Loose Goose Wine Festival in Valencia. Peter Goosens waits to introduce the Pete Escovedo Orchestra, headliners at the 2008 Loose Goose Wine Festival in Valencia.
Peter Goosens waits to introduce the Pete Escovedo Orchestra, headliners at the 2008 Loose Goose Wine Festival in Valencia.
It's 7:30 in the morning, and I have been sitting behind the keyboard for well over an hour trying to find the words to express the loss that has happened to all of us at The Loose Goose.

It is with a heavy heart we share with you that as of yesterday afternoon The Loose Goose, and its projects (Loose Goose Wine Society, Loose Goose Wine Festival and The Cellar), are out of business.

Our journey started six years ago with an idea and a very ambitious plan to conquer the wine world, one wine lover at a time. We made Santa Clarita our home base and set out to create a company that would raise the bar and reach for ultimate customer satisfaction, while trying to make a difference in the community where it operates.

Although we had a rocky start - the first festival loss almost took us down financially - our team fought extremely hard to come back and shine.

Twelve months ago it appeared that everything was moving in the right direction: we just opened our private cellar, were well on our way to our first 1,000 members in our Loose Goose Wine Society, and were in the middle of preparing our 4th Loose Goose Wine Festival.

Feeling that expansion was warranted and necessary, we moved our offices into a larger space, hired extra staff and developed new programs. Despite the first signs of the economic recession impacting our operations over the summer, last October we were successful at producing the largest wine festival in California (over 9,200 visitors).

Six weeks later we celebrated the first year anniversary of our Loose Goose Wine Society with close to five hundred Members and their guests at Union Station in Los Angeles.

Little were we aware that in the meantime, the ingredients were gathering for the "perfect storm"...

As a company, we spent the last 5 years creating a well respected luxury brand. Unfortunately, in this time of drastic economic downturn, the market for luxury items has been extremely impacted.

In addition, one of the main components of our company was the production of large wine events. These events cannot be produced unless there is a generous influx of sponsor money. Sponsor money in this economy is hard to find, if non-existent.

And finally, being a young starter company, we have not had the opportunity to build the reserve that would have allowed us to weather the storm.

So, no more Loose Goose.

Although it would be insincere of me to deny that I am hugely disappointed and have a tremendous sense of personal failure, the most overwhelming sentiment I feel is gratitude.

Gratitude for all the people (the Flock, as we call you amicably at HQ) who have supported us and allowed us to take this project as far as we could: thank you!

Gratitude for all the partners, suppliers, wineries, vendors, sponsors, and collaborators that made our events possible: thank you!

Gratitude for all the volunteers who came out and donated their time and effort to make a difference in their community: thank you!

Gratitude for our team leaders who gave blood, sweat and tears year after year in challenging circumstances to create the finest wine festival in California: thank you!

Gratitude for the hardest-working, most creative and most loyal staff I have ever had the privilege to work with: thank you!

Gratitude for the "guardian angels" who have supported me until the end (and beyond). I couldn't have done this without them - you know who you are: thank you!

And finally, gratitude to my wife and children for allowing me to "bet the farm" in the pursuit of dreams: I love you!

As we lick our wounds and try to rebuild our lives, we can't help hoping for the excitement of what a new day will bring...

With the utmost respect and one final "cheers" (for now),

Peter "The Goose" Goossens


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