Anthony Canecchia’s reason for launching the SanTan Brewing Company in Chandler, AZ was simple.
“I decided to start the brewery because I really wasn’t good at anything else,” he said.
Canecchia understood the risk and challenges that come with the territory and faced them head-on.
“The biggest challenge was financing — absolutely,” he said. “Our second biggest challenge was assembling a team of people that knew the things that I don’t know.”
In the early days of the brewery, Canecchia had to learn about running a restaurant and that’s where finding dependable people to work at SanTan was essential. Along the way, the new owner and staff developed a rigorous training program to ensure top-quality customer service.
Servers at SanTan go through a two-week process and take tests to make sure they understand everything that goes into what the pub sells and the procedures necessary to provide the customers the best experience possible.
Canecchia also made it a top priority to protect his staff and business operations with the proper insurance coverage.
“In the event of some unfortunate occurrence or accident, we’re covered and we can take care of anyone’s injury,” he said.
Risk comes in many forms with an independent business, though. In order to stand out in a niche business experiencing a boom in popularity, sometimes an owner needs to think outside of the box. The SanTan Brewing Company decided to work with experimental grains and hops to craft new beers.
“We were one of the first brewers in the country to be using the southern hemisphere hops that just were not available here,” he explained. “So I would have to have them shipped over here and I would pay more per pound in Fed-Ex shipping than I would pay per pound for the product.”
The outcome, though, far outweighed the risk the new brewery took on.
“The challenges, the trails and the tribulations are all worth it when we get to see the smile on someone’s face that we’ve shared something with them that made their day better and brighter,” Canecchia said.