For Campbell Davis, perseverance has been a driving factor for his Durham, North Carolina-based business, LouElla Wine Beer & Beverages. He doesn’t believe in giving up on goals or dreams, “no matter the challenges.”
Over the last few years, Davis has faced his fair share of challenges in a volatile industry. He began working in the food and beverage industry at the age of 14 as a dishwasher and busboy. At 21, he started his wine education at The Angus Barn and continued working at top-tier restaurants like Nana’s, Rue Cler, and Guglhupf, among others.
Then, in 2019, he decided the time was right to create something of his own, and LouElla Wine Beer & Beverages was born.
Located in downtown Durham, the business serves as a bottle shop, bar, and event space with a focus on organic, sustainable, and family-owned-and-operated producers.
“For me, it just seemed like the right time in my career to take a chance on creating my own vision of what was missing from the market and [open] my own business.,” Davis said. “I was ready to take a leap to have full control of what my role should be in the wine industry of the Triangle area of North Carolina.”
Rising to an unexpected challenge
Though LouElla opened to “overwhelming community support,” Davis was forced to shut down the bar and event space only a year later due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Immediately we began delivery and curbside pickup and started building out our online store presence,” Davis said.
Although the pandemic could have shut LouElla down altogether, Davis followed his No. 1 rule for success in business: persevere.
“The online presence has now become a much larger part of the business as a whole,” he said. “As we see the other side of the pandemic, we are now a stronger, smarter space with the utmost love and respect for the people we continue to serve.”
For me, it just seemed like the right time in my career to take a chance on creating my own vision of what was missing from the market and [open] my own business.
Campbell Davis, Owner and Manager, LouElla Wine Beer & Beverages
Davis’s success can largely be attributed to the support from the surrounding Durham community. He often hosts events to celebrate his customers or raise money for local community members.
In July 2022, LouElla was finally able to bring back its annual fried chicken and champagne dinner event.
“The champagne will feature small grower-producers who work with respect for their land and wine without sacrificing the quality,” Davis said.
Finding strength in community support
Despite the support from his community, Davis continues to face roadblocks every day as an entrepreneur. One of the most challenging parts of operating his business has been navigating a constantly shifting economy in addition to growing in a fast-paced community. But through these difficulties, he trusts in his community and in himself to keep moving forward.
“[To overcome challenges,] we continue to listen to our hearts, community, and trends in the market,” Davis said “At the end of the day, we celebrate the wins with what we love — a nice glass of wine or a cold beer.”
Most importantly, Davis says he gets the strength to move forward from those surrounding him.
“Always be open to listening to what your staff and customers have to say with an open mind and heart for continued growth — personally and professionally,” he said.
[Read more: How To Get More Involved With Your Community]
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Published November 03, 2022