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Inspiring Conversations with Nash Patel of Pina Wine & Spirits

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nash Patel.

Nash is a first-generation Indian-American who moved from Detroit to Kansas City with his parents in 2006. He was only 17 at the time but already enrolled in college where he wanted to study business and American history.

Meanwhile, his father bought a gas station with a business partner in Grandview, Missouri. Nash devoted a lot of time to the business on top of being a full-time student. He says that’s just the way it goes. “In many Indian families, all is one. We share responsibilities no matter what it takes and regardless of the personal sacrifice.

”Day after day, Nash would go to school in the morning and then pump gas until late at night. Little did he know he would wind up running the business when his father’s partner suddenly disappeared and left the company in jeopardy. “That was maybe the biggest moment of my life. It changed everything. My father was so surprised and disappointed by his partner’s departure. I wanted to save him.”

Nash’s father had no choice but to try to keep the business going even though he had no experience operating a gas station. Nash jumped in to help figure things out. He tried to stay in college at the same time but soon left to take over the family business in 2007.

“I didn’t know anything about managing a business and after my father’s partner left, it was sort of up to me. I quit school to rescue my parents’ investment because they had saved money for years to make it happen.”

Gasoline sales alone were not enough revenue, so Nash started adding alcohol and other inventory to create a convenience store appeal. He was constantly thinking of new ways to bring in customers while pumping gas and learning to manage the business. He worked from open until close almost every day and once worked for 30 days straight.

“I took responsibility for the entire business and made sure everything got done. I had no experience when I started, so hard work was my only path toward making a go of things.

”The gas station turned into more of a liquor store and business picked up. Nash felt momentum and started thinking about expanding Pina Wine & Spirits, a name with a special meaning.

“Pina is my mother’s name. I dedicate everything to her. She supports me no matter what. I love seeing her name in big letters above my stores because she deserves to be celebrated.”

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
No, it was not smooth road to create empire. A hardworking Nash maintained his status as a full-time student while helping his father at the gas station till late at night. The business partner left shortly after, and Nash, still a college student studying Business and American Studies, decided to run the business. While he did not have any professional experience, he managed to succeed through hard work and determination. To increase sales and revenue, he added a store to the gas station.

Over the years, Pina has expanded to different locations throughout Missouri. There are currently 10 locations under Pina Wine & Spirits.

As you know, we’re big fans of Pina Wine & Spirits. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
On a landscape where large liquor stores dominate, smaller stores typically struggle. But Nash believes he’s found a competitive path and is tapping into something valuable that bigger players can’t offer.

“I’m not confined by corporate convenience models focused on people rushing in and out. I build my business on loyalty, one customer at a time. I make an effort to talk to everyone who comes through my door. Of course, I have to offer the products they want at competitive prices, but beyond that, I talk to them. How’s your day going? How are your kids? I like to get to know them personally and learn what they really appreciate. When you talk honestly with someone, it makes them feel good and that’s what keeps my customers coming back.

”What Nash calls one-on-one service also draws valuable feedback. He says he knows how hard people work for their money, and what they want to spend it on matters to him. “If somebody needs something and I don’t carry it, I write it down. I get their phone number and call them when it arrives. Making sure you’re taking care of people’s needs is just good business.”

As a business owner, Nash is routinely asked for charity donations. Rather than buy sponsorships or donate money in return for store promotion, he has a different way of giving back. “If a school or charity asks me for a donation, I’ll try to figure something out but always with the condition that I will not be recognized for it. And every year, I try to go to a local police station, fire department, or similar organization and give them cash, but again, I don’t ask for recognition. My parents taught me that doing good is the right thing to do, but showing off about it is not. So it’s just something I live by.”

What’s next?
My plan is to make reputation in the market as a PINA WINE & SPIRITS that my mom name and needs to be live till I live. I am trying to open more and more stores under same name with my family-based and most of younger people joining with me to support my brand.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Phill Jimmy Pete Pragnesh Ravi Nijal Jay Smit

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