It was early 2020 when X-rays showed that Funderburk had calcified plaque in his carotid arteries, a potentially life-threatening condition for which he was scheduled for further testing–that’s when the pandemic hit.
“I decided to go online to see if there was a natural supplement I could take until I could get my test done,” Funderburk says. He came across an article suggesting that muscadine grapes, which are rich in antioxidants, polyphenols, and strong anti-inflammatory agents, could help clear calcified plaque in addition to a range of other health benefits from reducing cancer risk to managing chronic pain. Funderburk tracked down a juice supplier and drank two glasses every day for a few months.
“Lo and behold, it worked! When they did all the tests, there was nothing in my neck or anywhere.” Relieved at his clean bill of health and surprised that more people didn’t know about muscadine grapes–and that sourcing them hadn’t been easy–Funderburk partnered with a vineyard in eastern North Carolina to launch Sweet Vine Products in April 2022.
“It started off as a kind of beta, just to see if there was interest,” says Funderburk, who is based in Stanfield, NC, and previously ran his own web development business. “Before I knew it, everything was growing so fast that I really had to go back and lay down the foundations for a business,” Funderburk says. Sweet Vine Products now sells juices, salsa, vinaigrettes, and more through an online shop, at festivals,shows, and farmers markets, and to mom-and-pop retailers.
Getting set up with Clover early on, through a representative he met at a Christmas Show event, allowed Funderburk to scale up quickly. “I’ve been able to manage everything online and onsite at events–including sales, inventory, taxes, and shipping,” Funderburk says. “It’s been awesome for us. When I start it up now, I just run with it.”
Vendors looking to purchase wholesale from Sweet Vine Products have their own designated portal separate from the retail side, which Funderburk set up using the Ecwid eCommerce app integrated with Clover. “Online is probably 45 to 50% of our sales now,” he explains. “Festivals and events are the other 45 or 50%.”
With Clover and his Station, Funderburk has also been able to automate subscriptions through Ecwid for repeat customers who want periodic shipments of their favorite juices or supplements, as well as a rewards program for those loyal customers.
Sweet Vine Products are currently made and packaged from the North Carolina vineyard where the grapes are sourced. All orders are processed and shipped from a leased space close to Stanfield. But Funderburk hopes to eventually open a brick-and-mortar location to handle shipping and receiving, and in the future, production and packaging of the products, as well.
“Clover has eliminated a ton of manual effort and allowed me to direct more focus on brand awareness and growing the business,” Funderburk says. “I don’t have to scale back.”
Read more stories about how Clover is helping merchants grow their unique businesses by following their instincts.
The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only. Nothing contained herein should be construed as medical advice. Readers should contact their medical professionals to obtain advice with respect to any particular matter.
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