- Tony Moll is a former Inexperienced Bay Packers participant who opened a vineyard in Sonoma, California along with his former teammates, Daryn Colledge and Jason Spitzs. They named it Three Fats Guys.
- Classes from soccer — like coordination, fast considering, and rolling with the punches — have helped the cofounders sort out challenges.
- That is his story, as informed to freelance author Molly O’Brien.
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I grew up in Sonoma, California and performed sports activities year-round as a child. The wine business was at all times a fascination rising up right here, and a part of my household historical past. My great-grandparents on my mother’s facet moved to Sonoma County from the Lucca province of Italy within the early 1900s, and on their ranch, they grew zinfandel to promote to the native wineries — together with making a bit for themselves.
I graduated from Sonoma Excessive and went to the College of Nevada Reno, the place I performed soccer on a full scholarship. I used to be drafted in 2006 to the Inexperienced Bay Packers, which was an eye-opening expertise — being a rookie, I used to be a participant that would simply get lower from the workforce.
Becoming a member of the Packers motivated me to work arduous and make the very best of what was put in entrance of me. I ended up beginning my rookie yr and blocking for Brett Favre.
I made nice friendships that yr, particularly with two different “fats guys” on the workforce.
The nickname “fats guys” comes from our positions on the soccer workforce as massive guys — the linemen. Generally within the locker room our older teammates would inform us that it is easy to make friendships when you’re on the workforce collectively, however guys come and go and afterwards it is easy to lose contact. Nonetheless, I turned such good mates with two different “fats guys,” Daryn Colledge and Jason Spitzs, that I did not need to lose contact.
In 2007, we began making wine collectively, first as only a pastime after which as a enterprise.
We determined to name our enterprise the Three Fats Guys. It is humorous, but it surely’s a strong (and becoming) title. We had been capable of work on constructing a model for ourselves whereas enjoying skilled soccer as a result of we had supportive individuals at residence in Sonoma to handle the small print whereas we had been away in Inexperienced Bay.
Fairly quickly, I began coming residence to Sonoma each low season and doing extra with the vineyard as a result of our model was rapidly rising and gross sales had been taking off. We constructed profitable relationships with native eating places and companies, and we went from making simply 100 instances of Cabernet to turning into a full-fledged vineyard now with a workforce of 10 individuals. We’re a small however mighty workforce right here on the vineyard, so we will do issues on the fly; it is virtually like enjoying soccer.
As former professional athletes, we run our enterprise mannequin to roll with the punches.
We’re “making audibles” left and proper, similar to we did in soccer, which permits us to remain forward and alter our sport plan as vital. The concept it takes a village is totally true. I look again and respect everybody that is helped me get to the place I’m at present.
We particularly wished to create a vineyard that was luxurious however did not really feel unique. It does not matter who you might be or the place you come from: If you happen to stroll into our tasting room, you are going to have an incredible expertise.
The corporate wasn’t initially meant to earn money, however after I retired from the NFL and began rising the model, it turned necessary for me to interrupt even.
As soon as the wine membership was launched and our focus shifted to direct shopper gross sales, we began rising. As we grew, we additionally set objectives to make a constructive impression and create higher alternatives for the individuals in our group. We assist and are lively members of charities and organizations just like the USO, the Boys & Ladies Membership of America, and the Vince Lombardi Most cancers Basis, protecting a connection to our soccer roots.
After I retired from soccer and moved again to Sonoma full-time, I made a decision to hitch the hearth division as a volunteer.
The assistant chief of the hearth station was the varsity head defensive soccer coach at my highschool, and I at all times wished to do what I might to assist out my group. I turned concerned with the hearth division in 2018. It has been an eye-opening expertise ever since, and I’ve liked each second. These intimate moments and the sensation of working collectively as firemen is inspiring to me. On the station, there are individuals who match into each function, much like a soccer workforce, and the station’s skill to construct teams that work effectively collectively is significant for getting the job carried out.
Our fireplace station has between 15 to twenty lively volunteers who can be found to reply with the on-duty crew when a name goes out. This final fireplace season I went to Napa to assist battle the Glass Hearth. Being a part of the coordination between groups of command on the bottom, planes, and helicopters was a shifting expertise, to be even only a tiny assist in the massive battle to place these fires out.
The sense of comradery out on the sphere as a firefighter is much like being on the sphere with a soccer workforce — you are within the trenches, working collectively.
Loads of the workforce coordination and fast considering I realized in soccer goes hand in hand with firefighting, with operating our wine enterprise, and simply with main a profitable life.
Profitability issues, however I additionally consider TFG’s backside line via “model worth.”
Yearly since 2017, we have seen constant gross sales development, even in the course of the pandemic, that has allowed us to proceed to develop and assist our superb workforce. Nonetheless, we need to be extra than simply one other vineyard, and we work arduous to make a distinction in our group each approach we will.
By reaching our enterprise objectives financially and our mission with the charities we companion with, I am proud that we have constructed an organization that does extra than simply make a revenue.