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The Wedding Biz

Jan 16, 2023

Listen in as Andy sits down with Brian Leventhal and John Stires, the co-founders of First Batch Hospitality! First Batch Hospitality brings outstanding wine, culinary, beverage, and private event experiences to various cities with venues that include Brooklyn Winery, District Winery, and Chicago Winery. Each of these locations is a wine production facility outfitted with stainless steel tanks, oak barrels, and state-of-the-art equipment, and each also offers full-service private event spaces set against the backdrop of the winery as well as a restaurant on site.

John and Brian discuss how they met and formed First Batch Hospitality, revealing that they were both unhappy with their jobs at the time and wanted to take the leap to something new. They reveal how and why the original intention behind the company changed over time, their big plans for the future, and more! They also provide some helpful advice to anyone who, like they did, might be considering forming a professional partnership.


This episode is sponsored by Zola, the fastest-growing wedding platform that connects today’s couples with the right planners and vendors. Zola gives wedding professionals more control, better exposure, and higher quality leads - all with competitive pricing and no annual commitment. Create your free listing at

Have you heard about Stop and Smell the Roses with Preston Bailey on The Wedding Biz Network? Listen as Preston shares the secrets, tools, and technologies behind his extraordinary ability to create a theatrical environment out of any space. Also, don't forget about Sean Low's podcast The Business of Being Creative, where Sean discusses the power of being niched, pricing strategies, metrics of success, and so much more. You can find both shows on The Wedding Biz Network.



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Time Stamps

[0:00] – Today's sponsor is Zola.

[0:46] - We learn that this episode is with the co-founders of First Batch Hospitality.

[2:09] - John and Brian reveal how they met and formed First Batch Hospitality.

[4:16] - Why did John and Brian decide to partner together?

[7:07] - Both of them were unhappy with their jobs and wanted to try something new.

[9:39] - How did John and Brian decide on how to split responsibilities?

[11:55] - John explains how he and Brian check in with each other.

[14:23] - We learn what has made the company so successful.

[17:30] - Brian and John started hosting events because people asked for that.

[20:02] - It took them two or three years of experimenting to fully figure the company out.

[21:52] - Andy describes District Winery.

[22:18] - What are their plans for the future?

[23:47] - Are Brian and John planning to expand to more cities?

[24:31] - We are given some advice on forming a professional partnership.

[27:04] - Discover where to find First Batch Hospitality online.


Find Brian and John:

First Batch Hospitality - Website
Brooklyn Winery - Website
Brooklyn Winery - Instagram Page
Brooklyn Winery - Facebook Page
District Winery - Website
District Winery - Instagram Page
District Winery - Facebook Page
Chicago Winery - Website
Chicago Winery - Instagram Page
Chicago Winery - Facebook Page


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Title Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by Kushner Entertainment & Zola.