How To Manage Thousands of Brands With Matthew Murphy of Murphy Distributors  

by Drew Hendricks
Last updated Nov 24, 2022

Legends Behind the Craft Podcast

Last Updated on November 24, 2022 by rise25

Matthew Murphy
How To Manage Thousands of Brands With Matthew Murphy of Murphy Distributors   11

Matthew Murphy is the President of Murphy Distributors. Murphy Distributors’ vision is to become the Connecticut beverage supplier that retailers and restaurants choose to enhance their business success and brand image.

Matthew has a demonstrated history of working in the wine and spirits industry. Since its inception, the company has been building brands in an exclusive franchise state while providing exceptional results to suppliers quickly and efficiently.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • Matthew Murphy shares what motivated him to start a distribution company
  • The brands that Murphy Distributors manages
  • Matthew discusses margins in the private-label game
  • Connecticut’s distribution landscape
  • How brands stay present in Murphy Distributors’ portfolio
  • How can suppliers maximize their relationship with distributors?
  • What are Matthew’s criteria for choosing a brand?  
  • Matthew talks about the Murphy Foundation

In this episode with Matthew Murphy

What’s working for you? What do you love about the industry? How can I make your life easier? These are some of the questions an effective distributor should ask its clients.

The key to success in the distribution industry, where thousands of clients are handled, is knowing their story and what makes them unique. This way, you can represent these brands how they want to be seen by the market. 

In today’s episode of the Legends Behind the Craft podcast, Drew Thomas Hendricks and Bianca Harmon welcome Matthew Murphy, President of Murphy Distributors, as they shift the focus back to the B2B side of the industry, specifically three-tier distribution. Matthew talks about how he built his business connections, today’s distribution landscape, and the Murphy Foundation.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by Barrels Ahead.

Barrels Ahead is a wine and craft marketing agency that propels organic growth by using a powerful combination of content development, Search Engine Optimization, and paid search.

At Barrels Ahead, we know that your business is unique. That’s why we work with you to create a one-of-a-kind marketing strategy that highlights your authenticity, tells your story, and makes your business stand out from your competitors.

Our team at Barrels Ahead helps you leverage your knowledge so you can enjoy the results and revenue your business deserves.

So, what are you waiting for? Unlock your results today!

To learn more, visit or email us at to schedule a strategy call.

Episode Transcript

Intro  0:03  

Welcome to the Legends Behind the Craft podcast where we feature top leaders in the wine and craft beverage industry with your host Drew Hendricks. Now let’s get started with the show.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  0:19  

Drew Thomas Hendricks here I’m the host of the Legends Behind the Craft podcast where I talk with leaders in the wine craft beverage industry. Today’s episode is sponsored by Barrels Ahead. At Barrels Ahead, we work with you to implement a one of a kind marketing strategy. One that highlights your authenticity, tells your story and connects you with your ideal customers. In short, we help wineries and craft beverage producers unlock their story to unleash their revenue. Go to today to learn more. Today we have Bianca Harman joining us again she’s one of our DTC marketing strategists. How’s it going Bianca?

Bianca Harmon  0:55  

Going good. Drew excited to talk to Matthew today out in Connecticut.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  1:00  

Yes, he’s in Connecticut. And it’s gonna be a shift because lately we’ve been featuring a lot of winemakers and winery owners on the show. Today we’re shifting our focus back to the b2b side of the industry, specifically three tier distribution. Today, our guest is Matthew Murphy. Matt is the president of Murphy Distributors, in Murphy Distributors was founded back in 2008, on a vision to become the Connecticut beverage supplier, that retailers and restaurants choose to enhance their business success and brand image. Welcome to the show, Matt.

Matthew Murphy  1:32  

Thank you, Drew. Thank you, Bianca. Pleasure to be here.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  1:35  

It’s great to have you on. So Matt. Good. I’m gonna say it. So you founded the company back in 2008. What motivated you to found a distribution company?

Matthew Murphy  1:46  

Well, a little bit of a long story, but I’ll try to keep it keep it short, concise for you. When I graduated college, I had these dreams of going into bid finance coming back east working in New York City, Wall Street hedge fund that kind of thing. graduated from the University of Arizona Go Wildcats. And you know, 2007 2008

Drew Thomas Hendricks  2:16  

that’s still intend to go into financial industry,

Matthew Murphy  2:18  

probably not a great try to get a job in finance. And so, I had recently come off of living abroad. I was I was I did a study abroad in Prague during college and ended up staying in two years. You really? Yeah, I

Drew Thomas Hendricks  2:35  

spent I spent two months in Prague, around 2001 2002. But it was awesome at the Economic University.

Matthew Murphy  2:42  

Yeah. Okay. So you know, I mean, absolutely beautiful city, great people, the culture is amazing. And so I was between Prague and Brno University. And then I was there for a couple months and ended up staying hanging out with meeting some new friends. And staying in an Eastern Europe for a couple more months, made it all the way out to Turkey. And the goal at the time was, you know, we were young and dumb. And the goal at that time was let’s see if we can get to the Asian border without taking a plane. So it took us like four months, but we did it. Some wild wild stories, and then I came back to United States. But that kind of the reason why it’s so important because it really piqued my interest in, in foreign relations, international business, a little bit at the time of Policy and International Politics. And culture was like really big culture, I met all these amazing people. From all over the world. I was very lucky in the program I was in, I was the only American and I believe. And so I met all these people from all over Eastern and Western Europe. And quite frankly, I spent most of my time in the bar with these guys, where I learned more than I probably ever could I believe I ever could in a classroom, you know, talking about how they grew up in their currencies. And what happened when the Euro came in and took over their currency in their country and, you know, all that kind of stuff. And it was really eye opening. So when I came back to the United States, I ended up going out abroad again, I actually left university Arizona and enrolled in college in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Oh, amazing. And I spent almost two years in South America. A year and a half a little over a year and a half in Argentina. At the university. Same kind of thing, though. But I was I was living with a bunch of Colombians and Ecuadorians who became some of my best friends in the world. You know, got to learn Spanish fluently. They didn’t speak much English, learned cultures. It was just it was really eye opening. drank a lot of wine down there in Argentina. Let them all back.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  4:58  

Before he went down there just just take a leave.

Matthew Murphy  5:01  

I took a leap, I had a friend that said, hey, you know, that I knew from Prague and said, Hey, I’m gonna go down to South America, I have some friends and family down there. I’m gonna fly into northern Brazil. And I’m going to backpack down to Buenos Aires, and I’m going to probably go to college and want to say you want to come? Yeah. That’s amazing. Yeah, I was at the airport the next day, basically. And so there was I was in Brazil, that really great people. And that’s actually were after I left when a serious I went back to Brazil, and I went into tau, which is in the northern part of Brazil. And in that, it during that time is when I was like, Okay, what am I going to do the rest of my life, I’m gonna go back and get my diploma, I had a semester left to school finance didn’t look like it was going to be the path at the moment. And so what am I going to do, and so I had a lot of friends that were in the wine industry, and that I had met when I was in Argentina, I went to Brazil, and sort of dabbling in the spirits and wine and beer industry, and then moved back to Connecticut and said, I’m going to, because finance at this point, once I moved back to the States, in the end of 2007, jasny was done. So I’m gonna start my own business. My both my parents are entrepreneurs, they both own their own businesses. And so I always dream that one day I would do, I would follow in the footsteps, whether it be in their business or in my own. And so I started my own import company. I sold my car, and I imported a pallet of mall back and Pinot Noir, from the very smallest state within the travel for our property in Mendoza, Argentina.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  6:35  

How did you go about getting like, how did you learn how to get the permits and everything necessary to

Matthew Murphy  6:39  

I was very lucky in that in Connecticut in New Haven, there was one guy that that did all the permits. And so I wasn’t I didn’t have to vet anybody, because there was no there wasn’t anybody else. And so I took a leap of faith and gave him a retainer. And he got in, you know, a couple months later, I had my permits. And so that, so when I became when I sold my car and got the money to buy the two pallets of wine, you know, I didn’t have infrastructure, I was using QuickBooks free I, you know, didn’t have a car at this point either. And I was living at home. And so I got I bought a beat up Dodge Nitro. And when the wind came in, and just started driving down Route one Boston Post Road for you know, in 95, you know, these in just basically stopping every restaurant and liquor store I could find, trying to find Now mind you, I was an importer at this time. So I was trying to find distributors. So I was going around looking for, you know, recommendations on who I could, you know, talk to to pick up my brands, because I was an importer. Everyone laughed me out the door, every single person, I went to everybody in everyone eat I went to Rhode Island, Massachusetts that I take into Connecticut, Richmond, Massachusetts. No, I was 22 years old till I mean,

Drew Thomas Hendricks  8:01  

you’re, you’re slinging the wine around from scratch.

Matthew Murphy  8:04  

with zero experience, you’re like, What is this guy doing. And so that made I had this wine, and I needed a distributor. So I went back to the to the legal guy, and said, I need a wholesale license. Now no one’s going to take this one, I’m just going to do it myself. And that’s how it started. Paul got the wholesale license. And then I started going to every single liquor store I could find around my house, and just selling walking in, Hey, you want to try some wine, telling my story, how I live there, how I know the guys who made the wine. And then you know, you sell one case here, then you deliver it the next day. And then you sell another case you deliver it the next day. And so that’s how the business started with me in the car. One case at a time. I flew out to California six months later tried to pick up some brands, which I did successfully, and then just slowly built the portfolio. And so over the past 14 and a half years, that’s what we’ve been doing blocking and tackling the vision as you as you described in your intro is to be the wholesaler of choice in our market. And by choice I mean the guys that care about our customers business. We are a small business market. We have a lot of independence here. retail and restaurant. And we we we almost when we sit in a sales meeting with my sales guys, I say to these guys, look, we’re not liquor salesmen. We are a small business advisors. We use wine and spirits to build our customers business. So it’s our job to understand their markets understand their their consumer, what’s working for them, where’s their sweet spot these the questions we ask what’s moving, what’s not moving? And then we try to sell them products that are going to build velocity and margin so that they can enhance their business. That’s the belief trickling down building businesses then they have more money in the community. They get to spend more money they reinvest in the community. It’s all small business people helping people. And that’s, that was the vision of the business.

Bianca Harmon  10:06  

So how so you have wine and liquor now? It sounds like. And so how many brands are you up to?

Matthew Murphy  10:14  

About? We manage, we manage over 2000 SKUs in the state of Connecticut, about 550 to 600 are what I would deem our general market distribution portfolio. The other 1500 are private label brands that we’ve either used as a clearing distributor or have developed ourselves or control brands in the same and or in what I would say is a lot of development brands. We do a lot of work with private label distilleries and wineries. So we’ve got chains that will come to us and say, Hey, I need something to go up against Bailey’s. So I need something to go up against Tito’s. I want to own the brand. And can you put something together? And so we do a lot of that.

Bianca Harmon  11:01  

Are you primarily east coast,

Matthew Murphy  11:03  

then we are correct. Interest.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  11:09  

As far as that whole private label you mentioned control brands is that I’m not familiar with that term. So

Matthew Murphy  11:15  

the difference in everyone has different lingo. In the way we talk about it as a private label would be like say Drew said, hey, I want to own my own vodka. I want to call it Drew Hendricks vodka, that’s your brand, you own it, you do whatever you want with it, you can sell it and do whatever you want. A control brand would be, you say, hey, I need a vodka. That is exclusive to me, in California. And so that brand might already be produced in in other markets. But we would bring it to you and work out an exclusivity deal where you would be the only person to sell it. That’d be more of a control brand scenario.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  11:53  

And what’s sort of the like, a little distance of 20 years since I’ve been a wine buyer, that I’m an independent store. But right then the the private labels were just really were really, really both staring at NIDA. Well, private label business. As far as the margins, how are the margins looking today for retail, or getting into the private label game?

Matthew Murphy  12:16  

So for private label, we try to? Yeah, I mean, our benchmark for private label is to double our customers money. If I buy for five, I want them to sell for 10. And that that’s our benchmark. You know, obviously, there are unique situations where someone wants to be, you know, they double, it’s 21 bucks, they want to be 9099. So you know, we deal with it. But that’s, that’s where we like to start from my customers.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  12:40  

Very good. Now, take a step back. Talk to me about the landscape of distribution in Connecticut.

Matthew Murphy  12:48  

Yeah, so the landscape is quite unique, it’s a little antiquated. But we start we are starting to come into the modern era a little bit. We are, we are a plethora of independent Small Business retailers and restaurants. They’re in that’s mostly because up until a couple of years ago, you could only have about three licenses per per permit T per person. And so it really was a barrier of entry for a chain to come in. And really establish themselves in the wine and spirits side. You know, that’s an exchange of leads up to five now you can have as a licensed but still, it’s still barrier to entry. As the licenses increase, I think the landscape of Connecticut will change. With more big box coming in. If they actually enhance the licenses. They’ve also had recent Russell a case one state and a model states. So what that means is there’s no, there’s no messing around with pricing. It’s, it’s the one case of a product for 30 days per calendar month has to be the same price whether a customer buys one or a million of them, oh, quantity discounts, there’s no rips, there’s no kickbacks, there’s nothing. And you can only change that pricing once the calendar year one once every calendar turnover. So, right now we just we’re going to price posts on the first of July 4 August, right and then so on every month,

Drew Thomas Hendricks  14:17  

I have no idea. So if you buy one case or buy a pallet, it’s the same price the same, it’s the same that’s set by the state.

Matthew Murphy  14:24  

It’s in that in that is run and regulated by the state as well as a minimum bottle which means they even dictate the lowest price that a retailer can sell a bottle of wine or spirit. Okay, so in so we price posted that it’s called mini bottle. So, you know, we say we’re gonna, we, as a company use that law to build margin for our customers. There’s a lot a lot of others that don’t use that they like a national brand gives less margin than you would an artist or artisanal brand. But for my company we’ve always tried to get give extra margin to the cut to the customer by building in more large a higher min bottle than anybody else.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  15:07  

And how does that work? Do you have to submit that to the state to say this? We’re bringing in this new brand? We’re bringing it at this price. Does the State tell you what the minimum prices are? You said

Matthew Murphy  15:16  

we we price with the state? Yeah, the state just basically says it can’t be priced lower than our costs we can’t sell for you know, you can’t sell for lower than we bought it for. It. Same thing for if you don’t do a min bottle or a face bottle the case with a retailer same thing they can’t sell under min bottle or their cost. If there is no min.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  15:37  

So so when I guess the question is like if you don’t have exclusivity, and there’s multiple people importing the same product, is the first one there to set them in bottle.

Matthew Murphy  15:49  

Yeah, we’re so we’re also a franchise state, which means that you really I mean, it’s not exclusivity, but it’s pretty much exclusivity per distributor. So we unless it a whole massive supplier isn’t happy with their representation on the wholesale side, they pretty much stick to one supplier. If they add a supplier, it’s called a dual. They have to wait six months. And there’s all this these other walls that get triggered when you start adding other wholesalers but but for all intents and purposes, we’re pretty much a one wholesaler state. Okay, yeah.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  16:24  

It’s interesting, I’m talking about the forget what I was talking about, I’m sorry,

Matthew Murphy  16:34  

the laws and one wholesaler state per brand that is not one across the state. But actually, I can expand on that a little bit in the wholesaler and distributor landscape. And that because we are a smaller state, we’re about 1.8% of the total consumption across the country. And which means we’ve got about 20 wholesalers, which might be a lot for a small state, but really, at the end of the day, you know, there’s five or six of the larger national style, you know, can a distributors as a breakthrough house, you know, you’ve got OPG, which is largely a slogan, which is Eber. So you’ve got some of the larger guys. And then before Murphy, you just had a big guys that were had these big brands, they were big, gigantic monsters in our market. And then the the smaller guys that, you know, were maybe didn’t have the reach, or the sales rep coverage, or their trucks or the infrastructure to be able to, to really just manage a larger brand. That would be all over the state. And so we’ve slowly found our niche where there’s nobody occupying the middle. And that’s sort of what we do. We’re mid sized. We are statewide, we operate infrastructure, like the big guys, trucks on the road next day delivery statewide field managers on and off premise managers, national account managers. And so we try to offer this, this alternative, let’s say, being with an rndc breakthrough house, or a southern or in Oregon, you know, the previous DDoS he was then we’re really, you know, a guy operating under his car like I was 14 years ago. And so we kind of occupy this space where we can give time and attention to every brand in our portfolio. And I think that’s helped.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  18:18  

Yeah, no, thanks. I’m thinking so you talked about the business intelligence of how your reps you, when you go into a store, you really help them figure out what do you need, we’re not just selling you 20 vodkas that you don’t need or 20 wines, we forgot exactly which wine on the other side of that is you have 2000 SKUs. How what advice? I mean, let’s talk about the wineries that you represent the craft distilleries, how do they stay present in your portfolio? How can they? What do you wish they knew that could they can help you do your job better?

Matthew Murphy  18:49  

Yeah, no really great question. So we do a lot in terms of like you just said, you know, managing, trying to manage our customers businesses and figuring out what’s working what’s not, you know, finding holes, or seeing if there’s things that aren’t trending over and figure out why maybe it wasn’t a great product. Let’s try this. Let’s try that. But you’re right, we do manage a lot of SKUs, we manage on a general market portfolio a little under 600 SKUs, we try to break that down from the 2000. Then within those 600, that’s still a lot. And so what we do is we try to give rolling 30 and 60 day coverage over the course of like 50 to 100 brands or SK use. And so if we could, if we could theoretically hit 75 to 80% of our total total portfolio over the course of four months. That’s sort that’s a win for us. Right? So in we and then we further separate that into categories, new new products for our sales reps, right? So there’s a box, our focus items, so the items that we’re going to focus on outside of those new items for the month or 60 days. And then within that, what block of those are going to be we one, week two, week three, week four, then within that we have because we’re a case, one state, every month prices are being discounted or full boat. And so then we’ll have the second section, we’re always have discounted products every month. So we have a slew of items that are been discounted. So when a sales rep walks into a customer, it’s not here’s hundreds of items, it’s your exciting products. Here’s what we’re focusing on why we think you’d work for you. Items that are discounted that can offer you more margin this month, here’s our items that are ended vintage or inventory reduction. And now we’ve gone through a full sales presentation, covered every aspect of our book, and left hopefully the customer with not only an order, but sizable amount of amount of cases that are going to go and then be annuities for us. We’re going to follow it up with tasting support POS, education, waitstaff and bar education, if it’s a restaurant, so the sale isn’t done there the sale was, is not even close to being done. It’s takes another couple months to establish that brand in that account. But that’s sort of the process and how we sort of break down the larger SKU count.

Bianca Harmon  21:08  

This, this might be a silly question, I just I’ve worked on the importing side of things, not so much on the distribution side. So everything that you all are doing, is that fairly typical for distributors? Or are you kind of, you know, off on your own by offering all that support

Matthew Murphy  21:28  

to your clients? You mean, it’s how we sort of package it? Yeah,

Bianca Harmon  21:31  

you know, offering bar support and like, you know, sales classes? And yeah,

Matthew Murphy  21:38  

I, you know, it’s a really good question, I would say that we’re probably a little bit of both in terms of what other people are doing, and some things we’re doing, the others aren’t. And, you know, as you’ve probably heard from the story, I had zero experience in this industry, worked for another importer, or wholesaler or wine shop before. And so everything that I’m doing, and everything we’re doing as a company is, well previous to bring on experienced people that work in other places, was what I thought people should be doing. You know, I look at Zappos. And it’s like, you know, look, we’re here for you, if you don’t like it, send it back, you know, kind of thing. And so that’s what we’re here. We’re, we’re not trying to push the next Ciroc flavor to our customers across the state. We’re saying, Okay, we’ve got a we’ve got a vodka. Well, this were a few, maybe, maybe not, but we were very selected and what our portfolio is, we’re very in tune with our market needs are. And so half that battle is done with just selecting the product, it checks the packaging box, it checks the supply box, it checks the marketing box, you know, the margin for the customer. And so we’ve done a lot of the homework, so when we get to the customer, it’s just getting across that finish line. But a lot of that stuff was developed from me being in the market as a salesman, when I started the business, just hearing my customers complaints. What’s working for you? What’s not, you know, what do you love about the industry? What do you dislike about the industry? How can I make your life easier? Well, instead of dropping off a bottle of vodka, maybe can teach my staff about it. So when they go to a table, they know what you know why the new gin in my Martini tastes like this. So that sort of stuff.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  23:20  

As far as the the lingo again, so you’ve got your customers, which would be the wine stores, the retailers and the restaurants. Who are how do you refer to the people that you represent?

Matthew Murphy  23:32  

So my suppliers, my suppliers, are the suppliers, my supplier partners? Yeah.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  23:37  

So on the supplier partners that you’re helping educate, you’re helping move their goods and you’re providing a good service to them? How can the on the supply side, how can the suppliers maximize their relationship with you?

Matthew Murphy  23:53  

Yeah, I think that when you’re a supplier, it’s really important to understand that the sale like I like my steel doesn’t end the minute, a buyer from one of our customers says yes, if that’s just the beginning, when we say yes to a brand or a supplier, I think it’s really important to understand that that is when the work begins. And we are yes, we’re a wholesaler, yes, we have salesmen on the ground and presenting the products. But we can only do so much we can give you points of distribution. You know your brand you want to come in, we believe in the brand and check the boxes, we’re gonna go out and we’ll get you to restaurants and retailers around the state one time, right. But if it doesn’t pull through, if they’re not supporting tastings or demos, or going into a bar with us and helping out with cocktail menus or revamping and teaching the mixologist. It’s just going to sit there. Yes. So I like to send to people my job is to get it to educate and get it around. But your job is to make sure that that pollster the consumer they know who Brand X is and they want to try Brand X and then the quality’s in the back degree, they try once they don’t buy it again, that’s not my problem. But you know, they, you want them to try it and buy it and then continue to buy it. And then you have a loyal customer for life. That’s the part that we can’t do. And so if you just look at the branding, I’m not saying they gotta go out and spend marketing dollars like Anheuser Busch, but they do need to understand that the sale starts. Once the distributor says, Yes, we will get you points of distribution, it’s their job to support the brand on a direct to consumer marketing side.

Bianca Harmon  25:32  

Follow through the follow up the all of

Matthew Murphy  25:35  

that. I mean, look, if we if we would come out with an Irish whiskey, you know, I’ll tell you right now, our two biggest competitors are Tullamore Dew, Jameson. And, you know, they’re in every Irish bar in the state of Connecticut. And so what are we going to do? Oh, well, just give it to them at a better at $1. Better price, they will buy it, maybe they might buy it, if they liked the product, and they like us, but then it’s gonna sit on a back bar, and then they’re gonna be pissed, and I’m gonna walk in, and they’re gonna say, I’m not gonna buy into something else until you tell me what I’m gonna do with this thing. And so that’s what we avoid at all costs. Is that roadblock? Because that is a self inflicted wound?

Drew Thomas Hendricks  26:13  

Yes. So instead of hurting that, if it was the guy on your list, their problems are solved. It’s really this the work? There’s a lot of work that they’ve got to distinguish themselves with the competing brands and show that that’s the

Bianca Harmon  26:25  

point. Yeah, speaking of your list, what do you have criterias that you like, when a brand is coming to you that you are looking for? Or that you will take in? I mean, I presume you just won’t take any brand and

Matthew Murphy  26:38  

correct you. So every day a lot? Yeah,

Bianca Harmon  26:41  

yeah. So what are some big things that you’re looking for? That you when you’re when a new brand is coming to you, that is important to you to? to then take on this brand?

Matthew Murphy  26:53  

Yeah. So crack it immediately. Packaging, pricing and quality. And then and then support. Those are the four big ones, before we even will review. Right? Check those boxes. And then we get to step two culture. Is there a fit? You know, are there expectations in our market aligned with our expectations for the brand in our market, someone might say I want 10,000 cases a year, one might say, you’re lucky for them to 1000, you know, and so there’s a disconnect. And so it’s really making sure that our suppliers expectations are aligned with ours. So at the end of the year, no one’s saying, You know what that happened over here. And and then setting up milestones, making sure that suppliers are organized, where they can set up milestones to continue to build the brand support the brand in the market. And then, lastly, does it have does it fit our portfolio? And we don’t typically look at our portfolio and say, we have a hole here, we have a hole here. Oh, crap, we need Chroma, we have one Chaumont We need all three, you fall for reasons of mine. It doesn’t work like you know you, that’d be great. But we’re so hyper, hyper focused on who we work with, that, we sort of just kind of set our feelers out, people come to us, we go to people, and if things align, then we bring them on. And that’s sort of the process.

Bianca Harmon  28:17  

That’s awesome. What I’d like to

Drew Thomas Hendricks  28:19  

shift shift, focus for a second and talk about your foundation and how it fits into the business. And it looks like such a great cause.

Matthew Murphy  28:27  

Oh, thank you so much. Yeah, so it’s the Murphy Foundation. And it officially became a 501 C three, charity a couple of years ago. But before that it was founded when we were hit with the crazy hurricanes, Sandy specifically, oh yes. smallish our coast, demolished a lot of my customers, my customers, towns, and less people without water, electricity for months. It was very tough in Connecticut after those hurricanes, and it was one year after the other. And so I wanted to help but also wanted to keep my business. And so I developed a plan with my sales manager at the time, he was called by wine help Connecticut. And the whole point was if a customer I think it was a month, spent a certain amount of dollars with us, it was it was low, then we would sponsor a family in need in their name in their town. So they would get all the credit. All they have to do is buy products from us buy some wine for me buy some vodka for me. And we’ll target will work with Child and Family Services, work with the homeless shelters and will sponsor family whatever they need. So they would give us wishlist, we need diapers or formula or pillows or sheets. And so we would do that we we target a family we donate, and then we donate in the name of our customer. And then we send certificates out and it was just a really nice way to get involved in the community help out and also give our customers some recognition. Yeah. And so that spawned the Murphy time issues. And when I started the Murphy foundation, it was for that reason to help families. And about five and a half years ago, my godson, a nephew was born next, and he was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. And when he was diagnosed with that, it was very tough on the family. And we set all our sights. We’re family where we don’t just accept stuff in in we have to shame muscular dystrophy it’s it’s a terrible disease for young boys. And it basically starts impacting them run age seven, and there’s no cure for it. It’s muscle muscle degeneration, and there’s no cure, and it’s just awful. So we were not going to accept the fact that my godson Max was just going to get therapeutics when he turned seven for the rest of his life. We were going to find a cure. And so we started doing that. And so everything got set to raising money through the Murphy foundation for Max and his family, and research. And we linked up with a organization called Cure Rare Disease, started by a young man, Rich Horgan who had just finished his fellowship at Harvard. And he’s in his late 20s. Now, his older brother was diagnosed and he was the same way he wanted to find a cure. And so he established his foundation. And now we’re sponsoring labs at Yale University in Connecticut. And we are finding a cure to Duchenne muscular dystrophy and children for the first time in the history of the world. Last year, they took Terry who’s Rich’s oldest son, he’s patient zero, Max is the next one in line and took his cells in cured Duchenne muscular dystrophy for him in a Petri dish, the first time it’s ever happened in the world. And so now it’s going through FDA approval, it’s at its final stage, to get put dosed into a human. And I am happy to say this year after five and a half years of gruesome, hard work of wine dinners, and golf events and Murphy Foundation, promoting, and millions of dollars that we have been through the community that we’ve been so fortunate to, to have we funded this foundation that is now in lab, young Haven has found a cure. And it’ll be putting the human for the first time this year and Terry, and then hopefully to my godson Max next year, and it is going to revolutionize the way that this disease has impacted the world and we can’t be more excited about it.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  32:42  

That’s unbelievable. That’s that’s so fantastic. Where can people find out more about the Murphy Foundation go

Matthew Murphy  32:48  

to Okay, you can always go to and go on the Murphy Foundation, and it’ll have a link to Cure Rare Disease. You can google Cure Rare Disease, CRD or Rich Horgan and you can see where we are in the process, you can donate five bucks if you want whatever it is, but we are at the for Duchenne is a genetic disease. So every person that is diagnosed with it is different. So we’re using CRISPR technology to edit, and every person is different. But we have the foundation, and we have the technology to be able to do that. And so now, hopefully, we’ll be able to get boys before they even start seeing signs and never know they had this terrible disease. And that’s

Bianca Harmon  33:33  

only in males. Only in males. Interesting. Yeah. Yeah. Wow.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  33:40  

It’s so amazing that the, like starting a salon or car leads to such a tremendous outcome that Murphy Distributors can give such a platform for this to occur.

Matthew Murphy  33:51  

It’s unbelievable. And I have to say the community has been has been unbelievable. Our suppliers and our customers have been great because we’ve raised money through brands through depletions. And saying sales goals and say every dollar $5 This month goes to goes to max and in and the family and and people have really rallied behind us and it’s just it’s just an unbelievable feeling. That’s

Drew Thomas Hendricks  34:13  


Bianca Harmon  34:13  

You are the definition of don’t give up on your dreams, man.

Matthew Murphy  34:16  

Never, never,

Drew Thomas Hendricks  34:18  

ever. We talk about dreams. I mean, you’re about to achieve one of the biggest ones that you’ve set out. What’s next for Murphy Distributors

Matthew Murphy  34:27  

is to continue making the mark in the community. I mean, you know, it’s all about our community, bringing people together, giving back and that’s that’s what it’s all about. You know, my My dream is to create this business for my family from for my kids kids. And so that so that we can continue to be a family and a name and a company that is established and rooted in our community is known for giving back and a place that people want to be

Drew Thomas Hendricks  35:00  

That’s fantastic. That’s fine. It’s kind of hard to move off of that. I mean, it’s, it’s such such a great goal and so much success there. So, yeah, so is we’re kind of getting towards the end of this. Is there something that we haven’t asked you about that you’d like to talk about?

Matthew Murphy  35:20  

I don’t think so at this point, I think, you know, you know, for us, one of the reasons why I came on here is because, you know, I saw some of the interviews that you did, and they were unbelievable, I think you got a great program, and congratulations to you and your success with the podcast. And, you know, for us, I just want to get the name out there, let people know that there are good people in this industry that are trying to, you know, make a name for themselves. You know, I wasn’t, we hadn’t had zero experience, it wasn’t in the industry previously, we’re just trying to be a company that people want to work with, they feel good working with. And at the end of the day, when they look at their p&l, they say, Wow, I started working with Murphy, and all of a sudden, you know, look at look at these margins, like, you know, we get our profits. And so and so I, I take a take a position in business that, you know, when I started my business, I was the only one in the business, and I was able and fortunate to choose who I worked with. And so that’s sort of where we still are, we were very fortunate, we get to choose our suppliers, or customers to an extent as well. And anyone that we work with want to have a deep relationship with because it is a partnership, we’re in this together, we’re trying to move products from ADB, but the end of the day, make some money and represent quality products and quality people.

Bianca Harmon  36:34  

One more question regarding the people. Can anybody from any state come to you with their product? Or do they strictly need to be in your area?

Matthew Murphy  36:43  

Any state income? Does? anyone anywhere? Foreign, domestic and abroad? Awesome.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  36:51  

Awesome. So now, as we approach the end, I always ask is what shoutouts would you like to give or any buddy you want to give recognition to? Yeah, right now in the industry,

Matthew Murphy  37:03  

it’s cheesy, but my family, you know, I wouldn’t be anywhere without them. My wife is one of the strongest people I know, and, you know, keeps me going, we have those down days or downs, weeks, she’s the one that, you know, gets me going get, you know, keys the rock of the family and keeps us all moving in the right direction. Couldn’t do it without her. Both my parents, my mother and my father, both in their own rights, have their own businesses, small businesses in the town, and have shown me you know, the value of not only owning your own business, but giving back and respecting the community. And I would say that’s, that’s, that’s it. And then my father in law has been has been an unbelievable advisor to me. Who owns a business also midsize business also in the state of Connecticut. Person to bounce ideas off and my partner’s it’s only me so as the owner, so as an advisor, my father in law Don, my mother can me all my father Dan, and my wife. Most importantly, Whitney.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  38:06  

I love that I can relate. Yeah. The sole owner of a marketing company, sometimes you’re an island. Exactly. Gotta have that network.

Matthew Murphy  38:14  

Yep. For sure. That you trust? Yes. Yes.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  38:18  

So Matt, where can people find out more about you and Murphy Distributors.

Matthew Murphy  38:22  

So I would encourage everyone to go to our website. All our information is on there a phone number? I’m always accessible. Pick up the phone, call the office ask for Matt. I’ll be here. And they can read about us online. If you have any questions. Email me, Or pick up the phone. Give me a call. love to meet you. Sounds great.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  38:46  

Well, thank you so much for joining us today.

Matthew Murphy  38:48  

Thank you so much for having me. Really appreciate it.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  38:51  

Have a great day.

Matthew Murphy  38:52  

Thank you, Joe. Thank you, Bianca.

Bianca Harmon  38:55  

Thank you.

Outro  39:03  

Thanks for listening to the Legends Behind the Craft podcast. We’ll see you again next time and be sure to click Subscribe to get future episodes.