Philadelphia – Hank’s Gourmet Beverages, the Philadelphia-based pioneer of the craft soft drink category best known for its critical favorite Hank’s Gourmet Root Beer, has named Tom Ciannilli as Director, Sales Support. The announcement was made here today by Bill Dunman, Partner, Chief Operating Officer for Hank’s Gourmet Beverages.
The appointment marks the return of this beverage industry veteran to the company where he began his career. For several years, Ciannilli worked helping Hank’s to grow from a primarily local and regional brand to a distributor to all classes of retail accounts, in select markets coast-to-coast.
Ciannilli returns to Hank’s from L&M Beverage Company, where he was Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the company, the wholesaler for Yuengling Beer and many other craft and imported brands in the Philadelphia market. Prior to this, Ciannilli worked as Regional Sales Manager for Barton Beers/Constellation Brands, one the largest international wine and spirits producers and largest beer importers in the U.S. He previously worked for Latrobe Brewing Company/Sundor Brands, where he served as Regional Sales Manager for brands including Rolling Rock Beer, a portfolio which experienced a 200% growth in the two-year period he directed sales in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic markets.
“It’s great to have Tom back in the fold, especially as we enter a new phase for our company, one where we are fast-expanding from a specialty niche to a broad consumer brand,” says COO Dunman. “Tom has the kind of marketing insights and sales contacts we need as we move into the future, to make our brands the first-call for quality soft drink lovers.”
Besides its fellow Philadelphians, Hank’s has become a favorite of hip gourmet food devotees, chefs, bartenders, restaurateurs, soda fanatics as well as critics at prestigious media outlets like Eater, Grub Street and the Los Angeles Times. Hank’s Root Beer anchors a craft soda product line that has grown to include Diet Root Beer, Orange Cream, Vanilla Cream, Wishniak Black Cherry, Birch Beer and Grape. This flavor line-up reinforces Hank’s authentic, high-quality image along with its upscale, award-winning packaging and consistent use of pure cane sugar
Since its launch in the mid-1990s, Hank’s Gourmet Beverages have largely been available in restaurants, bars, gourmet and specialty stores and via online sales to the booming, nationwide audience of craft soft drink lovers. Recent distribution deals with New York’s Abraham Natural Foods and Vermont-based food brokerage giant Celtic Marketing are bringing the product to thousands of additional specialty stores and supermarkets along the Eastern seaboard, from Maine to Florida, with a concentration on the NY Metro market.