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Dorm Drinks sold to new ownership

AMANDA GRAY | Friday, February 26, 2010

A popular campus beverage vendor is under new ownership.

Dorm Drinks, the Notre Dame beverage supplier, changed hands in January, new Chief Executive Officer Marc Anthony Rosa said.

“We took over in January, so it’s a relatively new thing for us,” Rosa said.

Rosa, a sophomore, works with two sophomores — Chief Financial Officer Richard Gonzalez and Marketing Director John Paxton —  to lead the company.

“Even during our lulls we’re still seeing growth, so it’s a really exciting time to be a part of it,” Rosa said.

Rosa, Gonzalez and Paxton found out earlier this year that the previous owners, seniors Adam Heisman and Jack Jeffery, were selling the company, Rosa said.

“Dorm Drinks was created [in 2007] essentially out of need,” Rosa said. “They and their buddies wanted drinks. They started delivering drinks to their friends and it turned out to be a very profitable company that worked out well.”

The new owners have seen positive results, Rosa said.

“It’s been extremely profitable,” Rosa said. “It’s profitable because we offer really low costs and people respond well to it.”

Students place orders through dormdrinks.com and deliveries are made on Wednesdays and Sundays, Rosa said.

“You come back to your dorm and you want a snack, and you have it right there at your door,” Rosa said.

Rosa said dormdrinks.com, the group’s Web site, will soon be redone.

“We’re going to make it easier,” Rosa said. “We want as few steps as possible for you to get your stuff.”

The new Web site is slated for release sometime next week, Rosa said.

Besides a new Web site, the company will also experience a new management style.
“We found for what they did, it worked very well for them,” Rosa said. “It worked for now, but it’s not going to work in the future. For future plans we’re just going to have to change several aspects.”

These aspects include the distributors the company uses and the ways its clients are handled.

Dorm Drinks hopes to expand to other campuses, including Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross, as well as regionally, Rosa said.

“By next year we should have at least four,” Rosa said. “I hope that’s something we stick to.”

In addition to external expansion, Rosa said Dorm Drinks hopes to expand internally, offering services to student clubs and faculty.

“Student clubs want to have events where they offer beverages with competitive prices, and that’s something these clubs don’t want to have to think about,” Rosa said.

Rosa said the most popular item is Nestle Pure Life bottled water.

“Something that people don’t know is that we have snacks, like chips and cookies,” Rosa said. “Soon we’ll be offering macaroni and cheese and other meal products.”

This isn’t Rosa’s first experience with owning a business — Rosa also owns a media management company.

“It started out as a side project. A couple of my buddies were in bands and they needed some business help. They needed to get their plans off the ground,” Rosa said. “One band turned into two and before I knew it I created a media management company.”

The company manages the long-term career goals of collegiate bands, Rosa said.

Rosa said proper time management is how he gets everything done.

“Despite this economy, there is still money out there,” Rosa said. “You have to refine what you need and be very specific and on top of your game. There’s no doubt in my mind that you can get the resources, funding, manpower and products that you want.”