Vigilant's Featured Editorials

We have been featured in many different publications over the years and we have included a sampling below. If you would like to include Vigilant in an upcoming article or need content and photos for an upcoming story on wine or cigar storage, please contact our media relations department.

Designing Wine Racks for Your Retail Space

Posted by: By Jessica Spengler for Grapevine Magazine | Posted March 14, 2018
March 2018 | Contact: Media Relations (603) 285-0416

The love of the land, of the vine, of the grape, and of course, of the wine is the reason many vintners get into the wine industry. The idea of building a business with the sweat of your brow and creating a fantastic result is what motivates people to keep going. However, to make the dream a reality, you have to sell that product. Your product needs to appeal to the consumer through smell and taste, but also with a well-crafted label and an interesting bottle. Then, you need to show it to your customers in the best way possible. This is where a beautiful built display becomes essential.

There are many ways of thinking about how to display your wine. For some producers, just getting the wine in front of the customer is what matters, and as long as it's there, they don't care how it looks. For others, high-end woods and displays are even more impressive than the wine itself. Most wineries and retailers prefer to be somewhere in between, with a display that will attract consumers to purchase their wines but also allow for customer accessibility, inventory management, and other day-to-day functions..

Types of Wine Displays & Racking

When wine racks are set up correctly, they lead to higher sales. Ideally, customers should have access to a label-forward display and inventory behind, underneath or above. There are multiple ways to set up a retail space that accomplishes this. Standard wine racks.

A standard wine rack is one of the best ways to maximize space, control inventory and display wine beautifully. Racks can be made from a bevy of materials, but most often are wooden, with a label-forward display row and cork-forward storage below and above. Standard racks are built to fit a case of standard wine bottles, and sometimes two cases, depending on height.

Diamond and Rectangular Bins
Vigilant wine storage for retails spaces

Bins are great for bulk storage

Wine Island for retail liquor store

Islands and tables provide great display and additional storage

Metal Wine racking for retail warehouse

Metal wine racks offer multi-deep storage and front label exposure

For bulk storage wines, diamond and rectangular bins allow retailers to stack standard Bordeaux bottles without fear of breakage. These are most often used for less expensive wines or wines with large inventories. Diamond and rectangular bins should not be used for wines in burgundy bottles that have a rounded bottom and no shoulder. The decorative element of these bins can add an element of design to this bulk storage.

Wine Islands and Tables

Wine islands are similar to standard wine racks. However, the top of the island is where the display bottle is laid with a place for 12–to–13 bottles underneath. Wine tables are similar to islands in that they hold a full case of each wine, but instead of a display on top, there is a flat surface or table for displays or to hold tastings. This is a common option in retail environments where there is not a specified area for tastings.

VintageView

A new trend in wine storage is the metal "Vintage view" style. These powder-coated racks display the wine bottle on its side rather than cork-forward, and the back stock of bottles are laid in a similar fashion behind the display bottle and moved forward as customers purchase inventory. This is a versatile rack fashioned to a winery's or retailer's liking and seems to take up less space than traditional wooden racks. However, displaying the bottle on its side doesn't necessarily save room, and the racks offer little bulk storage.

Customization

Customized cabinetry and racks expand display options for wineries and retailers.. Rack designers and manufacturers are more than willing to work with their consumers to design the best retail environment.

Rack Materials

The materials available for wine storage, from wine cellars in tasting rooms to displays in retail stores are varied, and each has their purpose, pros and cons. For wood racks, hardwoods are best.

Metal

Metal is commonly used for backroom storage, barrel racks, as well as VintageView and other metal racking.

Mahogany

Charles Griffiths is the owner of Vigilant Inc. (vigilantinc.com), a Dover, New Hampshire-based designer of wine cabinetry, cellars and racks. He told The Grapevine Magazine that his first choice is mahogany, a durable wood that holds up in high humidity and has non-aromatic qualities.

"We've been using different types of mahogany for the entire time the company's been around. We really like the material, it's great to work with, it's strong, it looks good, it takes stain well," said Griffiths.

Other woods

For wineries or retailers looking to use a different sort of wood for their racks, wine rack manufacturers are more than willing to take requests— but at a cost.

"Black walnut's been popular the last three years; it's finally starting to die down a little bit. So that's fine, we can say 'yeah we can do this in black walnut, it's going to be this much more because we're gonna have to source the material and mold the material and get it to where you want it to be,'" Griffiths said.

Finishing is just as important as wood selection, Griffiths said. "It's not just what it looks like, but we use conversion varnish or lacquer on all our racks and all of our cabinetry that's good for protecting the wood and keeping dust and wine, if it spills, off the product. It's just a nice protective product."

Planning the Space
Wine Island for retail liquor store

Vigilant's expert team of design consultants will help you make the most of your space.

Designing a cellar or display rack should start as early as possible when planning a new construction or remodel, particularly if there are any plans for climate control or refrigeration.

Griffiths told Grapevine magazine, "when we get proposals, what happens is, someone may call us, and they haven't done much of anything. That is preferable to us because they say, 'Look I'm just reaching out, we're a year out from opening a new location, and we're thinking about doing this, we're trying to get some ideas going, we just want to include you in the design process.' That's when they're using us to the biggest advantage."

The key, said Griffiths, is to define what you want for the business early in the planning process.

"We're very design-oriented, so we like to start out with the stakeholders and find out what it is they're trying to do. Sometimes their goals are well-defined, and we're just coming in and slipstreaming it into what their plans are, and we are able to get them what they want. A lot of other times they've got a blank slate, and then, a lot of cases they've got an architect or designer who's said, 'I've earmarked this area for wine storage, I don't really know a lot about exactly how it's all supposed to go together, but can you please help us with that,'" he said.

Location in the store, often referred to as "real estate," is a primary factor, too.

"We get into formats; we get into how many different areas and how you'll set your store up. Are you setting your store up by country, are you setting your store up by region, are you setting up your store by varietal?" Griffiths said. "That's the stuff that we bring up, and they usually ponder on it for a while before they come back and want to dig into a design and come up with what they think is most important."

In the end though, what is most important is functionality. Getting feedback from the often overlooked store or tasting room manager may be worth the effort.

"You can build a lot of pretty cabinets and racks and stuff, but it always has to make sense in terms of functionality," said Griffiths. "It's funny, I go out on a lot of these projects for the implementation, and the people that are actually using your product, you've never met them before. They're the food and beverage manager, or the store manager, and nobody ever consulted them at all. And they wonder 'How come it's being done this way?' Those people at that end, they want things to be very functional because they're using it every day and they want to be able to do their business in as easy a way as possible."

Benefits of Using a Consultant

Enlisting in a company like Vigilant Inc. will allow you to make the most of your space and to address questions that you may not know the answers to such as climate control. Vigilant also offers installation and customization to make sure you have what you want and can offer advice on things an owner, builder or designer may not have fully considered.

View the original Grapevine Magazine article

Using F&B Displays To Increase Hotel Restaurant Revenue

Posted by: Robin McLaughlin in Food and Beverage, Food Trends | Posted Dec 6, 2017
December 2017 | Contact: Media Relations (603) 285-0416

Hotel restaurants are routinely looking to new initiatives to increase revenue. Properties have partnered with outsourced food and beverage operators or created unique concepts to attract diners from both in and out of a hotel. Whatever their strategy, hotel restaurants have one thing in common–when competing with local eateries, hotels need to provide unique dining amenities guests can’t get anywhere else. Along with interior design essentials like comfort and aesthetic, hotel restaurants that showcase food and beverage displays can generate more regular and repeat customers, especially if customer interaction is integrated into those displays.

In this competitive marketplace, increasing revenue depends on driving people to buy a product. On-trend F&B displays provide visual cues to bring guests into a restaurant and entice them to stay. Vigilant Inc., a company that started 23 years ago as a manufacturer of cigar cabinets, now creates functional wine display systems for restaurants. The company’s Owner and President Charles Griffiths says that when it comes to F&B display, hotels should focus on one simple metric—how much of a product they’re selling. “Having the wine on display puts it in the mind’s eye,” Griffiths says. “Back in the old days, guests were provided with a big wine list and the wine wasn’t displayed anywhere. People just assumed the wine must be somewhere in a big room.”

While showcasing expensive labels may draw in certain customers, the functionality of a display system has more potential to increase food and beverage revenue. For example, Vigilant creates wine display cabinets with refrigeration to both showcase wine drinkers’ favorite labels and indicate that those bottles are well-kept and ready for immediate consumption. “As pretty as it might look, it’s only as good as how it functions and works,” Griffiths says. “It’s important we spend time with the operator in making sure we provide a product that fits their space, décor, and style, but also takes care of that constituent that wants to have a great wine offering display for their customers.”

A wine lover may be more likely to sit and enjoy a bottle of wine when it’s refrigerated and displayed in an elegant casing instead of being tucked away in a back room. Griffiths adds, “If they went somewhere else where they feel as though they aren’t getting the best selection or quality of wine they want, they’re going to another place that’s more invested in it.”

Although F&B display systems can seem like a luxury product, hotels can benefit from investing in both functionality and design to drive increased revenue. Griffiths cites that within a year to a year and a half with the wine cabinet systems in place, restaurants, hotels, and clubs will see an increase in revenue. “For a restaurant or a hotel, this is a money-making opportunity. It might be an investment, but it’s not more of an investment than putting in other amenities.”

View the original Lodging Magazine article
lodgingmagazine.com logo.

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Vigilant's display wine cabinet for the Ritz

Vigilant's custom refrigerated wine cabinet handcrafted for the Ritz-Carlton, Chicago from white ash and features dual glass doors to easily access the wine from both sides of the cabinet. Wine displays attract customers and functionally stores wine at the perfect serving temperature.

Dover company goes big into high-end wine storage

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Sunday News Correspondent | Posted Nov 26, 2017
November 2017 | Contact: Media Relations (603) 285-0416

DOVER — A niche business in Dover is building wine and cigar storage products for hotels, country clubs, restaurants and high-end homes.

Charles Griffiths, president of Vigilant on Industrial Park Drive, said the company's handcrafted refrigerated wine display cabinets can be found primarily in country clubs in Georgia and Texas, where more people frequent these types of establishments than in New Hampshire. Members can keep their wines at the club, which encourages them to come in on a more frequent basis, Griffiths said.

Among the company's New Hampshire customers is the Wentworth by the Sea hotel in New Castle. The hotel's SALT restaurant and wine bar features a 20-foot custom bank of refrigerated and nonrefrigerated wine cabinets that can hold 1,264 bottles, according to a customer photo gallery at vigilantinc.com .

Last month, Vigilant completed the installation of custom wine display cabinets at the Italian-Steak estaurant on the 12th floor of The Ritz-Carlton in Chicago. They feature dual glass side panels and were designed to be the focal point of the restaurant.

Griffiths and his team have found that establishments that prominently display their wine collections dramatically increase their on-premises sales. Alcohol sales are what allows restaurants to profit, Griffiths said.

"Wine continues to be a bigger and bigger part of fine dining," Griffiths said. "We solve problems for clients who want wine storage. We try to make stuff that looks really cool and is easily organized."

On the residential side, Griffiths said the company's products are attractive to upper-income baby boomers and members of Generation X with disposable income. About half of the company's clients are homeowners.

"It's a luxury item, for sure, on the residential side," Griffiths said. "But I tell people, 'If you're going to spend $20,000 on a residential wine cabinet, you have a lot more than $20,000 of wine in there."

Mahogany is the wood used in 80 percent of Vigilant's products. Employees cut and construct the cabinets in its 40,000-square-foot facility.

There are 16 employees in the office, and 25 on the manufacturing floor.

Chris Colby has been working at the company for 17 years. — "They have a nice wood warehouse so I can pick out whatever I want. I get to do all the high-end stuff," Colby said.

Garreth Bowie has been with Vigilant 18 years. — "I love woodworking. It is my passion and it always has been," Bowie said. "It gives you a sense of satisfaction to see a job well done."

Griffiths said the company was founded as a cigar cabinet provider in 1995, and at one time had corporate offices in Candia. Manufacturing was done in York, Maine.

Vigilant expanded into wine storage in the early 2000s, and Dover was a good fit for the company as the business grew. The company moved into its current location in 2005 and 2006, Griffiths said.

View the original NewHampshire.com article
NewHampsire.com Union Leader article on Vigilant wine storage and Ritz Carlton wine cabinets.

Union Leader article and photos on Vigilant Inc.'s wine display cabinets.

Dover’s Vigilant Finds its Niche Crafting Wine Racks

By Marisa Novello news@fosters.com | Posted Nov 2, 2017
November 2017 | Contact: Media Relations (603) 285-0416

DOVER — For Vigilant, Inc., a designer and manufacturer of wine storage products in Dover, 99 bottles of wine on the wall would be an easy feat. They could even build you a unit for 2,000 bottles, or more.

The company, with its office and workshop located at 85 Industrial Park Drive, is well established in the industry with their handcrafted fine wood products, such as wine cellars, cellar doors, wine racks, and wine and cigar cabinets that can include multi-zone climate controlled systems, LED lighting, numerous shelving options, custom wood species, etched glass and more.

Vigilant has created wine cellars and cabinets for business internationally and across the nation, as well as many local businesses such as the SALT Kitchen and Bar at the Wentworth by the Sea Hotel, The Rosa , The Martingale Wharf, and The Library Restaurant. They’re seeing more and more hospitality businesses investing in wine storage displays, not only for esthetics, but for their contribution to increased wine and dining sales.

“Wine has become a huge piece of the dining experience,” said Vigilant’s owner and president, Charles Griffiths. He adds that, even if you’re not a big wine drinker, being able to see wine displayed completes the whole experience of dining out. But for most people, he says, “when [they] see wine, they want to drink wine.”

Griffiths started Vigilant in 1995 in his garage in Portsmouth, beginning with cigar cabinets. He then moved it to a shop in York, Maine, and in 1999 began branching the business into building and designing wine cellars. Then, in 2006 they landed in Dover for a combination of reasons. Griffiths said Dover had great, affordable buildings, the city was “great to deal with,” and it was the best solution considering his staffs’ commute, at 43 members now, the office is close to the highway. The location is also vital for ground transportation for shipping all their products. Griffiths said in the last five years that the company has become a market leader with their wine products and their higher end designs and construction.

Twenty-two years after Vigilant’s inception, they announced their recent installation of wine cabinets at the Ritz Carlton, Chicago’s restaurant “Torali Italian + Steak” . The custom cabinets, a focal point of the room, include dual-sided mahogany-framed glass doors, triple-deep metal wine racking to expose wine labels that easily showcase options to hotel guests, and custom trim, making it a one-of-a-kind piece. The cabinets are fully insulated and include top-of-the-line cooling systems set from 55°-65°F, for the optimal storage of up to 960 bottles.

Griffiths said building their wine products came with a big learning curve, as they had to “intimately know how big all wine bottles are.” He said it’s especially difficult because wineries are making bottles specifically designed to distinguish themselves on shelves and can deviate from standard measurements, standing taller or wider, from the typical size of wine bottles. Vigilant has to be able to accommodate all types of bottles without sacrificing the bottle capacity which Griffiths says becomes a puzzle they work to piece together. That is what Griffiths said makes Vigilant different — their combined efforts of “design and functionality”. While Griffiths said their competitors don’t have the time for such attention to details, for Vigilant it’s part of the fun.

While the majority of their business serves commercial customers, Griffiths says about 30-35 percent of their orders come from residential customers across all their products. He said they have two to three robust competitors in the country for wine racks, doors, and cellars, but as for their cabinet business, there isn’t a direct competitor. An average cabinet can cost around $25,000, and a cellar between $6,000 and $7,000. Griffiths said, “his commercial customers see a great return on investment and, for many, the project is paid for in 12 to 14 months of operation.”

It takes a high skill level to meet the high expectations of their customers, Griffiths said. At Vigilant you “feel glad that you’re a part of that.”

View the original Fosters.com article
Fosters Daily Democrat article on Vigilant wine storage and Ritz Carlton wine cabinets.

Fosters Daily Democrat article and photos on Vigilant Inc.'s wine storage products and the recent wine cabinet project for the Ritz Carlton - Chicago.

Club Road Digital Magazine - Beyond the Wine Cellar

Summer 2017 | Contact: Media Relations (603) 285-0416

Beyond the Cellar — Why Private Clubs Should Invest in Wine. It's no secret, wine is growing in popularity and as demand rises, private clubs must begin looking beyond the subterranean wine cellar to please wine loving members. Many of the world's leading clubs have encouraged the creation of 'clubs within a club' with activities revolving around wine consumption and having wine displays and private wine lockers can be a worthwhile and lucrative choice for clubs.

Read the Full Article

Why Private Clubs Should Invest in Wine

What's the advantage of putting time and money into club member wine displays? 1) Engage the Right People 2) Cultivate Loyalty and 3) Increase Sales

Learn about Wine Locker ROI

Vigilant Wine cellars in Custom Woodworking Business Magazine.

Custom Woodworking Business Magazine

June 2012 | Contact: Media Relations (603) 285-0416

Custom Woodworking Business magazine featured Vigilant Inc. on its cover in the June 2012 issue for our work at W. Curtis Draper tobacco shop in Washington, DC. The magazine is published 8 times per year by Vance Publishing as part of the Woodworking Network. Visit woodworkingnetwork.com.

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Vigilant Wine cellars in Custom Woodworking Business Magazine.

Solutions at Hand

March 2007 | Contact: Media Relations (603) 285-0416

Solutions at Hand is your one-stop local resource for enhancing every aspect of your home and yard. Filled with creative ideas, you'll find inspiring ways to remodel and renew your home. Our wine cellar design for a residential wine cellar was featured in an article depicting our quality and custom capabilities from the wine racking to the full glass radius arch wine cellar door.

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Solutions at Hand magazine cover.

Building Resources

Fall 2005 | Contact: Media Relations (603) 285-0416

Building Resources is a resource directory for Architects, Design/Build Contractors and Interior Designers. The pages of Building Resources will showcase the most talented, dedicated, and creative craftsmen, architects, builders, interior decorators, and retailers throughout Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont. Vigilant provided an educational article on building a wine cellar and the components you must consider to be successful.

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Building Resources article cover.

Five Star Reviews

July 2005 | Contact: Media Relations (603) 285-0416

Five Star Reviews is an online review agency that writes articles on their audit of a company's products and services. Vigilant is honored to have made the list with a five-star rating article and we blush at the accolades detailed but we're extremely proud of our hard work and quality products.

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New York Times

June 2005 | Contact: Media Relations (603) 285-0416

New York Times is the largest metropolitan newspaper in the United States. Its famous motto, always printed in the upper left-hand corner of the front page, is "All the News That's Fit to Print.".

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Custom Home Online

May 2005 | Contact: Media Relations (603) 285-0416

Custom Home is a one-of-a-kind publication for builders and architects who create one-of-a-kind homes. With editorial that delves into every aspect of custom home design, construction, marketing, and customer service.

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Custom Home online ad.

Modern Woodworking

April 2005 | Contact: Media Relations (603) 285-0416

Modern Woodworking covers the latest developments in woodworking technology and design. The magazine's dedicated editorial staff tackles the full range of woodworking industry issues. Modern Woodworking's circulation is the only industry publication that is made up of verified woodworking equipment purchases and leasers.

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Modern Woodworking Magazine Cover

Kitchen Bath Designs

February 2005 | Contact: Media Relations (603) 285-0416

Delivering critical information for the kitchen design, bath design, kitchen and bath industry, from counter-tops to appliances, new technology and remodeling.

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