Small Business and Franchise Success Stories

Randy, at the winery.
Transitioning from a career in law enforcement to owning a winery can’t be an easy thing, but Randy Biehl is living proof it can happen.

He was a United States probation and parole officer for almost 25 years and developed a passion for wine in his early 30s. He later decided he wanted to plant a vineyard and open a winery, which he would call Eveningside.

Why that name?

Biehl explains, “I live in Western New York (Buffalo area) and due to our close proximity to Canada we pick up radio stations from Toronto. Many years ago I would hear traffic reports on a Toronto radio station talking about how traffic was backed up on ‘Morningside Rd.’ I liked the name, so I flipped it to Eveningside.”

After an 18-month search for the perfect property to plant the vineyard, he was on his way.

To get his winery going, he turned to Guidant Financial after hearing about the company through his son, who had received a recommendation from a colleague.

“I have been very impressed with the level of service, the professionalism, and friendliness of Guidant staff and management.”

He also recently endured an IRS audit, but came through with flying colors.

“An IRS audit is very unsettling but Guidant stood by me every step of the way and that brought me great comfort. We were successful!”

On being his own boss, Biehl states, “You need to be very orderly yet creative in your thinking. Working for someone else is easier in many ways but that never gives you the freedom and ownership we all seek.”

He likens caring for a vineyard to gardening because “a great garden takes great care and so does a great vineyard,” and mentions that his life and his spare time are all consumed by his love for wine. “You know you have a passion when your hobby becomes your vocation.”

Eveningside wines are currently available online and in various fine dining establishments and stores throughout New York.

Biehl has aspirations to expand into building a facility to host events such as weddings at the vineyard.

Learn more about Eveningside at their official website.


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