Rick Kornfeld, Director of Operations at Legacy in a Glass, is truly a force to be reckoned with. With decades of successful experience in event planning and hospitality, it’s no surprise that Rick’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to his current role at Legacy in a Glass. We recently had the chance to pick Rick’s brain and discuss all things wine, from Legacy’s early beginnings to where he hopes to see the brand in the future.
Being involved in his family business for 34 years gave Rick some important tools needed to embark on an entrepreneurial endeavor. For much of his career, Rick held a position as the general manager at The Woodlands, the widely recognized Wilkes-Barre hotel, conference and event space founded by his father Mark and his uncle Gary. Both his father and uncle were Rick’s mentors, as he recalls “the keys to the C-Suite were not just handed to me, it was not inherited. In order to be a principal player within an organization you must possess leadership skills and acquire the respect from our great staff, vendors and customers.”
“I had sold wine for the events that I was planning for our customers, plus The Woodlands during the late 1980s and for a number of years following was the largest buyer of wine and spirits in the entire state of Pennsylvania,” Rick recalls, “so getting into the wine industry felt like a natural progression.” After working in the family business for so many years, Rick decided to venture out and take a job at the Fine Wine & Good Spirits store in Dallas, PA. It was there that he first met Steve and Jennilyn Pollack, who, unbeknown to Rick, would eventually become his business partners. “Steve would come into the store every Friday to do wine tastings to assist his wife Jennilyn who was the wine specialist at the time,” Rick remembers. One of the first things Rick noticed about Steve was his entrepreneurial spirit, his burning confidence to succeed, his focus, his incredible knowledge of the industry and his dreams of one day being able to develop and produce his own brand wine. “I was obsessed by Steve’s passion for wine and the industry, so we decided to begin the Legacy in a Glass journey,” Rick shares. To this day, Rick looks back at his time at the wine and spirits store fondly. “I ended up in Dallas for a reason,” he says.
Creating a Legacy
Rick credits his days taking over the family business for giving him the go-getter attitude he needed to get Legacy in a Glass off the ground. While managing The Woodlands, Rick often experienced a fear of failure, but used those feelings to motivate himself to make better business decisions. By the time Rick started working on developing Legacy in a Glass, he felt he had the necessary tools to take on the job. “I love the challenge of starting a new business,” says Rick. “We set high goals and expectations.” Being that the Legacy team is so small, each person has a number of different responsibilities “I do the accounting, payroll, banking, wine delivery, tastings and sales…” Rick shares. When asked about his favorite part of working on Legacy in a Glass, Rick says getting to travel, talking to winemakers across the country, and experiencing new things makes it all worth it.
When it comes to where he sees Legacy in a Glass in 10 years, Rick certainly has a plan. “We want to see Legacy brand wines in homes and in retail & grocery stores across the country!” he shares excitedly. “We want our wines to tell a story, and we want our customers to have the unquestioning belief in the quality of our wine selections. The Legacy brand will provide delicious wine and exceptional value consistently. The Legacy brand should always equal trust.” Rick recognizes that there aren’t a lot of standout wines on the market right now, and he hopes that Legacy in a Glass will be a brand that paves the way for more wine diversity in the marketplace. For now, Rick and the rest of the team are building relationships with our suppliers and customers and focusing on our accounts working toward building a “legacy” for Legacy in a Glass.