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Whitman at Work: Entrepreneur Makes Anything But Beer Nothing But Successful

Whitman at Work: Entrepreneur Makes Anything But Beer Nothing But Successful

Image 1: Growler with Anything But Beer logo. Image 2: Logan Bonney

Whitman at Work: Entrepreneur Makes Anything But Beer Nothing But Successful

One month after completing his master’s degree in entrepreneurship at the Whitman School, Logan Bonney ’17 M.S. was already putting his education into practice by incorporating Anything But Beer LLC, a wholesale brewery that manufactured and distributed grain-free, gluten-free craft alcoholic beverages (beer alternatives) for those with dietary restrictions or food allergies.

Fast forward three years later to early 2020 and Bonney, the company’s CEO, was again leaning on his entrepreneurial know-how. This time, however, it was to make sure his now expanded business survived a global pandemic. Just 30 days before New York State ordered the shutdown of dining establishments, Bonney and co-owner Brittany Berry ’18 (VPA) expanded Anything But Beer into a restaurant. The location at 201 S. Salina St., in downtown Syracuse, took in $70,000 in revenue in its first month. But, the pandemic changed everything, and the business’s income plummeted by 95%.

Image 1: Logan Bonney outside his restaurant Image 2: Bowl of beet salad

Faced with such a threat, Bonney relied on what he’d learned at the Whitman School, as well as the hospitality industry training this U.S. Air Force veteran received through the University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans.

As restaurants shut down during the pandemic, Anything But Beer shifted to making deliveries and re-aligning the business processes to fit the customers’ needs. “Every recipe had to be evaluated with a whole new purpose,” he says. “Our food needed to look good, taste good and be fresh right out of the box. We pivoted, and, within a week, we were able to scale fully into delivery.”

He also considered that customers in the midst of uncertain times were more careful with discretionary spending. “During a recession, people look for better value in their food and beer purchases,” he says. “So, we adjusted our offerings, while still making sure our products met our customers’ needs, and, in response, the support from the local community and our loyal customers was overwhelming.”

So, we adjusted our offerings, while still making sure our products met our customers’ needs, and, in response, the support from the local community and our loyal customers was overwhelming.”

Logan Bonney ’17 M.S.

Despite months of restrictions, Bonney’s entrepreneurial know-how and military discipline helped Anything But Beer survive. By late summer, he was able to open patio dining and started to re-hire staff. Customers started coming back.

“We have a good niche,” he says of the business. “We started as a brewery that caters to people with dietary restrictions, so adding a restaurant was a logical extension of that — our entire grain-free menu meets every dietary restriction. Whether you are gluten-free, AIP, vegan or carnivore, we have you covered. We serve food everyone can eat and beer everyone can drink. I was able to use the skills I learned at Whitman to help me re-evaluate this business model based on research and adapt in response to this crisis.”

“It was tough, but we just made it work,” he adds. “Don’t hold on to the past, but instead address what is going on in the world now and what people need now — then do it.”

For more information, visit Anything But Beer's website.