The original location was at 208 2nd Avenue South, the area now known as “SoBro” in the heart of downtown Nashville, across from Ascend Amphitheater. At the time, that area was called Merchants Row, home to many warehouses and distributors. Harry, a tough but fair businessman, and his younger brother Meyer, who called on accounts and oversaw sales, managed about a dozen employees.
The Cumberland River near Nashville’s 2nd Avenue would frequently flood, so the Lipman Brothers decided to relocate the business. They purchased the property on the highest ground within Nashville city limits at 29 Hermitage Avenue – less than ½ mile away – for their new company headquarters.
Norman’s son, Robert, enters the family business. Robert started part-time in 1973 while still in college at the University of Kentucky. After graduating, he went to work for Seagram’s in NYC then participated in an Enology program at University of California, Fresno, before joining Lipman Brothers full-time.
Lipman Brothers establishes a separate wine division. Spurred by Robert’s observations in California wine country, along with the imminent growth of the boutique wine business, Lipman Brothers begins distributing brands including: Beaulieu Vineyards, Grgich, Beringer, Chapellet, Sutter Home, Clos du Val, David Bruce, and Kendall Jackson.
Norman Lipman, who served as Lipman Brothers’ Executive Vice President from 1961-1982, passes at age 54. He was a founder of l’Eté du Vin and a vigorous supporter of this international event which has, since its inception in 1980, raised more than $20 million for organizations whose purpose is directly related to treatment, patient care and the eradication of cancer. In his honor, the Norman M. Lipman Award was established as tribute to Lipman and the humanitarian qualities of wisdom, courage, optimism, commitment, and integrity that he embodied.
A separate entity – R.S. Lipman – was founded for the company to expand into the non-alcoholic and beer sectors of distribution. Lipman Brothers was limited to distributing only wine and spirits. Lipman pursued an opportunity to get into the “new age beverage” category (as it was called at the time) to distribute products such as Snapple and Arizona Iced Tea. Under the new company, R.S. Lipman could now also distribute beer and other beverages including Mountain Valley Water.
The R.S. Lipman product line is further expanded to include premium cigars and Riedel Crystal. A large walk-in humidor is built within the warehouse to house Lipman’s cigar inventory. A cigar enthusiast, Robert initiated the cigar business through a pairing program with Chateau St. Michelle, sister company to US Tobacco, which incentivized distributors across the country to enter the cigar business.
Construction is completed on the expansion of Lipman’s office and warehouse facilities at their Nashville Headquarters. The expansion results in a building footprint of over 185,000 square feet. In May, the infamous “Nashville Flood” damages and destroys many Metro Center buildings. Lipman Brothers was spared damage by a mere 1-1/2 feet.
Launch of a 5-year strategic modernization plan to implement state-of-the-art technologies designed to anticipate, plan and respond to market needs, including HighJump Warehouse Management System (WMS), Microsoft Dynamics GP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and other supply chain technology integrations.
The Lipman Companies restructures and prepares for a move to a 375,000 square foot building at 2815 Brick Church Pike in the Skyline Park district. This new headquarters is built with state of the art material and includes advanced temperature-controlled spaces for wine and beer – not to mention, comes with a spectacular view of the growing Nashville skyline.