Food with Wine Coalition
The Food with Wine Coalition (FWWC) was established by the Kentucky Grocers Association (now
known as the Kentucky Grocers Association & the Kentucky Association of Convenience Stores) as a non-profit corporation for the purpose of educating Kentucky’s thought leaders about the benefits of revising existing state law to allow the sale of wine in grocery stores in “wet” counties. Thirty-four states, including six of seven of Kentucky’s border states allow such sales.
L.B. Schmidt & Associates, LLC was retained to work with FWWC’s members to move this initiative
forward. Luke Schmidt provided the following services to the FWWC: developed and implemented the initiative, managed the coalition, scheduled meetings, developed meeting agendas, led the development of various collateral materials, including a website, conducted extensive outreach to media throughout Kentucky and key border state markets by drafting press releases and conducting interviews, conducted outreach to Members of the General Assembly and the Governor’s office, and facilitated an in-store/online petition drive which collected 84,000 signatures.
The environment to pass such legislation in the General Assembly was challenging and the FWWC ultimately filed suit in U.S. District Court in Louisville, which ruled that the state’s existing law was illegal and that grocery stores should be allowed. The ruling was appealed by the liquor store industry and the ruling was overturned by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. However, as the result of the FWWC initiative, the food retail industry was better positioned to move the initiative forward in the future.