Where it All Began
Banks Channel began as a small division of a wine and beer distributor located in the Triad region of North Carolina, American Premium Beverage (APB). The three very entrepreneurial owners of APB were always trying to anticipate the next “big” brand and worked to secure representation of such promising brands. With only a limited market area in which they could distribute these brands themselves, APB’s owners developed a business platform to distribute such brands through a coordinated network of other wine & beer distributors, both in NC and in multiple surrounding states. This business platform for distributing through other distributors became Banks Channel.
The owners of APB extended the Banks Channel business model into the Atlantic Basin (Caribbean, North Atlantic Islands and Central America) in the early 1980s, beginning in Bermuda. Over time, this Atlantic Basin business was developed and extended into additional Atlantic Basin countries. By the late 1990s, Banks Channel was doing business in over 30 Atlantic Basin markets, representing a leading portfolio of wineries from around the world.
Robert Bowman joined both APB and Banks Channel in 1998, splitting his time between the two distinct businesses. In November 2001, one of the owners of APB (John Fragakis) and Robert purchased Banks Channel in a spin-off from APB to create a stand-alone company. For the next several years, Banks Channel experienced tremendous growth in the Atlantic Basin. John exited the Banks Channel business in 2006 to focus on his NC distribution businesses, leaving Robert as the sole owner of Banks Channel.
In January 2017, Robert merged his Atlantic Basin business with a very similar company based in Miami, World Equity Brand Builders (WEBB) creating WEBB Banks. While Robert continues to serve on the WEBB Banks Board, there is no other relationship between Banks Channel and WEBB Banks.
Today, Banks Channel is a progressive, energetic and fun company involved in the business of beverage alcohol brand representation as a US Wine Importer. We have great passion for both the art and the craft that go into producing the brands we represent. Our primary focus is to thoroughly understand our brands, our markets and our overall industry so we are able to maximize opportunities for every brand in each distinct market. We also believe it is incumbent upon us to create value for every supplier and distributor who work in partnership with Banks Channel.
Much of what we are trying to accomplish at Banks Channel can be summarized nicely by the following Hindu proverb:
“There is nothing noble in being superior to some other person. The true nobility is in being superior to your previous self.”