Anthony H. Delsener, following a distinguished career of 31 years with Hiram Walker Distillers founded AHD Associates, Inc. in November 1972. His son, Anthony C. (Chip) Delsener joined the company in April 1975 charged with becoming their “wine man”. The company began as a broker and then an importer of wine.
Chip gradually assumed correspondence with the companies’ suppliers and then traveled to meet them all beginning in California, in the fall of 1975 and then to Europe in the fall of 1976. The company, then steadily expanded its range of finer wine selections.
In December of 1981, the company acquired a wholesale license to undertake local distribution of its fine wine portfolio as Vintners, Ltd. The following year, Richard, Chip’s younger brother joined the company and initially, managed the warehouse and delivery allowing Chip to focus on sales. The company began a period of steady growth, expanding its product lines, sales force and market.
Following the death of their father in 1987, the company underwent a decade of changes in organization-al structure. Controlling interest was sold in the fall of 1991 but bought back in September, 1994. New share-holders aided in the restructuring of the company restoring control to the management.
In 1995 the company undertook direct distribution through its own sales force throughout the lower-peninsula, gradually eliminating its network of 23 sub-distributors. In 1995 and 1996 the company acquired several smaller competitors, providing a significant compliment to its already strong fine wine portfolio.
August, 2002 saw the company move operations to Warren, more than doubling its warehouse space and capacity, providing for a temperature controlled (air-conditioned) facility and utilizing “reefer” (refrigerated or heated as need be) trucks.
In June, 2007 the company sold the bulk of its branded portfolio business to National Wine & Spirits and the majority of its employees were hired by NWS. The company was not sold and continues to offer logis-tics services for private and control labels to several major Michigan retailers. In addition, the company main-tained a few long standing relationships (with suppliers in France and California) and has then expanded its fine wine portfolio. A team of fifteen sales people (eight in southeastern Michigan and seven more covering western and northern Michigan) are focused on servicing the top restaurants and fine wine retail outlets in Michigan.