Island Brands Spotlight: Angie Packer on Achieving Success in a Male-Dominated Industry

Island Brands Spotlight: Angie Packer on Achieving Success in a Male-Dominated Industry

When Angie Packer first moved to Charlotte she was teaching high school and coaching sports, but something wasn’t right. She soon got a weekend job in a restaurant to mix things up. 

I fell in love with the food service industry and especially the beverage segment,” Angie said in a conversation with our team. “The rest is history.”

Today Angie works as the executive vice president of Tryon Distributing, a wholesaling distributor committed to bringing premium alcoholic beverages across North Carolina. One of her personal goals is to partner with local charities and organizations featuring Tryon products. 

It wasn’t always easy getting to where she is today -- the male-dominated beverage industry was challenging to break into. Angie describes a situation where she was consistently excluded from an all-male tasting group. 

They often told me that I was the best salesperson they had calling on them, but would not invite me to join their group,” Angie said. “I asked many times, but was always turned down.”

Eventually her persistence paid off and she was asked to join the group, after they allowed women to participate. Persistence has been a key theme in Angie’s quest to get where she is today, along with a passion for knowledge and products. 

“I tried to learn as much as I could, so I would have an advantage over my competition. I wanted to be the first person my customers thought to call when they needed something specific,” Angie said. 

Angie got her start at Tryon as a salesperson and worked her way up serving as a Charlotte manager, statewide sales manager, vice president of marketing, and eventually got to where she is today as the Executive Vice President and Co-Owner.  

Along the way, Angie has received plenty of advice. The words that have stood out the most are to be honest, listen to the needs of customers, and to be knowledgeable about the products. 

When asked about the future for women in the beverage industry, Angie feels optimistic. The beverage industry is becoming more inclusive and diverse as a whole. 

“Women are smart, creative, passionate, and work very hard to be successful,” Angie says. 

Her advice for women interested in breaking into the beverage industry is to work hard and learn as much as possible about the industry. She encourages them to focus on products, how they are made, and what makes them different. 

Tryon has been a family-owned business since its creation in 1985, and Angie considers herself a “lifer.” The company has remained focused on representing and partnering with family-owned and operated wineries and breweries over the years. 

When she’s not working, Angie loves to travel, spend time with family and friends, play volleyball, and walk her golden retriever. She also loves to host tastings and bring people together over good drinks.

“The best beers and wines,” Angie says, “are the ones you share with friends.”

As for Angies thoughts on Island Brands, she says "Island Lager has been an exciting brand for Tryon to represent. The marketing/packaging is inviting, and the quality is evident as we watch first time buyers transition into repeat customers. The easy drinking style magically lures folks to  “Island time” wherever they may be."