Welcome. We hope you like storytime, because this one’s a cracker.
Mother-in-Law is a wine, yes, but the story behind it is much more complex than just flattened grapes.
It begins and ends with Bryan Sulaiman, Jimmy Brings’ oldest and wisest employee. Three days after Bryan moved to Australia in 2009, he started working with JB co-founder Nathan Besser as a delivery driver. Today, Bryan manages all tech development and data across the Jimmy Brings business. He’s something of a logistical powerhouse; he’s the glue that holds the company together (his words, not ours).
To enable Bryan to work such long hours in the beginning, his mother-in-law, Phang Mie Son, moved to Sydney from Bangka Belitung, Indonesia to help take care of the grandkids. She traveled back-and-forth between there and here under a visitor VISA; a jet-setting demeanour that would eventually lead to a passport stamp being used for the label design of her namesake wine.
Here is another photo of Bryan, hard at work:
Fast forward to now, and Phang Mie Son AKA Mother-in-Law, prepares lunch for the entire JB team every Friday. (Bryan transports it all to work in plastic take-away containers that we send back to her via Bryan for recycling). All of this is as wholesome as it sounds, and Fridays are a ritual the whole team looks forward to.
Here, we take five minutes to chat to Bryan about Mother-in-Law—both the woman and the wine.
What are five words to describe your Mother-in-Law?
Patient, religious, caring, kind, clean and tidy. [Ed: Okay that’s six, but we’ll take them]
Why is she important to the Jimmy Brings brand?
The wine was a tribute to Mother-in-Law. Dave and Nathan [JB founders] felt the warmth and love in the lunch provided by Mother in Law.
We feel without her helping out taking care of my kids, I wouldn’t be able to do what I did with Jimmy Brings before (hardcore work). So in a way, because of her, Jimmy Brings was able to become what it currently is.
What’s different between how Jimmy Brings ran when you were first employed and now?
JB was established in 2011-12, when we utilised food delivery drivers to do orders (we only did local eastern suburbs deliveries). Now, I manage tech development across web, POS and app.
We used two-way radio to communicate with drivers. For example, a dispatcher would say on the radio, “Bryan, head to the office to do a Jimmy Brings order.” I’d reply, “Roger that!”
Orders were printed manually on paper; we had no driver app nor tracking. With credit card payments, we had to punch in the number manually to a physical eftpos machine. To take phone orders, we wrote the customer, order and payment details on paper. The original office was very small; like 3m x 2m in size, and this office became the current Bondi depot. There were only two desks, a cabinet and a sink.
So why have you stuck around so long?
I think because what I do is never the same, I am able to keep implementing new processes or systems to accommodate the growth. I love the work because it’s very flexible when it comes to solving problems.
I owe Dave and Nathan so much. They helped me when I was in Uni doing my Master Degree. They shaped the way I think.
Without them, I wouldn’t be able to get my Permanent Residency and Citizenship. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to own a house.
Without further ado, here’s some more info on the wine closest to this team’s heart.
Harvested from a premium selection of Adelaide Hills finest vineyards, the 2017 Mother in Law is one of our most accomplished vintages. With a berry driven palate, structured savoury tannins and length of flavour this is a well balanced Pinot oozing varietal character.
Feels like: Getting along famously with someone you’re supposed to find insufferable.
Tastes like: Berries; sweet in a natural, unforced way.
Works well with: Impatient cravings. Elsewhere, this enduring drop will cellar for up to 8 years.
Shop Mother-in-Law, $27.99