Episode 81: Ari Kolas and Apollo Liquor


This week on the podcast we have a very special episode from the latest Collider Coworking Experts Series with serial entrepreneur Ari Kolas of Apollo Liquor. Ari and his family business are living proof that many other successful businesses beyond medical exist and thrive in Rochester. This was a great talk by Ari with valuable advice for anyone thinking about or running a business anywhere.


On the podcast today, Ari talks about:

·      The launch of the first Apollo Liquor store in Austin, Minnesota in 1965.

·      Growing up in the liquor store business.

·      The reality of running a family owned business.

·      The necessity of doing the unexpected as an entrepreneur.

·      The value of not taking on debt and sticking with what you know.

·      His love of work, which he says is both a strength and a weakness.

·      The bad business deals and mistakes that he’s made along the way.

·      How the Apollo Liquor stores allowed Ari to invest in other business opportunities including: a convenience store, hotel, Greek restaurant, car dealership, and an office building.

·      How Ari eventually sold all of the Apollo Liquor stores in December 2017 and what’s in his future.


“You always have to invest in the business, put in your own time, and don’t take on too much debt, and don’t pay yourself first.” -Ari Kolas, serial entrepreneur and former owner of Apollo Liquor