Oral Histories

Interview of Jules Berman

Owner of Jules Berman and Associates wine and spirits importers. Real estate developer who developed Lake Arrowhead, El Capitan Ranch, and Rancho Bernardo.
Subtitle:
Entrepreneurs of the West: Jules Berman
Series:
Entrepreneurs of the West
Topic:
Business
Interviewer:
Johnson, Thomas
Interviewee:
Berman, Jules
Persons Present:
Berman and Johnson.
Place Conducted:
Berman's office in Beverly Hills, California.
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interviews are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Interviewer Background and Preparation:
The interview was conducted by Thomas Johnson; B.S., Accounting, University of Southern California; M.B.A., John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA. Director of finance and accounting, Consolidated Concepts. Johnson prepared for the interview by reviewing materials provided by Berman, including the typewritten manuscript of a biographical interview in his possession.
Processing of Interview:
Maggie Michaelson, Gold Shield intern, and Kathleen McAlister, editorial assistant, edited the interview. They checked the verbatim transcript of the interview against the original tape recordings, edited for punctuation, paragraphing, and spelling, and verified proper names. Words and phrases inserted by the editor have been bracketed. Berman reviewed the transcript. He verified proper names and made minor corrections and additions. Alex Cline, editor, prepared the table of contents and biographical summary. Kristian London, editorial assistant, assembled the interview history. Rebecca Stone, oral history assistant, compiled the index.
Length:
12.6 hrs.
Language:
English
Copyright:
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Series Statement:
This series is a cooperative venture between the Oral History Program and the MBA Program in UCLA's John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management and has been further supported by the Price Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies.
Abstract:
First experience of entrepreneurship selling Christmas trees; father founds Commonwealth Oil Company; attends Ohio State University; moves to California; after Prohibition opens the only liquor store in Beverly Hills; sells liquor store to accept position with Schenley Industries' import division; learning that success comes from hard work; interest in pre-Columbian art; serves with the navy in the South Pacific during World War II; Berman goes into business for himself; buying Kahlua from Schenley; selling J. W. Dant whiskey for its owner, Armand Hammer; introducing J & B Scotch to California; profit sharing with employees; business association with Victor Bergeron of Trader Vic's restaurants; improving the quality of Kahlua's ingredients; advertising Kahlua; relationship with the Mexican government; sells Kahlua enterprise to Hiram Walker-Gooderham and Worts; purchasing and developing property at Lake Arrowhead, California; renovation of Lake Arrowhead hotels and village; promoting Lake Arrowhead as a year-round resort; sells Lake Arrowhead property to Boise Cascade Corporation; becomes president of Christiana Oil Company; the real estate developments of Huntington Harbour and Tierrasanta; Berman leaves Christiana Oil; plans to acquire and develop El Capitan Ranch in Santa Barbara; opposition to Berman's El Capitan development plans; the sale of El Capitan; involvement in cattle, Nomex garment, and helmet businesses; victimized by dishonest businesspeople; Berman's contemporary business ventures and advice to entrepreneurs.