Life at Breakthru

From Working the Local Liquor Store to Building the Biggest Accounts in the US: Breakthru’s Supreet Hassler

May 20, 2021

By Kyle Trompeter, Content and Corporate Communications Manager, Breakthru Beverage Group

For Supreet Hassler, landing a career in the alcohol industry wasn’t something she started to aspire to after graduating college. Her love for the beverage world has always been a part of her story.

“I grew up working in our industry,” said Hassler, Director, National Accounts Trade Marketing, Breakthru Beverage Group. “My family owned liquor stores in Long Island and I grew up doing just about everything you could imagine at the store.”

Over the years, Hassler was tasked with any number of jobs to help the family business, such as managing inventory when she was in her younger years, and when she was 21, she started getting experience selling and buying on behalf of the store. Over time, she honed her expertise of the stories behind the bottles that sat on their shelves, and she was able to help point customers in the right direction so they could find the perfect brand to fit their needs.

Developing a deep passion and knowledge of the industry at an early age has served Hassler very well in her career, helping her land a job with Empire Merchants after graduating college. She cut her teeth in the distributor world as Training and Process Manager for the Diageo and Moët Hennessy portfolios, and later landed a brand marketing gig on Diageo’s North American Whisky team. She built an impressive list of achievements at Empire that helped catapult her to a leadership role at Diageo where she was in charge of a variety of different responsibilities and initiatives, including digital strategies, experiential activations, partnerships, and budget management, among others.

By 2018, Hassler had built an impressive resume that blended experiences from both the distributor (Empire) and supplier (Diageo) worlds, a truly valuable perspective to possess in our industry. To have a thorough understanding of what success looks like at both types of companies is a huge asset, and we’ve been thrilled, and truly lucky, to have Hassler be a part of our team during the last several years, first starting as Marketing Director for the United Division at Breakthru Arizona.

Hassler now is one of the key team members of our National Accounts Team, where her lifetime of experiences makes her invaluable to our customers, our suppliers, and of course, our own business. We caught up with her to learn more about how she and her colleagues are supporting the largest customers across the Breakthru footprint.   

Can you describe your current role and responsibilities on the National Accounts Team?

Supreet Hassler: I joined the National Accounts Team in 2020 as the Director of Marketing and took on the new challenge of developing a mission for our team, as well as best ways of working and identifying opportunities for our accounts. I have also been tasked with ideating how to approach trade marketing from a customer-focused perspective. Traditionally, marketing at the distributor level utilizes programs and ideas pushed down from our supplier partners. We are striving to put our customers first and develop custom programs for them that authentically grows the business of the supplier and the brand.

What are the main objectives of the National Accounts Team?

The National Accounts Team is designed to provide a deeper channel and customer focus for Breakthru. We assist with selling, category development, analytics, programming, and execution management for our largest customers. The account directors know their customers inside and out and can provide trustworthy and profit-driving solutions. They are the problem solvers for new national processes such as eCommerce, electronic fulfilment, and other transitions from a business level.

How does the National Accounts Team support the following groups?


We act as the go-to resource for our customers. We present national program ideas, and we identify gaps for the customer from a national level.

Supplier Partners

We work with our supplier partners to develop the right program for the right customer. We also assist with identifying opportunities and presenting programs and items on behalf of their brands. We strive to find the perfect mix of supplier and customer priorities to execute the perfect program to build both of their businesses.

Local Breakthru Markets

Our markets are responsible for the most important aspects of programming and buy-in from our customers. They execute programming on the front lines. They strive to flawlessly deploy approved programs from a national level, and Key Account Managers also pitch market-specific programs to drive incremental activity for our suppliers. All National Account Directors have monthly meetings with each market to identify issues and opportunities, as well as highlight wins and best practices.

What has been your most rewarding project?

I enjoy creating customer-focused guidelines for our suppliers to follow when creating a program or speaking to an account. We have so many supplier partners who have brands with potential who have never had a seat at the national level, and we are here to help them on their journey. We are trying to change the way a brand can grow in national accounts.

What excites you most about our business and our industry?

Our business and industry are exciting because they are evolving at such an amazing pace, especially with the rise of eCommerce and how our teams are nimble and pivoting to meet today’s needs.

What is something you would want people to know about your role that they probably don’t know about today?

This role requires a lot of planning and collaboration with associates across the footprint to prepare for national account customer meetings that only occur twice a year. In these pivotal meetings, we discuss programming, new items, and other areas where we can grow their businesses. One of today’s challenges is that these customers are fantastic from a brick and mortar perspective, but they are all on different levels on their own eCommerce journeys, and I’m excited to help them pursue those opportunities that lie ahead of them.