Appreciation for The Barefoot Spirit


“This is a warm, wonderful, inspiring book that entertains and motivates at the same time.”

~ Brian Tracy — Motivational Speaker, Entrepreneur and Success Expert, and International Best Seller Author of over 50 Books, including Eat That Frog! 



“Great read, great book. This story is beyond wine and the love of wine; it’s about starting a business.”

~Fran Tarkenton, Hall of Fame NFL Quarterback, Entrepreneur, & Sirius XM Radio Host of The Fran Tarkenton Show





“A runaway bestseller. Whether they are Barefoot or have shoes on, it is a great great book!”

~Jeff Hayzlett, The Hayzlett Group, CMO & VP at Kodak, Bloomberg Contributing Editor




Ryan Foland Image

“The Barefoot Spirit is an excellent read full of world world advice”

~Ryan Foland,


Senior Administrator of Social Media and Marketing, UC Irvine


Alan Caruba photo“It’s an inspiration to see how they broke all the rules and still succeeded against all odds. For anyone contemplating starting a business, there are lessons to be learned here and an entertaining story as a bonus.”

~Alan Caruba, Book Reviewer, National Books Critic Circle, Author and Columnist




Kip Marlow

“I try to read all the books of the authors on my show and am just getting into The Barefoot Spirit.  It’s one of the best books on entrepreneurship I’ve read.” 

~Kip Marlow, Entrepreneur & Host of Entrepreneurs Club Radio




“Fun beach reading for small business inspiration. The Barefoot Spirit is an entertaining rags-to-riches story of American entrepreneurship. It’s the first-hand tale of California rule breakers Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey, founders, of the country’s top-selling wine brand.”

~Adrienne Burke, Yahoo! Small Business Writer



Cyril twitter“Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey’s lack of familiarity with the wine business was an asset. Because they didn’t have preconceived notions about the business – and because they were creative and resourceful, they were ultimately successful.”

~Cyril Penn, Editor, Wine Business Monthly




The Barefoot Spirit is the perfect wine beach read…”

~ Laura Lawson, Host, The Wine Crush Radio Show




Wake Forest Calloway School professor Pat Dickson in his Kirby Hall office.“I picked up Michael and Bonnie’s book chronicling the Barefoot story with the intention of a quick scan and found myself spending the better part of a Sunday thoroughly enjoying myself reading cover-to-cover.  I believe students will find The Barefoot Spirit both a great read and an important lesson in creative problem solving in the face of critical challenges.”


~Pat Dickson

2013 President, United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship

Associate Professor, Wake Forest University, North Carolina


Rebecca White“I thoroughly enjoyed The Barefoot Spirit. I will make it required reading because it tells a lovely story and it embodies so much of the entrepreneurial mindset. I loved the “voice” of the book and storytelling is such a wonderful way to communicate. I believe students will find it a fun addition to their library and in the process they will learn the most important lessons of entrepreneurship!”

~ Rebecca White, Professor, Entrepreneurship and James W. Walter Distinguished Chair of Entrepreneurship

Director, Entrepreneurship Center, The University of Tampa, John H. Sykes College of Business

2012 President, United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE)



 “It’s an amazing story.  Get a taste and a copy today!”

~Susan Hyatt, Founder,, Author, Strategy for Good






This book is arguably the best book I have ever read that details the real life challenges that every business has in getting established and growing to a substantial size. More importantly you should read the book and after you’ve done that give it to some of your clients.”

~Ric Payne, CEO, Principa





“I pretty much gobbled it right down in one sitting. Having lived through many similar challenging circumstances in the wine biz, it was an inspiration. And I can see why the business community is embracing it as a customer service how-to.”

~Mark Chandler, Owner, Mark Chandler Wine




 “It was a great read and fun to learn more about the evolution of the brand and the trials and tribulations to get it to where it is today.”

–Camron King, Executive Director of the Lodi Winegrape Commission





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“The Barefoot Spirit will appeal to entrepreneurs, business people, non-profit leaders, and anyone who is passionate about activism, unlikely stories, and – oh yes – wine. In content, message and even writing style, it’s smart, funny, self-deprecating.” 

~Michael Tate, Board President, San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus




“When you have a passion but no formula to follow, ‘The Barefoot Spirit’ will inspire and direct you and your energy. A book that shows those with the true entrepreneur’s spirit how not to get stuck on the small things and make decisions from the soul. This book is as unpretentious as the wine they produced.” 

~Sonya Gavankar, Broadcast Journalist, Face of the Newseum




“Underlying Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey’s personable writing style, are the distilled experiences of two savvy entrepreneurs—lessons learned the hard way, and graciously shared by Bonnie and Michael in their valuable, and refreshingly honest, The Barefoot Spirit.”

~Gil Mansergh, Syndicated Film Columnist, and Host/Producer of KRCB-FM’s Word by Word: Conversations with Writers


rsz_220px-david_bruce_smith“In 1986, Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey started Barefoot Wine—in their laundry room. Through the years they managed and marketed it into a product that was eventually sold to E & J Gallo. ‘The Barefoot Spirit’ confidently guides any start-up company to success.”

~David Bruce Smith, Publisher and Author of “American Hero: John Marshall, Chief Justice of the United States”




“Michael and Bonnie’s book is a must read for anyone who is looking to start a business that will make it in today’s economy. Whether you are starting a company from scratch or investing your money or someone else’s, ‘The Barefoot Spirit’ illustrates the hands on and no cost best practices that will make your company a success.”

~Andrea Keating, Founder, The International Video Crew Staffing Firm




“As an entrepreneur, publicist, and publisher, I found great insight in ‘The Barefoot Spirit.’ Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey’s tips on how to survive on less than a shoestring are clever, practical—and best of all, provides a good giggle to any entrepreneur in panic mode. This book is one that I’m already recommending to my readers, colleagues, and clients in start-up mode—as well as those who are ready to take their business to the next level. Here’s to going Barefoot!”

~Hope Katz Gibbs, Publisher of Be Inkandescent Magazine




“…a New York Times Bestseller and a must for any small business owner.”

~Carmen Carrozza, Business & Life Coach, Radio Host of My Forward Motion 





“The Barefoot Spirit is full of great practical lessons for entrepreneurs.”

~Kolie Crutcher, Founder & CEO, Get Money Magazine






“What I like best about the book is that Houlihan and Harvey lead by example, and explain how they took an idea and a little blood, sweat, and wine, and turned it into a multi-million dollar brand that is now a household name. Talk about a financial gold mine.”

~Bryan Beatty, Certified Financial Planner, and a partner at the financial planning firm, Egan, Berger & Weiner





“On my way back to the office I read about half of your book and am so absorbed in your story it’s amazing!”

~Brian Anderson, Staff Accountant, The Green Group






“Michael and Bonnie took a chance on potentially losing sales when they supported our cause with Barefoot Cellars in the early 1990s. Their co-promotion with the League to Save Lake Tahoe took a strong position on a very controversial issue involving the development of the Lake Tahoe Basin. They helped us get the word out about our cause through wine shops, markets and restaurants in California.”

~ Darcie Goodman-Collins, Ph.D., Executive Director, League to Save Lake Tahoe



Andac Arikan

“After being exposed to their book at the USASBE meeting 2 years ago, I have been assigning the Barefoot Spirit book to my students.”

–Andac Arikan, Associate Professor of Management, Florida Atlantic University





“Michael and Bonnie started the tradition of Worthy Cause Marketing and for well over a decade used their winery,Barefoot Cellars, to support the Mono Lake Committee’s grassroots efforts. Their approach helped spread the word about protection, restoration, and education at Mono Lake—inspiring people to get out and get involved.”

~ Geoff McQuilkin, Executive Director, Mono Lake Committee





“It was absolutely fantastic meeting you and Bonnie here in Kansas City! The book was amazing (a word I very sparingly use) and it was very informative while keeping a light-hearted easy to read tone.”

~Partner, Wings Cafe, Operational Strategy, U-Hoops


“Your books have had an immediate impact on my personal and professional li.  It shows me that no matter how much experience we think we might have, we can always to do better.”

~Janice Hamlin, Varney Consulting

“The book was great and has helped to keep me motivated in a world of creative thinking” 

~Donna Kibbe