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Beloved Entrenue Frontman Joe Casella Announces Retirement

Beloved Entrenue Frontman Joe Casella Announces Retirement

Somewhere in Arizona, there’s a newly retired guy buried in a pile of books, trying to hold an awkward yoga pose while contemplating which hiking trail to hit this weekend. To the surprise and sadness of many pleasure industry veterans, that guy is Joe Casella.

After owning and fronting operations at adult wholesale distributor Entrenue since the early 2000s, this well-known and well-loved pleasure industry mainstay is trying on a new identity, though he’s not quite sure just yet of exactly how that will turn out.

Whether it be my customers, suppliers or my incredible staff, it will be those interactions that I miss.

“I have been ‘Joe F*cking Casella: The CEOwner of Entrenue’ for over 16 years,” says Casella. “It’s a big change and is taking some getting used to already.”

Long story short, Casella has officially ended his tenure as leading man at Entrenue. Earlier this year, he made industry headlines when he announced that he would be handing over the reins of his company to the owners of fellow distributor Nalpac in Michigan.

With only four more years to go until what would have been his 20th anniversary as Entrenue’s leader, why did Casella decide to cut the cord now?

“For me, the question is really, ‘Why didn’t I do this sooner?’” responds Casella.

“In short, I have ‘enough’ in the work accomplishments and success department. Plenty,” he explains. “I achieved everything I wanted to do and have had an incredible story.

“For me to grow even further, it would have required even more of my financial and mental investment. At this point, I decided that I had enough and did not want to neglect the ones that I loved in my personal life any further. They deserved more from me. And I deserved more freedom.”

Casella’s industry history goes back 27 years, starting with his first job in the sex toy space, as a sales exec at adult retailer Fascinations. Casella spent 10 ½ years with the company, where he built a solid relationship with Entrenue’s original founders, often calling on them to fulfill product orders for the Fascinations chain.

About seven years in, Casella was approached several times to take over Entrenue’s operations in Seattle, but he always declined the offer.

“Then after 10 years, they approached me about buying Entrenue. Now, that was a different question,” Casella recalls. “They saw something in me that no one else did — not even myself. Six months later, I fearlessly bought it. I had experience with working with the other distributors during my tenure at Fascinations, and I knew that I had an angle to succeed and compete. And I did.”

Entrenue opened up shop in 1994, as a small book distributor focusing on sexual health.

The company’s headquarters were originally located in the founder’s home, where sales quickly grew the operation into a specialty adult wholesale distributor with sought-after titles and sexual wellness products.

Once Casella took over ownership, he expanded the business to include over 4,000 wholesale pleasure products while holding true to the key principles of the business: enhancing intimate lives.

While Casella might have been the grease that kept Entrenue’s wheels turning smoothly, he believes his most important contribution was picking top folks to bring along for the ride.

“I think the thing that is ‘uniquely Joe’ is the team that I have created,” Casella remarks. “I attracted, built and retained this team. And they are all staying. Since I had always planned on selling Entrenue one day, I also knew it was important to remove the ‘Joe Casella’ factor as much as possible. I think that I have done that pretty well.

“While I don’t think these traits will now be missing from Entrenue, I think people will miss my ability to make them laugh, and my kindness and thoughtfulness,” muses Casella. “I don’t think anyone would label me as socially awkward. I’m fun and shit! I’ve been told more than once that I’m ‘not a normal cat’ and I take that as a compliment every time.”

At the end of 2022, Casella passed the torch to Steve and Andy Craig, co-owners of Nalpac. Casella feels confident that the Craig brothers will continue to grow Entrenue in the adult industry while maintaining the integrity and product knowledge that retailers have come to know, love and expect.

Casella says he feels privileged to have been a part of the industry’s many improvements over the years. He marvels at “some of the coolest things” he’s seen from his talented suppliers, from product packaging to technology.

However, in classic Joe fashion, he’s most impressed by the human factor.

“As of today, I think the best change or advancement is the amount of inclusivity that is in the industry, and that it is OK to be you,” he opines. “Differences are embraced more, which allows for more people to participate successfully in our space.”

When asked what he’ll miss the most about day-to-day operations, Casella once again points to his staff and colleagues.

“Whether it be my customers, suppliers or my incredible staff, it will be those interactions that I miss,” says Casella. “Man, we have had some fun!”

Casella is happy to announce that he has no further plans after completing this industry-shaking hand-off, save for adding yoga, hiking and lots of reading into his daily routines.

“I have no idea what’s next, so I cannot say for sure if the industry will see me or not, or when that could be,” says Casella.

“It’s an exciting time,” he gushes. “I have zero in the pipeline. I am asking for the universe to give me a full year off to find myself again and learn my new identity.”

Casella is absolutely sure about one thing, though, and that’s his new full-time job as a father and partner.

“I have never been happier with my personal life, which includes my very significant other and her five girls, ages seven to 16,” he beams. “I want to be more present and influential in all of their lives and elevate them all. They are my happy place, and I want to spend more time there.”

As Casella parts ways with his career, he implores his life-long industry friends to do him one big favor: live life exactly as he would.

“I got a T-shirt for one my girls recently,” shares Casella. “It says, ‘HumanKind — Be Both.’ It’s the truth. Be kind and thoughtful. Be fair. Come from a good place in all decision making. Show compassion and empathy. You are dealing with human beings and affecting livelihoods; take that seriously.

“Have a sense of humor. Have fun, but be responsible,” he continues. “It’s not always about the bottom line. Be cognizant of your relationships in the industry and figure out how your decisions affect your suppliers, customers and staff. Every time.

“And show gratitude — tons of it,” Casella concludes. “You are never too busy to use ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ Speaking of which, thank you to everyone who has made the Entrenue story a great one. I appreciate it so much!”

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