About Us

From the single student to large corporations, we provide the best course content, compliance management, and customer happiness.

Find solutions

We work with our clients to define their needs and assess alternatives. This process allows us to identify and implement the best solution for their situation.

Delivering Excellence

We apply our subject matter expertise and up to date training practices to all courses making them engaging and easy to understand.


It is only by listening to others that we find solutions to the many issues facing our customers and communities.

We serve on nonprofit advisory boards, attend regulatory and legislative sessions, work with law enforcement and community leaders, and are active in many trade associations.

Building confidence

We pack our programs with state-specific alcohol laws, real-life scenarios and concrete examples. We structure our courses to help students remember what they learn and apply it to on-the-job situations.

We want you and your employees to be confident and knowledgeable so everyone can make informed decisions that protect you, your company, and your community.

Our Beginning

TopShelf’s years have been a serendipitous journey that began in Tennessee in 1998.

Kim Pouncey retired from the corporate restaurant biz with no clue as to what she wanted to be when she grew up. As it happened, not long after she retired, some friends were opening a new concept with a 265 seat restaurant and needed a little help. Since training was her specialty, Kim and another good friend hired over 120 servers and started the training process.

Meanwhile, in Tennessee, there was a new requirement for those serving alcohol. It had always been the case that to serve alcohol, you were required to have a TABC Server Permit, but the new requirement involved a 5 hour course to obtain this permit.

Well, it only made sense for Kim to get certified to teach this course so she knew all those servers were eligible to get their permit. I’m sure you can guess how many of those employees actually picked up that permit (which also cost them money) and here in TN, it’s the store that gets fined for those missing permits.

The only logical solution was to have the students give Kim the fee and fill out the applications at the beginning of class so she could take all of that to the local TABC office, and pick up those permits. A lightbulb ignited and TopShelf was born!

All restaurants were having the same issue with their employees not picking up their permit after class. This made the need for a service. This provided Kim the opportunity to start teaching classes publicly and offering services that employees and businesses needed. Soon, this grew to includ a monthly audit service to check permits and let managers know what was missing BEFORE they were audited by the TABC. This saved companies a lot of money in fines.

In 2003 Kim, and a long time friend, spent many months researching and writing the first TopShelf classroom course. In 2004, it was certified by the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

Since then, Kim has taken TopShelf online and used her compliance brain to build the TopShelf TRAX system so companies have everything they need at their fingertips. She has focused on gathering the best team and business partners possible in order to build engaging online programs, customize programs to include laws, and provide amazing customer service.

Kim’s mission is, and has always been, for TopShelf to be the best it can be and to excel far above other companies in every way.

The serendipitous journey continues.

Where We’re Going Next

Kim had always worked closely with Mark Church-Janes and in 2015 they formed a business partnership and the online company came to life. That began some busy years for TopShelf to grow the online training portion of the TopShelf business. We have, and are, expanding our product line to include specialized online programs that are specific to:

  • State laws and requirements
  • Alcohol selling, serving, distilling and others
  • County training requirements
  • Liability and proper carding techniques

We look forward to expanding into additional states enabling us help companies with alcohol compliance across state lines.

Our compliance system works for all types of certification and permit tracking, not just alcohol. So, if you have a business, and you have a hard time tracking your state or federal required licensing and permits, let us know. We can help!