Sheehan & Associates, P.L.C.

Our/Detroit microdistillery set to open this summer

Five Michigan women have teamed with Pernod Ricard, a distributor of wine and spirits to bring a vodka distillery to Southwest Detroit this summer. Our/Detroit will be part of the international Our/Vodka network of urban microdistilleries. Each is named for the city in which it is located.

Our/Vodka began in Sweden just three years ago as the brainchild of six entrepreneurs. According to an April 4 post on the Pernod Ricard website, Our/Detroit will be the next local microdistillery to open, following the first, which was Our/Berlin. The company has plans for 10 additional ones in Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia and the U.S.

The five women behind Our/Detroit partnership have different backgrounds. The first one the Pernod Ricard representatives met when they visited Detroit was the director of a co-working space in Corktown called Ponyride. They visited the space in search of entrepreneurs. After visiting the Our/Berlin distillery, she says, "I just fell in love with the project, how creative and fun and innovative it was – taking a global company and giving it local roots."

Pernod Ricard is investing about $600,000 to design and construct the Detroit distillery, which will offer tours. It will also have a tasting room that can accommodate 40 people. It will be located in the Bagley Food Center, which has been closed since 2000. However, the local partners will handle production, marketing and sales. Pernod Ricard will be a profit participant.

The recipe for the vodka is the same for all locations. However, because each distillery will use local ingredients, no two cities' product will taste exactly the same.

The young women who are bringing Our/Detroit to life will each have different roles in the business. However, all have participated in bringing it to life. They plan to start testing the product in June and to open by the end of summer. Their goal is to eventually produce about 1,600 bottles each week.

This is a somewhat unique business enterprise. However, all Detroit business owners, no matter the type of size of company, benefit from experienced legal, business and financial advisors to help them avoid unnecessary problems and assist them in making the business as successful as possible.

Source: Crain’s Detroit Business, "Women team up to give vodka a Detroit flavor" Anjana Schroeder, May. 22, 2014

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