Summarize your background, your path to what you’re doing now, and/or whether you’re transitioning from full-time day job to this or if you’re managing it all.
My background is an incomplete B.S. in chemical engineering plus six years of working full-time in foodservice. While making my way through my engineering classes, I realized that despite my love of chemistry, I wasn’t cut out to work 9 to 5 in an industrial lab, so I focused my energy into something I was more passionate about–restaurant work. When I learned that a distillery was opening in Pittsboro, I made the connection between the chemistry that I had been interested in plus the foodservice joy of making something fun for folks to consume, and asked if I could come in a few days a week as a volunteer.
Your mentor, who you aspire to be, who is a leader in your industry and why. Trends for your industry, product/service?
My mentor in this industry is my predecessor, Chris Jude, who is now making tasty spirits down in Charleston S.C. The spirits industry is full of inspiring ladies in every role – Nancy Fraley, a professional “nose”, is a notable example of a woman absolutely leading the charge in a specific part of the industry, namely, sniffing out faults or weak spots in a product and offering solutions. She focuses exclusively on craft distillers, which is cool because a lot of people associate that particular skill with the wine industry.
What was your biggest fail and the silver lining? Biggest/latest success that confirmed you’re in the right business?
Working in spirits production is fun because the biggest fail usually just takes a mop, a shop vac, and a few hours to clean up 🙂
Recently, I bottled the fifth batch of our Amber Rum, which is so, so delicious, and coming to the end of a two-year production timeline and being so pleased is a very rewarding feeling. Honestly, every day when I go into work and breathe in the smells of ingredients fermenting, fresh spirit being distilled, or aged spirits resting in barrel I know I’m in the right business.
What brought you, and keeps you, in Chatham County?
I’m originally from Chatham County 🙂 I grew up in Silk Hope, moved up the road to Pittsboro, and just haven’t managed to make it out yet–I continue to find myself with opportunities that I wouldn’t find anywhere else.
Anything else you’d like to share?
“Who run the world?”