Who are you and what do you do?
We are the Metcalfe family - Ed Metcalfe and two sons, Gus & Dominic. We operate a small distillery producing specialty liqueurs and spirits in Marlboro, VT.
What led you to starting a distillery? What keeps you excited about it?
Ed has a long past in the spirits industry starting as the manager of a Rhode Island liquor store in his 20's. In 1985 he opened Vermont's only winery at the time, The North River Winery in Jacksonville, VT where he made a name for himself selling fruit wines and hard cider. Eventually, he sold the business and pursued other business ventures. Then in 2006, Ed entered a small business plan competition, won and used the prize money to start Vermont Distillers, Inc.
Our customers and fans keep us excited about what we do. Seeing the look on someone's face after they try your product and love it is a great feeling. When they go home a bottle, that feels good too.
What is one piece of advice you would give to someone who wants to start a distillery?
Be realistic about your goals and desires, everything is going to be more difficult and more expensive than you think. Then make sure you have a team you can count on to get work done.
How do you continue to educate yourself as a distillery owner?
Reading industry magazines, attending meetings, conferences and listening to what our consumers want!
What is one company or service (besides Distillery Products) that your business cannot live without?
Corse Family Maple Syrup. We get what we feel is some of the best syrup in Vermont (and even the world) from our neighbors in Whitingham, VT. We could use any maple syrup but getting fresh, local product makes a huge difference in taste and helps us create a product that is unique to our small corner of VT.