Opening a Distillery is Hard – Who knew?
Welcome to Forge and Foundry Distillery news. We wanted to share with all of you the joys and struggles of trying to get this little Distillery off the ground. As some of you know, we have been working on this for TWO years! I can’t believe it’s been two years, but here’s the proof in our first (very optimistic) article.
As is life, things don’t always work out as planned. When we were interviewed for that article we had no idea how hard it would be to get going. We thought we had everything lined up, we went to classes, we took business courses, we even got a mentor, we lined up the building, the city permit, the equipment, the bank… Ya see, it’s just the two of us working on this while maintaining full-time jobs, raising two boys and well, it’s very time consuming. Did we also mention we’re trying to fund this ourselves?
The first building we worked on was fabulous. High ceilings, a must for our equipment, but it was a very large space. Really, more than we needed. Ultimately the deal fell through because we couldn’t get the financials and a bank to match the enormous space. Business lesson learned. We moved on.
Next, we found what we thought was an even better location in the Historic Armory building. I mean Forge and Foundry in the Armory, match made in heaven. Not so fast. Sadly, with the Armory came other issues, no available parking on location. If you are from Stillwater or have visited Stillwater you understand we have parking issues. Stillwater is a small tourist town on the river, built in a valley, with more visitors than parking. The whole multi-unit project, not just our little Distillery, was denied by the city. Two years later, more time spent and STILL no date of when we can get started.
Now what? Here we are, back to finding a new location. Third time’s a charm, right? Over the past few weeks we have peeked in every window that had a For Lease sign, begged friends with connections to see if they’ve heard of anything opening, and looked at every available property. It’s not easy to find a location in Stillwater with all its historic buildings and creaky floors that will work for a Distillery and tasting room. However.....
We are still committed to this dream of ours, to bring grain to glass spirits, distilled on location, to Downtown Stillwater. We are determined to open in Stillwater – our home town – serving friends, family, and those people that come to visit our beautiful river town. Even though opening a Distillery is hard, we move forward and we hope you will join us.
Please continue to watch this space for updates. We want to share our success and struggles with you as we continue on this journey.
Christie and Andrew
Forge and Foundry Distillery