West Virginia Executive Spring 2017 - Page 89

A Taste of West Virginia BY SAMANTHA CART. Appalachia’s food and drink culture was born of iconic dishes made from locally sourced ingredients. From Buckwheat pancakes to moonshine, West Virginia is known across the globe for its unique products. In this year’s Winners Circle, we’re honoring Bloomery Distillery Plantation, Buzz Food Service, Smooth Ambler Spirits and Uncle Bunk’s, which produce Mountain State-made foods and drinks enjoyed around the country while creating jobs and making a significant impact on their local communities. Bloomery Distillery Plantation Smooth Ambler Spirits Co. After an inspiring trip to Italy in 2010, Tom Kiefer and Linda Losey, co-owners of Bloomery Plantation Distillery in Charles Town, WV, began creating award-winning liqueurs made from their own organic, homegrown ingredients, including lemons, raspberries, ginger, pumpkins, cranberries and black walnuts. The distillery has won more than 25 international awards, including the honor of being named one of Entrepreneur maga- zine’s best entrepreneurial companies in America. The compa- ny’s products can currently be purchased in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, New York, Massachusetts, Ten- nessee, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. “We are growing beyond the northeast this year to Califor- nia, Texas and Illinois and are also talking to distributors in Europe,” says Losey. “It has been an exciting process so far with the ups and downs of running a small local business that is community centric but also has the potential of growing into a global business. Terrifying? Yes, but breaking through that terror barrier has been thrilling.” Founded in 2009, craft distillery Smooth Ambler Spirits Co. uses local mountain water, regionally sourced corn and wheat and clean air to produce handcrafted vodka, gin and whiskey products in West Virginia’s Greenbrier Valley. The small business currently has 12 employees, but CEO John Little expects to have 20 employees by the end of 2017 to fulfill the needs of the burgeoning company, which ships its products to 33 U.S. states and the U.K. Along with making a significant impact on the local economy through its sales and tasting room, which sees approximately 180 visitors a week during peak season, Smooth Ambler also extends its reach by purchasing 88 percent of its grain from Turkey Creek Farms in Monroe County, WV. “Our farmer is able to continue his family business because we are buying so much grain,” says Little. “I think it’s huge for our area that we promote West Virginia agri-tourism all around the world.” Buzz Food Service Uncle Bunk’s, LLC Buzz Food Service, a specialty meat company in Charleston, WV, has met the changing needs of the food services industry by providing high-quality meat and seafood for more than 50 years. Since Dickinson Gould Jr. became part of the executive team that purchased the company in 1968, it has grown to employ 40 people. “I believe we’ve helped many local restaurants be more suc- cessful,” says Gould, president and owner. “One of our aspira- tions is to create an environment where the people of Charleston and other communities around the state become more thought- ful about and loyal to local restaurants. The more we embrace and support small business, the stronger our entrepreneurial culture becomes, resulting in more unique, local dining options and more vibrant places to live and work.” Buzz ships its quality cuts to independent restaurants, country clubs, hotels and resort properties i AمYɝ)-Ս䰁=]ЁYɝՑAѕɹéЁѡ)AɬM͡5չхIͽа !́ չ Ո) ɥ̀ ɕ́1 ɼ䁙䁱ѕMѕ٥]XU) չé́ձ䁄䁅ȸ=ݹɅѕ1)eչ쁡́ݥI͔5ɥeչ쁅ѡȁ՝ѕȰMх)eչ-ոѡ䁵ՙɕ́ɵ)ɽՍ́ͥɕ͠ɽՍ́ݥѠѡ)éɅѥٔ)U չé͕́́ɽՍ́쁅Ё̰ѥم́)ɅЁ́͡ɽ́ѡ5ѱѥɕ쁅)̰͡ɽѽɕ́䁙ѽɕ́ѡTL%ѡ)аU չéɽՍ́ݕɔͼѕѼ!-+q=ȁɽՍ́ɔɽɕ̳t́ͅeչ)-ոݹȁɕѽȁ̸ͥq5䁑ɹ)Ѽɴ]镰 չ䰁ѡ͔ɽՍ́ɔ)ɥх]ɔɽՐѼɕɕ͕ѥ]ЁYɝ)ЁȁձɔѡЁ́ͥѡхєeЁٔ)Ѽɥt)]]\]Ya UQ%Y =4$)L@H$8Ȁ(