Thank you to Matt Koesters and WCPO for the fabulous article, published on the Cincinnati CBS Affiliate’s website. (Note: it’s behind a paywall, but you can read it for just 99¢ for a one-day pass.)
When an arsonist targeted her Dayton, Ohio, home in late April, Kathleen Hanover thought that more than just her garage, deck and the siding on the back of her home had gone up in smoke.
An entrepreneur at heart, Hanover had been working with her husband on plans to bring a line of artisan condiments to market. Though the fire didn’t make it inside their home, smoke and water damage conspired to destroy their kitchen, making the couple think that their dream was on hold.
On Tuesday, that dream received new life. Hanover was named one of two winners of the 2016 Ohio Signature Food Contest, a competition sponsored by the Center for Innovative Food Technology and the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. The competition rewards winners with technical assistance from CIFT to get their products to market.
Matt also talks about our business plan, and how instrumental it was in our being chosen as one of the two winners of this year’s contest. On a tour of the distillery in New Carlisle, we were shocked to discover that the State of Ohio and the Federal government take about 60% of the cost of every bottle of Ohio-distilled spirits in taxes. The owners of the distillery told us that most craft distillers are looking for other revenue streams because the margins on their spirits are relatively low, because of the high cost of doing business in Ohio. That’s why so many distilleries give tours and have retail shops where they sell t-shirts, bar ware and so forth. Our business model is to create a complete line of bespoke condiments featuring craft-distilled whiskeys (and whatever else their stills produce). And then take the concept throughout the state.
[Indian Creek Distillery] Owner Missy Duer says she and her husband fell in love with the corn whiskey mustard. “Actually, I took it up to the house,” Duer recalled. “My family was having a get-together, and I had the kids taste it. Everyone flipped out.” …
It wasn’t just the quality of the mustard that impressed the judges. It was their business plan. If the Indian Creek experiment is a success, Hanover plans to roll out the model to other Ohio distilleries, incorporating their products into condiments and other food items they can sell.
“The chance to help other Ohio businesses succeed is really exciting to us,” she said.