Artisan Spirit: Spring 2013

Page 31

o l l H ename is my

w e n r u yo istillery ol cal d A Guide to introducing yourself to the neighborhood written by Jason Barrett So you want to open a distillery? Wonderful! Welcome to one of the most exciting, and by far most heavily regulated industries in the United States. As I am sure you are aware, getting into the

Local Fire Department Water/Sanitation Department

distilling business is a complicated endeavor. But for today, let’s

Mayor’s office

just talk about working with local government and how to be a

City Business development office

good neighbor. It all starts by following three simple rules: communication, communication and oh yeah, proactive communication. Once you have selected your location, or at least the general area where you want to be located, you want to start telling people that you are coming to town. Before you go and hang a sign on the building and let the public think what they will about you, it’s a good idea to reach out to talk with the folks around you on

Local SBA office Other craft food companies nearby, both in our industry and outside of it And what might these interested parties ask of you? Will you be getting a license?

a more personal level. You can do this by presenting your plan to

Do you plan to pay taxes?

interested parties before they hear about you from someone who

Isn’t that dangerous?

doesn’t want you in “their backyard.” Who are these interested parties, you ask? Well, here is a short list we interacted with:

How do you know how to do this? Will you be a bar? Or a night club?

City zoning commission

Will you be a restaurant?

Neighborhood business association

How many seats will your restaurant have?

County Planning Department

What kind of food will you be serving? (Even if you continue to tell them you are not a restaurant, expect

Local Police Department

that many people will assume you are.) 31