expansion of the business area: “It’s a lot more touristy now.” That growth is taking off in the area with more and more people investing in real estate in Old Town. In fact, growth was even faster than they anticipated early on. Natasha looked into garnering more traffic for their space in the fall of 2013 by offering up a Groupon. As she says, “All of a sudden it blew up.” Quentin adds to this with his own observations: “We had to limit the amount of people coming through. We now have over 20,000 people yearly. We have seven tours Friday and Saturday.” Eventually, they found they had to hire help. As Natasha puts it, “It went from no business to a lot of business overnight.” With all the hard work and effort to develop relationships with other businesses, Witherspoon has found its niche in the neighborhood and an abundance of respect and loyalty. They host local charity events, honor the older businesses in the area with a night of their own, and use their event space and garden area for all sorts of events. “This has been such a cool journey—to see how it’s changed the community has been so much fun for us, ” Natasha says. While all the expansion can lead to new ideas and projects, Natasha stays targeted on the distilleries primary goal: “We focus on the booze.” This laser focus is apparent as Natasha leads us through the barrel room. “In my mind at least, here’s where the magic happens. The barrels make it delicious. This is where nature takes over.” She is excited about the process and the products that come out of that process. She explains, “It gets to about 120 degrees in here,
which encourages the whiskey to age faster.” They are constantly collecting data with sensors to see where it’s aging the quickest and to know where and when to move the barrels around. Soon, their barrel room will reach capacity and they will need to expand to a new space not only for the storage, but for more production due to demand. The data comes in handy: “With our calculations it will be completely full by the end of the year.” The continued growth is also due in part to favorable law changes in the state. Prior to 2013, they did not have as much freedom regarding pouring, sampling, and selling. Shortly after they started, they gained the ability to pour samples for guests and sell bottles to customers. While all sodas, cordials, bitters, and liquors used in house must be homemade—which can sound overwhelming—that turned out to be good news. Natasha explains, “What we thought would be a hinderance, has turned out to be something amazing and it makes the cocktails so much better.” Witherspoon now has a bar and an in house mixologist that celebrate all their homemade concoctions. It has been a serendipitous journey for the folks at Witherspoon. Their hard work has paid off and they are able to chase their dream full throttle. Focus, passion, and community have given them the ability to channel their success. “If you’re passionate about it and serious, go for it. I wouldn’t discourage anyone. We’re having a blast.”
Witherspoon Distillery is located in Lewisville, TX. For more information visit www.witherspoondistillery.com or call (214) 814-0545. WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM
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