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UMKC Innovation Center
July 30, 2014

Missouri’s Finest Whiskey Found Just Around the Bend

This post was provided by the Trozollo Communications Group.

pinckney-bend-distillery“Be generous. Be honest. Be passionate. Keep it fun.”

That’s the advice Pinckney Bend Distillery’s vice president of sales and marketing, Ralph Haynes offers other entrepreneurs. He took his own advice when deciding on a name for the distillery. “When we considered what to call the business, the obvious names – Riverfront, Miller’s Landing, and Missouri River – had all been used to death.”

What’s in a Name?

Haynes, whose entrepreneurial background includes nearly 30 years of owning and operating Haynes Media, Inc., his own creative services agency, wanted his spirits to reflect on New Haven’s unique history. In 1824, major spring flooding forced residents of Pinckney to relocate to surrounding communities.

“Because the town of Pinckney, which would have been visible from what is now New Haven, existed for only a brief period in time before being washed away, the name had Brigadoon-like appeal,” said Haynes. “The fact that it became a navigational hazard that claimed at least seven steamboats just added to the name’s appeal." 

Haynes’ precision and curiosity, from the naming of the distillery to the creation of the gin, whiskey and vodka that he and his partners sell, have prompted their success on an international scale.

Discerning Tastes

Haynes’ listed Col. Sanders, Bob Moore of Bob’s Red Mill Whole Grains, and Tito Beverage of Tito’s Vodka as his inspiration. His aspirations, like theirs, are quite high. “Pinckney Bend Gin is the only gin on the planet with a companion tonic syrup,” said Haynes. “Our Pinckney Bend G&T is simply the best. It’s a game changer, with the potential to be a national brand.”

New Haven, where the distillery does ample business, is the only town of its size (approximately 2,000 residents) in the state with its own winery, brewery and distillery. “Even better,” adds Haynes, “Missouri is one of the most liberal states in the Union when it comes to liquor laws, in that we can do business on all tiers of a three-tier system. Perhaps most important of all, we have a lot of fun.”

Cheers to The Futurepinckney-bend-distillery2

Haynes and partners Tom Anderson and Jerry Meyer recently brought on a fourth partner, Curtis Reis, who has worked for 30 years in wine sales and distribution. Together, these entrepreneurs recently brought home a Double Gold rating from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition for their Rested American Whiskey, and have won several other awards in years past.

Advice for Other Entrepreneurs

Hayne’s added some additional wisdom for those who are considering starting their own business: “Don’t give up. Don’t take “no” or “you can’t do that” as an answer.” He also added a smart financial recommendation:  “Pay your bills on time and get to know your local banker.”

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