Uncle Nearest, a black-owned Tennessee-based whiskey brand launched just five years ago, has exceeded $100 million in sales as of October this year.
In 2021, Uncle Nearest, which was founded by CEO Fawn Weaver, announced it had become the best-selling Black-founded, owned, and operated spirit brand in the country, The Spirits Business reported. However, following the announcement of the sales milestone, the company is now the world’s largest.
“To reach this and every other milestone on our horizon, we continue to push nonstop,” said Weaver.
“Every penny this company has earned has gone back into the business, as well as to put Nearest Green’s college-age descendants through college and to invest in minority-owned businesses and entrepreneurs through our Black Business Booster programme (BBB), the nearest and Jack Advancement Initiative and Uncle Nearest Ventures.”
“Every cent we make in the future will continue to do the same. We have an entire generation of women and people of colour, who represent 70% of our country but still feel marginalised and underrepresented, counting on us,” she continued.
On Juneteenth 2021, an expanded Nearest Green Distillery that is open to the public started a project that cost close to $50 million.
Uncle Nearest premium whiskey became the most-awarded Bourbon and American Whiskey in 2019, 2020, and 2021.
The company’s whiskey portfolio has seven options that are available at its distillery and in all 50 states, territories, and districts across the country. The prices range from $49.99 to $149. On Black Friday, the company released its Single Barrel Black Label at the distillery for $79. It flew off the shelves immediately, Denton Record-Chronicle reported.
The company’s distillery in Shelbyville, Tennessee, recently expanded its 323-acre distillery and garnered more than 100,000 visitors. A number that continues to increase ‘significantly’ every week, the brand added.
“I joined the team this year with one mission in mind: to make Nearest Green Distillery one of the top three most visited distilleries in the world,” said Brielle Caruso, chief marketing officer (CMO) for Nearest Green Distillery, who became the first Asian-American female CMO in the spirits industry in 2022. “I have no doubt we will achieve that milestone even faster than we crossed the US$100 million sales mark.”
“For the longest time, folks were sitting around waiting for us to fail. First, they underestimated us, then they expected us to fail,” said Victoria Eady Butler, the great-great-granddaughter of the company’s namesake, Nearest Green, and four-time Master Blender of the Year recipient. “I guess they do that with independent companies owned by women or people of color. Well, more than five years into this level of growth, y’all can stop waiting. We are not a fad or some trendy brand – we are a purpose-driven, mission-oriented company. Uncle Nearest and Nearest Green Distillery aren’t just here to stay, but to grow and sustain at a pace never seen before in our industry.”