ABOUT STRIPED LION DISTILLING
Our company was founded by a family of rum aficionados. Kevin and Erin have been married for more than 15 years and have been collecting varieties of rum for more than a dozen years. After tasting aged rum on a trip to Bermuda in 2006, we began slowly tasting and collecting rums of different varieties and styles, from different regions of the world. Our collection has grown to include more than 300 different rum expressions! Kevin’s sister Kanesha is also a rum enthusiast and has partnered in the effort.
We had been playing with the idea of “moving to an island so we can grow sugar cane and make rum” for several years because there was no provision in our home state for creating distilled spirits as a small-scale business. Legal craft distilling is a relatively new but growing industry in our home state of New Jersey. With our love of rum in its many iterations and our backgrounds in science and technology, the decision was made to pursue this business venture. We got to work developing recipes, attending distillery production and management courses, finding our location, and purchasing equipment.
We have been developing this project for more than three years. The process for opening a distillery is long and tedious due to the numerous requirements for the distilled spirits industry. Distilled spirits production is a highly regulated industry, and every detail is important. We have already received our federal permit, and the application for our state license is in process. We have been working on renovating our production space, and we are currently working on the construction needed to make our tasting room area both functional and beautiful.
We still need to raise the funding needed for a fire protection sprinkler system. We have also unfortunately had to divert a significant portion of our funding to remedy an unforeseen broken water main issue and the resulting damage. The necessary repairs also led to a delay in our build-out by several months, which further added to our expenditures. We have attempted to secure a loan through conventional banks and through SBA programs. However, the craft distilling industry is too new for the conventional banks to feel comfortable with anticipating risk, even through their SBA programs. We have exhausted our personal savings and debt resources.
Our distillery will be one of the very few United States distilleries (if not the only) that is both a minority- and a women-owned business. We’ll be making the majority of our rum varieties on site and will be personally selecting a blend of international rums, creating a proprietary aged spirit for our patrons to enjoy while we wait for our house-made spirits to age to our liking.
We love rum and can appreciate its multitude of expressions and varieties. As our collection and our knowledge of rum has grown, we have discovered that rum is generally a misunderstood spirit. We’re going to change that! Rum has many faces, with some that are best enjoyed alone to others that are enjoyed more commonly in mixed drinks. Its versatility as compared to other distilled spirits is unparalleled. We will be creating many different expressions of rum, so we can educate our visitors on the different ways that rum can be enjoyed.
Woodbury is a small city in New Jersey in the Philadelphia metropolitan area and is the county seat of Gloucester County. Many years ago, it was a bustling city with a busy downtown area. Over time, the downtown area became less busy but is now in the process of re-establishing a successful business corridor. This is a local, easily accessible community, and our distillery will be part of the trending redevelopment process.
WHAT WE NEED
While we have initiated our state license application, the license cannot be processed without a certificate of occupancy, which is contingent upon installation of a fire protection system in our building. We need our employees and visitors to know that they are safe. The fire protection system is quite expensive, and we need to be able to cover that expense before we will be able to finalize our state license.