Fawn Weaver, Uncle Nearest founder and CEO, and founder of the Uncle Nearest Venture Fund.
Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey has announced the launch of a $50 million fund that will invest in minority-founded and -owned spirit brands.
The Uncle Nearest Venture Fund has already chosen its first two investments, with each company to receive $2 million initially.
Based in London, UK, Equiano produces an African and Caribbean rum. Meanwhile, Jack From Brooklyn is the first-known black-owned distillery in the US post-Prohibition, according to Uncle Nearest.
Jack From Brooklyn is the maker of Sorel Liqueur, a spirits brand founded by Jackie Summers in 2012. Summers has previously been unable to obtain the funding required to grow a successful spirit brand.
“Most people don’t know how expensive it is to create and grow a premium spirit brand in America,” said Summers.
“I wasn’t willing to compromise on the quality and I did everything I could to raise the money to keep Sorel alive, including pitching the brand to the CEOs of some of the most well-known spirit conglomerates.”
He added: “The moment the Uncle Nearest Venture Fund agreed to…[invest in the brand], we were ready – we’d only been waiting on capital.”
Through the investment from the Uncle Nearest Venture Fund, Sorel Liqueur will return to market this summer, initially as an exclusive offering via ReserveBar.com.
“America consists of approximately 40% people of colour, but they own an incredibly small percentage of spirit brands,” said Lindsay Held, CEO and co-founder of ReserveBar.
“We have to work collectively to change that so that we can unlock opportunity for all. We are committed to working with every minority-owned brand in the Uncle Nearest Venture Fund.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020
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