PORT CHESTER, NY - If you ran into Ed Tiedge on Wall Street in 2007 and told him his future would be to own a distillery, he probably would've laughed in your face.
As the recession hit in 2008, Tiedge was let go by two hedge funds in a span of six months. Needless to say, things were not looking good on the career front.
"I just wasn't enjoying it anymore," Tiedge said standing in his distillery on the waterfront in Port Chester. "I was just done with it."
With little job prospects and a family support, Tiedge turned to alcohol, but not in the way that you think.
"I saw that a distillery in Tuthilltown was able to get their license due to a law change," Tiedge said. "That really turned some lights on for me."
The law Tiedge was referring to was passed in 2002 and expanded in 2007 reduced the licensing cost for microdistillers from $50,000 dollars to only $1,500.
"After I saw that it made sense to considering investing," Tiedge said.
Two years later, in August of 2010, Tiedge's "StilltheOne" became Westchester county's only fully licensed distillery.
"Getting the word out wasn't easy," Tiedge said. "It started with me loading up my SUV and driving around to liquor stores and bars selling it one bottle or one case at a time."
Tiedge said the key to distributing his unique honey flavored liquor is getting people to taste it.
"Once they taste it they usually buy it," Tiedge said. Among the Port Chester establishments that carry Still the One's "Comb" liquors are Tarry Lodge, BevMax, Vaccaro's, BarMax, Willet House, and soon to be BarTaco.
Currently Still the One offers four different types of liquor. There's the traditional COMB Vodka, Ed's wife Laura's favorite COMB 9 Gin, and two whiskey inspired liquors called COMB White and COMB Blossom.
Although Tiedge has come a long way since he distilled his first batch of COMB Vodka years ago, he hasn't stopped pushing the envelope. Still the One is in the process of acquiring their "farmer's license" which will allow them to set up a retail store and liquor tasting area at the distillery.
Tiedge is also in the process of distilling a regular whiskey which he plans to unveil next year.
"I'm very happy we settled here in Port Chester," Tiedge said while giving a tour of the future tasting room. "It's just the right place to be."
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