As it turns out, today is National Tequila Day. Another bogus holiday, you say. But one young Atlanta entrepreneur, Jacob Gluck, would be really happy to celebrate with you.
In April, Gluck launched Goza Tequila, “an Atlanta-based spirit company and supplier of Super Premium, 100% de Agave tequila.”
Goza bullet points:
* Goza offers three distinct varieties: Blanco, Reposado (aged for six month in white oak) and Añejo (aged for one year in white oak).
* It’s the only tequila available in the U.S. that is produced by their Mexican distillery partners.
* It’s grown in the highlands of Jalisco, and is estate tequila—completely vertically integrated from harvest to bottling.
* The bottle artwork was specially created by world-renowned pop artist Burton Morris.
* It’s available in over 50 liquor stores and more than 250 bars and restaurants around Atlanta and Georgia.
I spoke with Gluck yesterday from Goza headquarters at the DeskHub co-working offices in Buckhead. He explained a bit about how he went from working in finance to importing tequila.
What’s your background?
I did finance in D.C. for a couple of years, but it wasn’t for me, so I came back to Atlanta where I’m from. I grew up in Toco Hills and Sandy Springs and I went Riverwood (International Charter School).
But you weren’t a tequila expert were you?
Absolutely not. The long story short is that I was able to get connected with these producers in Mexico. Tequila isn’t like vodka, which can be made from almost anything and almost anywhere. Tequila has to be not just from Mexico but from a certain region of Mexico, Jalisco. There’s only about 110 producers in the world and these guys did not sell their product to anyone in the United States.
So you became the guy behind these guys?
I saw an opportunity there and I thought, well, you know, now would the time in my life to take this sort of a risk. No wife. No kid. No mortgage. It seemed really exciting. It’s branding and marketing and sales and operations. Things I understand. So I dove in. In January 2013, I said, I’m doing this. And I knew I wanted to start in Atlanta. I thought I could be successful here where I’m from.
How did you try to distinguish your brand from all the others out there?
It starts with the bottle. I saw it as an opportunity to create a new type of bottle and a new type of brand. The bottle is slender, gender neutral, and we got a world-renowned pop artist, Burton Morris, to do the art work. He has this really fun, bold, energetic, not intimidating style. Goza means enjoy. So I wanted to pick a name that meant something but was easy to pronounce and remember. We say, A Little Goza Long Way. We needed to have a good pun.
How has the reception been good so far?
It’s been great. We have a slogan, Mexican Grown Atlanta’s Own. And that’s been the way it’s been going and growing.
So through all this, have you become more of a tequila expert?
Definitely. I have had many types of tequila now. But I would put Goza toe-to-toe with any tequila out there. And it’s important to be able to say that.
I would bet that the Blanco is the top seller, right?
Yes. In general, the Blanco is what sells the most, because it’s the least expensive and it’s used for the most part in cocktails.
Are are embracing National Tequila Day?
I want to meet the genius who thought of it. Of course we’re embracing it. We’ll doing a lot of social media stuff and we’ll be doing a lot of stuff with our accounts. A lot of what we do is go out in the community. We go out and get to know the bartenders and patrons. We’ll be doing that on Tequila Day.
So if people are out for Tequila Day they might be able to get a drink on your tab?
Absolutely. That’s my favorite thing. Let me buy it.
Find Atlanta tequila drinks beyond margaritas here.