As the economy began to falter in 2007, Ed Tiedge dreamed of leaving his Wall Street job.
"I was having no fun at all," he said.
Brainstorming about what was next for his life, he recalled his childhood dream of working with his father and brother in a business of their own. In August 2008, he ditched Wall Street.
"I always wanted my own business, but I didn't know what it'd be," Tiedge said. However, he knew something he was passionate about: liquor and wine. He decided to do his research and see what the liquor business could do for him.
He quickly learned some good news: The state of New York had dropped its distillers license fee to $1,500 from $50,000.
He and his wife decided that to obtain the money for the fee, some space and the necessary supplies, he would have to sell his Porsche. After advertising online and getting a few calls, Tiedge landed a buyer from Switzerland.
The buyer happened to own a distillery in France.
When he found out about Tiedge's plan, the buyer offered Tiedge a month-long apprenticeship. In March 2009, Tiedge accepted the offer and spent a month in France wine-making, learning about the business and about distillation and generally getting his feet wet.
He began searching for the perfect location for his distillery when he got home. He wanted a concrete building, a big enough space to hold essential equipment. After looking around the county, he finally saw the perfect spot in Port Chester. The location not only met his needs, but also was an easy commute to his Pelham home.
The StilltheOne distillery opened shop shortly after as Tiedge threw around ideas on what could set apart his distillery from everyone else's.
"The world didn't need another bottle of potato vodka," he said.
He did want a unique product, and didn't want a gimmick. Thus came the idea of adding botanicals such as lavender or rose into the distillation process, infusing new flavors into each batch.
Tiedge also works to keep the honey in his vodka, which he said strengthens the flavor and creates an intense and refreshing experience.
What stands out is his attention to detail, as well as his affection for the tedious process, which includes transferring the product into different barrels and infusing the flavors into the alcohol.
COMB Vodka and gin is set to hit stores and online soon.
For more information, contact Ed Tiedge at email@example.com, as well as the Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/COMB.Spirits.