December 13, 2017
In a downtown known for great restaurants, wine shops, wine tasting rooms, a brewery, and historical shops & stores, Downtown Petoskey can now boast, Gypsy Vodka.
The actual distillery is out of the downtown area for reasons of regulation; however, the tasting room has been under construction since the summer. Taking over the historic Jesperson’s on Howard Street has been no small endeavor, but an opening in January is expected.
“We’re confident that Petoskey is the home we’ve always imagined for the company,” says co-owner Adam Kazanolski – one of “The Twins.”
He along with his brother Mike have traveled the country, extensively, researching and practicing what has proven to be a successful business model of distilling and marketing their spirits.
“The actual company is High Five Spirits in recognition of the high-five state,” Adam declares. “It’s universal. The high-five state and symbol mean, ‘good job.’”
A new partner in the business, Mike Kolkmeyer explains that Petoskey is “sexy.” He includes the beaches, the water, the sunsets, and most importantly, “the mindset” as the business conjures and attempts to capture the essence of the town.
When asked what one achievement would make the Downtown Petoskey tasting room successful, Adam was quick with an answer: “We want our brand to come to life!”
So why Jesperson’s and why gypsy?
“I’d gone to Jesperson’s my whole life. I fell off a chair once and busted my lip!” Adam remembers with a smile. “In doing the research for the vodka, we lived out of our van for two summers, and equated the journey as the essential spirit, and we wanted to place that experience in a bottle.”
Thus, Gypsy Vodka.
The tasting room is being constructed to preserve some of the history of Jesperson’s and the Hemingway experience that is referenced on the plaque outside the door.
“We’ve used remnants of the tin ceilings along the face of the bar, but at the same time, we want people to feel a mix of another favorite place, the Caribbean, which also brings a Hemingway flavor,” said Adam.
The making of the vodka and the addition of other spirits they’ll be making and marketing have a backbone built of Non-GMO products, and the vodka is gluten free with no additives.
“Our corn is sourced from Michigan to Missouri, and we’re very particular about our water. It’s from a private artesian well in Alanson.”
If you’d prefer not to wait, Gypsy Vodka can be found at stores everywhere, but come January, “The Twins” would love to see you walking and strolling in Downtown Petoskey and having you as their guest while you enjoy our vibrant town.