Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashley and Bertrina Scott, Pat Gantt, and Latia Ashley.
Hi Ashley and Bertrina, Pat, and Latia, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Southern Edge’s story began with providing adult beverages to people who attended parties or events we either hosted or helped plan. We would try different combinations of ingredients to see how people responded to them. After people would taste what we were serving, they would constantly tell us to consider careers in the alcohol industry. Now, getting alcohol on the market is way easier said than done, so making drinks remained more of a hobby while we focused on our day jobs. We kept getting all of this positive feedback and started to think, “maybe we have something here,” and seriously began to pursue the appropriate means to get products out to the public. We started doing our research, seeking guidance from experts, and taking steps toward actually getting our products in stores.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
No. It would be misleading to say that the road to get where we are has been smooth. We still have ways to get where we want to be, but our path has ups and downs.
Some of our struggles include:
1. Finding the right combination of flavors that appeal to a broad audience. We know that not everyone will love our drinks, but we believe most people will enjoy them – whether they drink them neat, on the rocks, or in cocktails. We’ve spent a lot of time doing tastings and listening to what consumers have to say, so we’ve ended up with liquor that is pleasing to many palettes.
2. Assembling a team with relevant areas of expertise and passion for the product who will work well together. A great team is almost like a recipe. When making something, you try to get the right ingredients together without one overpowering the others, so no flavors are muted.
3. Getting our products registered in different states. To sell alcoholic beverages in any state, you must undergo a registration and licensing process—no registration in that state, no selling in that state. The difficulty lies in that every state has its licensing process, and you are at the mercy of the process – no matter how long it may take.
4. Getting beverage distributors to believe in your product enough to supply it to liquor stores, restaurants, and bars. People are reluctant to take chances on something they’ve never heard of, and additionally, there’s some comfort in a well-known brand. However, once distribution executives taste our products and learn about our brand, that reluctance is reduced significantly. When the opportunity does not pan out for something you believe in, it can be disheartening, but we keep it moving because we believe in our products.
Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
The Southern Edge Beverage Company is a small liquor company with two products: Sweet Tea Vodka and Salted Caramel Whiskey. Both of our products are gluten-free and made with the best ingredients. The Sweet Tea Vodka is made with real tea, cane sugar, and corn. It has a smooth taste that people – even those who are not vodka drinkers – appreciate because it does not have that abrasive feeling in the back of your throat when you drink it. The Salted Caramel Whiskey is full of flavor and has the potential to be used in drink recipes and food recipes. It has this cool combination of salty and sweet that hits the spot. Both drinks are exceptional enough to drink on their own, but it’s also fun to incorporate them into traditional cocktails or create new ones. We are presently sold in stores in parts of South Carolina and Florida. Still, we eventually want to be available on store shelves all over the Southeast and eventually everywhere alcohol is sold. On our website, customers can have our product shipped to them.
I’m especially proud of our dedication to delivering excellent products to our consumers and the persistence of effort we have put forth in doing so. We may not have the celebrity endorsements or backing to push us front and center like many of the larger, more established brands, but we have put in the work to do what we can to give the public great-tasting products. When you taste our vodka or whiskey, you get delicious drinks made with top-notch ingredients at a distillery that adheres to strict quality control standards. Your taste buds will thank you.
Do you have any memories from childhood that you can share with us?
Any childhood memory associated with family and close friends enjoying each other’s company is a favorite. The laughter and the stories being told (and re-told) are priceless.
- Southern Edge Sweet Tea Flavored Vodka (750ml): $27.99
- Southern Edge Salted Caramel Whiskey (750ml): $34.99
Prices may vary in store by location.
- Website: www.southernedgespirits.com
- Instagram: @southernedgebeverages
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SouthernEdgeBeverages/
Pictured, Ashley and Bertrina Scott & Products: Sipper Photography Headshot of Pat Gantt: Alwon Mayweather Headshot of Latia Ashley: Vic Supreme