Longtime Memphis food and beverage wholesaler and distributor D. Canale & Company has announced plans to develop the Old Dominick Distillery at 301 South Front Street in downtown Memphis. The $5 million spirits distillery will also feature a public tasting room.
The facility will be used as the production and bottling facility of a portfolio of ultra-premium distilled spirits and will begin operating late next summer. The public tasting room is expected open to the public in fall 2015.
The company's move into distilled spirits represents a return to form for a family business whose roots are deeply entwined with downtown Memphis. After emigrating from Genoa, Italy, and making his professional beginnings in his uncle's wholesale liquor business, Dominic Canale founded D. Canale & Co. in 1866. The company began by selling "everything from avocados to zucchini," but the company's wholesale liquor portfolio soon became a primary line of business.
D. Canale & Co. also produced its own portfolio of fine whiskies. Named in honor of D. Canale's founder, the Old Dominick Brand was one of the largest pre-Prohibition spirits brands in the Southeast. D. Canale Food Services and D. Canale Beverages, the company's Anheuser-Busch distributorship, were spun out in 1985 and were sold to outside entities in 1999 and 2010, respectively.
"We are so eager to be back in business in the city our family has called home for over 150 years," Chris Canale, President of D. Canale & Company, said in a prepared statement. "With this new venture, we are restoring and deepening our commitment to this great city in a major way."
The company expects to draw thousands of visitors per year for public tours of the distillery and visits to the tasting room.
Initial hiring estimates call for 20 to 35 full- and part-time employees. The distillery and tasting room facility is being designed by Looney Ricks Kiss
and built by Archer Custom Builders
"Quality products, quality service, by quality people is our mission," Canale said. "It has been for five generations and will continue to be as we take this step in expanding our business and contributing to the continued growth of our hometown."