SPEAKeasy Spirits Announces New Partnership
One of the spirit industry’s most successful and respected veterans has joined Jeff and Jenny Pennington of SPEAKeasy Spirits to fuel their rapidly growing business. Industry leader Tommy Bernard has provided financial capital and will be lending support, expertise and his relationship-based approach to the young couple in Nashville, TN. They’ve shown remarkable progress with initial offerings from a 2-year old start up. Currently holding the brands Whisper Creek and aptly named Pennington’s, SPEAKeasy Spirits has been one of the most talked about launches at industry trade shows as well as on the retail floor. The concept is fresh, the energy undeniable and the taste on point.
After a remarkable run and sell of Horizon Wine and Spirits, Bernard worked out his agreement with expected action to be retirement. But, the whiz and spirit industry trendsetter is far from putting his knowledge on a shelf after successfully transitioning his company over to the new ownership. Instead, he pursued the chance to be involved with a bootstrapping, sipping whiskey making duo climbing the charts beyond the city of Nashville. The lucrative element of potential earnings was a motivator, but his interest was much deeper.
Bernard has experience in working with numerous spirits brands throughout his 30+ years in the industry. He saw promise in SPEAKeasy Spirits not only because for the quality and impressive sales numbers, but for those behind it. Jeff Pennington worked for Bernard at Horizon fresh out of college and was a trailblazer in building relationships and enterprise for the distributor.
Combined with the strengths of his wife and partner, Jenny Pennington (with a background at Middle Tennessee distributor, Best Brands), the chemistry is unstoppable. Known for innovative but smart alliances, Bernard courted this young couple, even though they had resisted other partners and offers.
They respect and value Bernard’s wisdom and friendship, which is why they elected to not only accept his capital infusion, but to forge a true partnership. The immediate, primary focus is creating, producing and distributing stellar whiskey from Tennessee. Quality is the most important factor in developing the whiskey, and with the appropriate backing now available, there will be adequate time and dollars to ensure every step of the process is perfect. While the spirit is properly aging, the team will be working on current brands, new skews and marketing campaigns. They intend to design and build a state-of-the-art distillery in a dynamic location, which will be a tribute to the city of Nashville, a cherished community asset for locals and prized destination for tourists.
Based on what the Pennington’s already have on paper (and in 33 states across the US, Canada and Mexico) with award-winning Whisper Creek and the new Pennington’s Strawberry Rye Whiskey, this new partnership is full of promise. All production will be of the highest quality and orchestrated by this team that knows, appreciates and understands distributors, retailers and most importantly their consumer base. They will continue to assist various brands with custom label product, which has been an important part of their growth and survival to date.
Supply will be the biggest challenge, as orders from distributors across North America have created quite a demand for their Tennessee Sipping Cream, Whisper Creek. This new partnership, staffing and marketing funds will only further capabilities and consumer awareness. The Pennington’s are full of fire and enthusiasm, spreading their cheer and inventive packaging at events on a personal level that is rare in any industry. The Pennington’s attitudes and presentation have created a stir at industry trade shows, and with Bernard’s personal relationships and guidance, the future holds great promise for this craft distillery and their vendor partners.