The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2014

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Page 36 of 148

36  /  the tasting panel  /  september 2014 IN THE BIZ T here's no ignoring the explosive growth TY KU Sake & Spirits has achieved since arriving on the scene in 2007— the company boasts the most recognizable and fastest- growing premium sake portfolio in the U.S. today. In 2013 alone, TY KU saw a 54 percent increase in volume as recorded by Nielsen—and now there's more than just sake brewing. TY KU's founders have partnered with Guillaume Cuvelier, founder and former CEO of SVEDKA Vodka, to introduce Davos Brands, an all-encompassing beverage importer and marketing company for luxury wine and spirit brands. Davos Brands currently includes TY KU Sake, ZYR Russian Vodka and The Real McCoy Rum. The name Davos Brands is taken from the highest city in Europe, lending an air of prestige, pristineness and quality to the new company and its products. The decision to launch Davos Brands came about as a result of the group's desire to break into catego- ries beyond sake. "We intimately understand what it takes for a young or underdeveloped brand to succeed in today's extremely competitive wine and spirits industry," says company CEO Andrew Chrisomalis. With their current distribution channels, the brands that partner with Davos will be privy to their vast network, which includes a nationwide partnership with Southern Wine & Spirits and Glazer's. Davos Brands will oversee TY KU, ZYR Russian Vodka, as well as The Real McCoy Rum—all brands which have won the highly coveted Double Gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. "Our consolidated distribution network of true partners allows us to efficiently manage, navigate, innovate and grow, in an incredibly competitive environment," says Chrisomalis, citing the big hurdles brands have to leap in order to successfully break into the landscape of today's on- and off-premise accounts. "Not only do you need the best liquid, spectacular packaging and a great name," he says, "but most importantly, you need a top-flight team." The Davos Brands team includes a group of industry veterans with tremendous experience, capable of achieving desired results. In addition to Cuvelier, who will act as Vice Chairman, and the TY KU founders, the company's Vice Presidents include: Patrón veterans Dave Ramirez (VP West) and Sean Hartnell (VP Central), Richard Fein (VP East, formerly of SVEDKA) and Kenrik Mannion (VP Operations, formerly with Diageo). The company's "homegrown" team includes Michele O'Dell, Marisol Barrera and many others "who bring a great balance of small, medium and large company mentality, business practices and execution." As for the type of brands the company plans to seek, "We are ultimately looking for the best-in-class brands with true credibility and passionate founders behind them," says Chrisomalis. "Davos Brands will own and partner with these brands to develop and implement innovative sales and marketing strategies." EXTRAORDINARY TY KU LAUNCHES A NEW COMPANY AND EXPANDS INTO DIVERSE CATEGORIES by Jonathan Cristaldi Introducing Davos Brands

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