A spirited family business

Throughout his 20 years in the corporate finance industry, Dan Pettit had always dreamed of manufacturing his own line of vodka and gin.

“I wanted to make it better because most companies out there today distill the alcohol so many times, which results in no flavor, so it’s just alcohol and water,” he said. “I wanted to take a different approach with better ingredients and minimum distillation.”

Pettit, a Las Vegas resident, teamed up with his 24-year-old daughter, Angela, a certified personal trainer and athletic trainer, to create Azzurre Spirits earlier this year.

“I love working with my dad,” Angela Petit said. “It offers a challenge and a chance for me to learn something new every day. That said, I’m also continuing my personal training career as well, considering it is my all-time passion.”

Getting the company off the ground was tough at first, the elder Pettit said.

“It was a lot of work to find someone who could make it and has a good background,” he said. “The gin alone took between six and nine months to make after experimenting and finally getting the right flavor down.”

What sets the product apart, according to Pettit, is the fact that it’s only distilled once and they use apples, grapes and sugar cane for flavor – no added sugars or oils.

The company manufactures its gin and vodka in Northern California, and so far the product is only being sold in Nevada.

“I was afraid of running out if it was in too many states at once,” Pettit said. “We hope to have it available in California by October.”

According to Pettit, he is in charge of the finance and business side of things while his daughter heads the marketing and social aspects of Azzurre Spirits. They also have an additional employee who serves as the manager of sales.

“Angela does shows, events and tastings while I take care of production scheduling and the business aspects,” he said. “It’s been a neat business that the two of us could get involved in.”

Azzurre Spirits products are available at restaurants, retailers and venues from Mandalay Bay to downtown Las Vegas to Summerlin, including STK Las Vegas at The Cosmopolitan, db Brasserie at The Venetian and Lee’s Discount Liquor.

“It’s nice to see people appreciate the product,” Angela Petit said. “It’s also great to make connections and have people recognize the brand.”

Over the next few months, Dan Pettit said, plans include expanding the product to California, lining up distributors, meeting with two supermarket chains and continuing to get the brand’s name out there.

“If all goes well, we’ll combine with another company for distillation; they’ll have production and we’ll have the sales and marketing side,” he said. “Also, Texas has been asking for the product, so we’ll tackle them after California and then probably Florida after that.”

According to the Pettit’s, they hope Azzurre Spirits will be available everywhere in the near future.

“We hope to be across the U.S. by next year,” he said. “People really support local companies, and we’ve developed a lot of relationships here in the Las Vegas Valley. This is where our headquarters are, and I hope we’ll always be here.”

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