Spreading the word about mezcal

Jessica Rosman and Arturo Palencia of Skere Spirits are seen with the three different mezcals their company produces Friday, Aug. 8, 2014.


Phone: 702-860-7068

Email: [email protected]

Website: skerespirits.com

Owned/operated by: Jessica Rosman and Arturo Palencia

In business since: 2010

Describe your business.

Skere Spirits is a marketing and product development firm that specializes in the spirits industry. We look to introduce international spirits that have a rich cultural heritage and promote them in a way that’s in line with our ethos around sustainability and global citizenship.

Why focus on mezcal and not another type of drink?

Because no other drink requires so much care and time to be made. Mezcal is a unique spirit. Also, maguey and artisanal mezcal represent the essence of Mexican culture in its rich history, traditions and legends, and we wanted to bring that to the U.S.

Who are your customers?

Boutique wholesalers, premium liquor stores, restaurants and cigar bars.

Are your consumers familiar with the product?

We are having to educate a lot of consumers about mezcal in general. While mezcal has been around for years, many consumers are just beginning to learn about the category. There’s a lot of energy around the resurgence of mezcal.

How has the company expanded since it began?

We started with a focus group in Henderson at our friends’ houses until we came up with the perfect concept, product and brand positioning. We launched sales of Mestizo in January of 2013 in Austin, Texas, where mezcal already had a pretty large following. Nine months later, we saw the opportunity to introduce Mestizo Mezcal after being part of a cocktail event at the Downtown Cocktail Room. Today, Mestizo is being distributed in Texas statewide, as well as in Southern Nevada and California (San Francisco and Los Angeles).

Did you visit Mexico for inspiration?

Yes, several times a year. We were both living in Mexico City when we started coming up with the concept. Our families have been friends for many years and we came up with the concept when Jessica was studying in Mexico City.

What is your business philosophy?

We want to stay true to our company’s ethos of bringing global thought and cultural diversity to each market on a local level. We believe that spirits are the perfect opportunity to share that in an exciting way with our consumers.

What is the hardest part about doing business in the Las Vegas area?

A large portion of the Vegas market is on the Strip, and while the casinos are doing a lot to support small and local businesses, it’s difficult to compete in brand awareness for the consumers with some of the international brands.

What is the best part about doing business here?

People in Las Vegas are really supportive of local ventures and we feel so lucky to have the support of our family, friends and so many mixologists, craft cocktail bars and premium liquor stores and restaurants.

How can Nevada improve its business climate?

Nevada is doing a lot of things right. Understanding how to more easily fund and insure small businesses would definitely help, but we’re happy we started here.

Where do you see the company five years from now?

Distributing Mestizo Mezcal nationwide and having more specialty spirits from around the globe, complete with local inspiration, in our portfolio.

Tags: The Sunday