The Jack Daniel's Distillery and the Nearest Green Distillery announced that Minneapolis-based Du Nord Social Spirits, a small batch distillery producing gin, vodka, liqueurs and whiskeys, is the first graduate of the Business Incubation Program, one of the core pillars of the Nearest & Jack Advancement Initiative. 

Launched by the Jack Daniel Distillery and the Nearest Green Distillery in 2020, The Nearest & Jack Advancement Initiative aims to advance diversity within the American whiskey industry with a Business Incubation Program, Leadership Acceleration Program, and the creation of the Nearest Green School of Distilling, it says. The Business Incubation Program offers BIPOC entrepreneurs mentorship in all areas of the distilling business including access to marketing, branding, expanded distribution networks, and other assets and opportunities for growth.

Du Nord Social Spirits was the first business selected for the Nearest & Jack Advancement Initiative Business Incubation Program in 2020. As part of the program, Du Nord worked with industry experts to transform its branding identity and packaging while receiving mentoring from leaders at both Uncle Nearest and Brown-Forman. Through distributor networking opportunities, the distillery increased its sales footprint and now is available in 10 states across the country. Additionally, Du Nord recently partnered with Delta Air Lines to have its Foundation Vodka available on all domestic Delta flights.  

“Our experience in the Business Incubation Program has been a game-changer while providing the foundational elements of strong branding and helping us develop a path of growth. Without this program, we would not be in the position we are now,” said Du Nord CEO and Head Distiller Chris Montana in a statement. “Our partnership with Delta Air Lines is only possible thanks to the support from Jack Daniel’s. The Nearest & Jack initiative and Brown-Forman literally made the impossible happen.”

The Nearest & Jack Advancement Initiative will soon begin accepting applications for the 2022 Business Incubation Program.