Long Island City, N.Y.-based Hella Cocktail Co., a brand of botanically inspired mixers and cocktails, announced a $5 million investment from a fellow BIPOC-owned company, Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey, Shelbyville, Tenn.
Standing out with its inclusive category perspective and incredible development, Hella Cocktail Co. secured this investment as part of Uncle Nearest Ventures, which seeks to uplift minority-founded, owned and led spirit companies.
From strategy to vision, and from ethos to growth trajectory, the partnership aligns in every dimension, the company says. Hella’s deep respect for culture and the incredible way in which this drives the brand’s success, the investment from the Uncle Nearest Ventures reflects a new legacy that aims to shape a more diverse landscape for cocktailing, it adds.
“We don’t see this as just an investment in Hella, but rather an investment in bringing all voices to the table and celebrating different experiences. This partnership not only enables us to bring our message to more audiences, but aligns us with a fellow minority-owned and led company that understands how integral culture is when creating a successful business,” said Jomaree Pinkard, CEO of Hella Cocktail Co, in a statement. “We’re thrilled to continue a rapid growth trajectory, as we create premium products where neither taste nor brand values are ever compromised.”
Fawn Weaver, founder and CEO of Uncle Nearest Inc., added: “Investing in Hella Cocktail Co. was an absolute no brainer. Our team members were already pairing their Bitters & Soda with Uncle Nearest, so I knew their products were made with excellence. What I didn’t know is the brand was founded by three men of African American, Mexican, and Jewish descent. Once I learned that, I reached into Jomaree and said, ‘What do you need? It’s yours.’ We could not be prouder to back these three incredible leaders, who have bootstrapped this brand for a decade, never compromising on quality or messaging, and who have grown their company at such a rapid yet sustained pace that they’ve proven their brand is here to stay.”
Hella Cocktail Co. was the first BIPOC-founded, owned, and led American beverage brand to be available in all 50 states, and its products are currently sold or used in more than 20,000 stores, bars, hotels and restaurants, the company notes.
The investment coincides with additional hallmark achievements, including the business’ 10-year anniversary and the innovation of a new beverage category with its line of Bitters & Soda.
This transformative partnership will propel the brand's next phase of structural growth, funding continued recruitment to Hella’s all-star team, stocking warehouses with enough inventory to meet the outpacing demand, and continuing to spread the brand's message of creating a more expansive and inclusive cocktail experience, it says.