Rifto Valentine was a Wall Street trader with a penchant for dirty martinis when the thought occurred to him: why couldn’t America produce a world-class vodka? He decided to change that – with instant success. Located in Ferndale, Valentine Vodka recently took the gold medal at the Beverage Tasting Institute’s (BTI) International Review of Spirits Competition, despite only having been in production for two years. Valentine’s distillery will open to the public in Ferndale soon, and he says the neighborhood and his gold medal spirits are a good match.
Valentine said he originally started looking at Detroit to open up the distillery, but Ferndale won him over. “It just has that great eclectic feel and alternative vibe, which is perfect for a place like this,” he said. “The whole city seemed to be really open to having us come here. The city has helped me every step of the way. Plus I live here.”
Read more about Valentine’s story here.