Bobby Finan is not your average 25-year old. At 21, he left the NYC finance world to start his own distillery. This is where you put in the obligatory story of a hero entrepreneur rejecting the six-figure starting salary to pursue his passion. Bobby flatly rejected that narrative, though, and told us the real (and simpler) story. He was just really bad at working for other people, so he didn't want to do it. Lucky for him, he's good at making gin.
Bobby is co-founder of Tommyrotter distillery in his hometown of Buffalo, New York. After he graduated from Hamilton College, Bobby worked for year in what was then a 2-man distillery in Central New York. After cutting his teeth there, he found an investor and partner to help him open up his own craft distillery in Buffalo. Named Tommyrotter to celebrate a band of rebellious craftsmen and artisans, Tommyrotter has been growing quickly since 2015. Fourteen months after its founding, Tommyrotter's "Cask Strength Bourbon-Barrel Gin" just won Double Gold and Best in Show at the New York World Wine & Spirits Competition.
By the nature of talking to successful business that have been around for a while, most of our interviewees are not of the millennial generation. Bobby is a great story of building the foundations for a successful business as a millennial. His story is also an example of the relentless attitude required to make that happen.
Thank you to our sponsor Mailchimp. Also to another Hamilton College alum, Em Leeds, for the introduction.
Also, here is the list of our favorite episodes that we talked about at the end of the show: