Drake’s Organic Spirits May Soon Arrive in North Dakota
Drake’s Organic Spirits is located in Minneapolis, where Anderson moved after graduating from UND in 1991, with an aviation degree, to pursue a career in the commodities business. The movement was inspired, of all things, by the 1983 film. The character played by Dan Aykroyd was trying to corner the commodity market for orange juice.
“You mean you can do this on paper?” Anderson asked his father. “Instead of farming in a tractor, can you do it on paper?” He asked.
After this fortuitous turn of watching the film, Anderson moved to Minneapolis in 1995 “with a credit card and a cash advance on the card” to begin working as a trader at the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, where he worked for several years. There he founded a company, Captain Drake (after explorer Sir Francis Drake), and began importing organic ingredients and non-GMO products, such as cane sugar and citric acid from America. South, two ingredients widely used in the food and beverage industry.
According to Anderson, his company eventually became the largest importer of non-GMO products in the United States. Other food and beverage companies, such as Flavor House and Unilever, began researching his company for their ingredients, which they, in turn, used in their organic products.
The idea of distilling alcohol came about when he was asked to make organic alcohol for a company that makes extracts. They needed organic alcohol to label their organic and non-GMO products. From there, Anderson decided to start a spirits business – after changing its name.
“The company name was Captain Drake, and when we started taking this organic cane sugar and distilling it on organic alcohol, to make the first organic rum… My law firm said it wasn’t ‘is not so, is when Diageo sues you for using’ captain ‘, because they have Captain Morgan. I said OK, no problem, drop the’ captain ‘, and so, the spirits Drake’s organics, ”Anderson said.
Move on to today and Drake’s Organic Spirits now offers vodka, white and spiced rum, blenders and the popular adult freeze treats Spiked Ice, an adult “Freezie” made with organic fruit juice.
All products have an extensive list of certifications: Certified Organic, Project Verified Non-GMO, Vegan, Gluten Free and Kosher, for the world’s largest organic alcohol manufacturer.
“Around 2001, Whole Foods started to prove that organic was not a trend, but a lifestyle change. In 2008 or 2009, that’s when I determined it was beyond organic, it was becoming a bigger issue for food manufacturers on their labels, if they wanted to disclose if they had GMOs. or non-GMOs, ”Anderson said of the desire for sustainability and natural foods.
It was necessary to import cane sugar from Colombia because it is GMO-free, which is not the case with American sugar beets.
Getting all that cane sugar, citric acid and ultimately the alcohol distilled from that cane was tricky and this is where Anderson can attribute some of his success to the fact that he grew up in Dakota. of the North and that he participated in rodeos. He was invited to play polo by the head of the sugar cartel in Colombia.
“He said, ‘Do you play polo?’ and I said I could ride a horse, ”Anderson said. “He said ‘You’re going to play polo this afternoon with our families’, so that afternoon I played polo with them and the next day he said I got the quota for the states. -Unis on organic cane sugar. ”
The cane sugar is distilled into organic alcohol in Colombia, before being shipped to Austin, Texas, where it is finished in a distillery under the watchful eye of Master Distiller Luis Ayala, a 38-year veteran of the industry. , according to Anderson.
Today, Drake’s Organic Spirits is starting to spread across the country, having initially focused on larger markets, such as California and other areas on the West Coast. “Our growth right now is like a hockey stick taking off,” he said, referring to the shape of the stick on a bar graph.
“I have a desire to go into North Dakota and put our product there since I’m from there, and we’re excited to do so,” Anderson said. “I hope that in the next few months we will be able to supply Happy Harry’s and some of the major retailers who have expressed an interest in offering an organic spirits line and a mixed line.”
Anderson admits it’s been a wild ride: “All because I grew up riding in Hillsboro, North Dakota”