Brought to You by Valentine Distilling Co. and McClure’s Pickles: The Bloody Mary Mix Kit is Back for the 2018 Tailgating Season

Ferndale, MI – It flew off the shelves last fall. So, if you missed it; you’re getting a second chance. The two Detroit-based companies, Valentine Distilling Co. and McClure’s Pickles, have teamed again up to make the perfect Bloody Mary box kit for this season’s football tailgates.

Available in limited quantities, the kit comes with two glasses, a fifth of Valentine vodka (featuring a new-and-improved bottle that recently debuted on shelves), and a McClure’s Bloody Mary mix jar for $29.99. It will hit shelves mid-to-late September at many convenient retailers such as Meijer, Kroger, Walmart, and Costco as well as other area retailers while supplies lasts.

“Our custom tailgating kit is exactly what every fan needs on game day,” said Rifino Valentine, president and founder of Valentine Distilling Co. “Our high-quality ingredients will keep the fan’s spirits up while they cheer on their favorite team.”

Masters of their crafts, Valentine and McClure’s have had a lifelong business relationship. Last fall, these two companies teamed up to stand out on retail shelves.

“Competing for retail shelf space amongst national brands claiming craft status is a challenge,” said Valentine. “We decided to create the Bloody Mary Mix Kit to showcase Detroit craft, quality products in a unique way.”

Working together for years as friends, and now partners as they continue to collaborate on this product, the two companies have extraordinary synergy and strong dedication to Detroit, and aim to share their spirit with football fans this tailgating season.

“Fans loved it last season, and we except them to go crazy for the kit again this season,” commented Valentine. “Looks like a touchdown to me!”

Information regarding locations and distributors can be found on Valentine Distilling Co.’s website.

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About Valentine Distilling Co. 

Established in 2007, Valentine Distilling Co. is an American pioneer of small batch spirits. Valentine Vodka has been named “World’s Best” by The World Vodka Awards in London back-to-back in 2016 and 2017. Also in 2017, Valentine Distilling Co.’s 10-year Mayor Pingree Blue and Black label bourbons received the most prestigious medal awarded, the Double Gold, at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. In the tradition of Detroit’s manufacturing leadership, Valentine Distilling Co. is dedicated to American ingenuity, quality manufacturing, and small batch distilling using old-world techniques that create superior products. The company’s award-winning vodka, gin, and bourbon are available in seven states, Western Europe, and Ontario.

www.ValentineDistilling.com | www.facebook.com/ValentineVodka |www.twitter.com/ValentineVodka  | Media Kit

About McClure’s

A family-owned and operated company headquartered in Detroit, McClure’s ensures they get the best, freshest produce available. Every jar is hand packed by one of its talented team members. All products are all natural, gluten-free (pickles, relish, bloody mary, all-natural chips, brine), and kosher certified (Michigan Kosher Supervisors, OU). Distributing to more than 4,000 national and independent retailers throughout the U.S., U.K., Australia, and New Zealand, McClure’s currently produces high-quality, all-natural pickles, specialty drink mixers, and premium salty snacks.

www.mcclures.com | www.facebook.com/mcclurespickles |www.twitter.com/mcclurespickles

 

Meet the 7-Year Old CEO-In-Training who Helps Run His Mom’s Multi-Million Dollar Hair Care Empire

Detroit, MI - Gwen Jimmere, CEO, is not the only one driving the success of Naturalicious, one of the nation’s fastest growing hair care, beauty, and lifestyle companies. Caiden, her 7-year old son, has been involved in the company since it was founded in 2013, as the CCC, Chief Candy Curator.

Jimmere started Naturalicious after finding herself on the brink of becoming an unemployed single mom. After an unexpected layoff from her full-time job and a sudden divorce, Jimmere decided to start selling her handmade, hair care products to generate an income for herself and her son. Caiden, then age 2, was there by her side each day as she built Naturalicious, now headquartered in Detroit.

One might ask: what is the Chief Candy Curator’s role in this beauty empire, exactly? The answer is quite simple. Caiden is responsible for offering each customer an exciting experience. He handpicks a piece of candy to add inside every single online order that Naturalicious ships. It’s a sweet surprise and customers literally eat it up!

What’s more, adding a little something special to each order was the brainchild of this little entrepreneur-in-the-making when he was just 3 years old. Caiden explains, “My mommy was always working really hard, and I wanted to help her. She asked me what kind of job I wanted to have. I thought that everybody should get candy, because candy is a nice surprise, and it makes people smile. I started picking out candy for our customers and adding it to every order. They really love it!”

Serious about keeping his customers happy, Caiden has expanded his sweet treat shopping experience through live streaming on the Naturalicious Facebook page to crowdsource customer input for monthly batches of delectable surprises. Customers can even message him with their requests, and they wait with anticipation to see if Caiden has selected their sweet tooth-craving treat.

Caiden’s involvement as the Chief Candy Curator plays a huge role in creating one of the best parts of Naturalicious’ customer experience. He never fails to put a huge smile on each customer’s face, and he takes pride in doing so.

While his mom specializes in creating beauty solutions for busy women with products found in more than 2,500 stores worldwide, including Sally Beauty and Whole Foods; Caiden has a job that is truly the envy of every kid practically everywhere. Smart, busy women can’t get enough of Naturalicious’ products that include incredible time-saving value; and along with a handpicked treat to satisfy their sweet craving, this mother/son duo truly has concocted a recipe for success.

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About Naturalicious

Naturalicious is one of the nation’s fastest growing natural hair care companies. Since 2013, Naturalicious has been providing a one-of-a-kind hair care experience that does the work of 12 products in only 3 simple steps, taking users from wash to style in a fraction of the time. Gwen Jimmere, CEO, is the first African American woman to hold a patent for a natural hair care product. Gwen Jimmere has been featured in numerous media outlets including The Washington Post, Entrepreneur, Black Enterprise, Essence, Fast Company, Buzzfeed, and more. Naturalicious is a proud partner of Services to Enhance Potential (STEP), a Detroit-based nonprofit, offering opportunities for men and women with special needs to join the Naturalicious team. Purchasing a Naturalicious product means you are supporting a brand that is dedicated to helping not only your hair, but also our communities, thrive.

https://naturalicious.net | https://www.facebook.com/naturalicious/ https://twitter.com/naturalicious  | https://www.instagram.com/naturalicious

GG’s Foundation Impacts Animal Advocacy with Human“e” Education Program Offerings Sharing Experiences with Children and Adults to Improve the Lives of Animals

Northville, MI – Be Educated, Be Human“e”.  Animals have feelings too.  Cheryl Phillips, the author of GG’s Journey: From Lost to Loved and founder of GG ~ Gorgeous Gal and GG’s Foundation, is dedicated to providing Human”e” Education for all ages to prevent abuse, neglect, and violence of animals. 

Phillips strives to positively impact the Metro Detroit communities by conducting GG's Human“e” Education Workshops.

GG’s Foundation has held Human“e” Education Workshops through collaboration with the Detroit Impact Center as well as Friendship Circle. It is critical for children and adults alike to understand that we must treat all living creatures with respect, responsibility, and compassion. The goal is to educate, inspire, and create awareness of the abuse, neglect, and violence that animals endure, and what we can do to prevent it. GG’s next Human“e” Education Workshop is at the Detroit Impact Center on July 21.  

When asked what she learned during Phillips’ Human“e” Education Workshop, Anaiya, age 9, stated, “I learned about how dogs are spayed and neutered, and how you train them.”

Since 2012, Phillips has completed TNR (Trap, Neuter, and Return) for more than 225 “community felines” through rain, heat, sleet, and snow.  “We have to stop over-population,” says Phillips, who blames the problem on irresponsible pet owners who fail to have their pets spayed/neutered and abandonment, and shelters and rescues that release cats and dogs for adoption before they are spayed and neutered. “I try to do whatever I can; it starts with education. “

“She’s the lady you wouldn’t expect to be a typical cat lady. But she goes out of her way running around saving cats and dogs. Cheryl to the rescue,” said Bill Koresky from Hamtramck, who contacted Phillips about his kittens after calling multiple organizations without receiving help.

In 2017, GG’s Foundation

1.     Responded to 29 calls for assistance and made 49 trips.

2.     Provided spay/neuter for 68 animals. 

3.     Traveled more than 2,500 miles and volunteered more than 130 hours.

4.     Funded spay/neuter and medical care for 16 community felines in Grand Rapids.

“Cheryl is very helpful in rescuing strays. She is so generous with her time and energy, and she is truly a steward of God’s creation,” said Canton resident Mary Ann.

“If we can instill compassion in our youth, we will be a kinder, gentler nation,” said Phillips.

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About GG ~ Gorgeous Gal

Gorgeous Gal, GG, an abandoned Pitbull mix, strives to create a better future for animals everywhere. Founder Cheryl Phillips is an award-winning philanthropic leader giving animals a voice.  

www.ggsjourney.com | Media Kit | info@ggsjourney.com | Cheryl’s Bio

 

About GG’s Foundation

GG’s Foundation mission is to prevent animal homelessness, euthanasia of healthy and treatable pets, exploitation, inhumane treatment, and animal cruelty.

www.ggsjourney.com | Media Kit | info@ggsjourney.com

Detroit-based Naturalicious Expands Hello Gorgeous Hair Care System to Sally Beauty Retail Stores Nationwide

Detroit, MINaturalicious, one of the nation’s fastest growing hair care, beauty, and lifestyle companies, announces immediate availability of its Hello Gorgeous Hair Care System in almost 100 Sally Beauty locations.

Naturalicious is quickly becoming widespread through different states to keep up with demands. Gwen Jimmere, CEO of Naturalicious, introduced the Hello Gorgeous Hair Care System to provide time-saving beauty solutions for busy women. “When I created this product, it miraculously transformed my wash and style time down from practically all day to less than 30 minutes. This is a huge issue for many women with naturally curly hair and until we came along, they’ve accepted spending hours on their hair as the status quo. We’ve disrupted that and changed the game, without sacrificing healthy ingredients or amazing results” explains Jimmere.

Naturalicious started in Gwen’s kitchen in Detroit and quickly developed by combining 12 products into 3 simple steps. Naturalicious is the only sulfate, paraben, mineral oil, petroleum, gluten, and cruelty-free line of products that is also providing significant time savings to its users on the market.

“These products have truly made a huge difference in my life,” said Kristina B. “My time is so precious as a single mom & my daughter had a head FULL of beautiful hair that I just didn’t have time to manage before I found out about Naturalicious. Huge time save + great results!”

Naturalicious offers a wide range of products to satisfy both tight and loose curls along with managing frizz while maintaining great hair hydration – all vital parts of the company’s unique trifecta of achieving fantastic style results, with natural ingredients in a fraction of the time as other brands.

For a limited time, Naturalicious is giving customers the opportunity to earn a free 4oz bottle of their bestselling Heavenly Hydration Grapeseed Hair Mist with purchase. The Naturalicious rebate will be valid on purchases starting July 15 through August 15. To participate in this promotion, purchase each of the three-step products at any Sally Beauty store where Naturalicious is sold or online at sallybeauty.com. Then send an image of your receipt via the online rebate form, and Naturalicious will mail you a free bottle of their Heavenly Hydration Grapeseed Hair Mist, at no cost, within 30 days of promotion end date.

Sally Beauty retail store state locations include Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Jersey, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. Visit naturalicious.net/storelocator to find the store nearest to you.

Be totally satisfied with your purchase knowing that Naturalicious has a 60-day, 100% money back guarantee.

 

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About Naturalicious

Naturalicious is one of the nation’s fastest growing natural hair care companies. Since 2013, Naturalicious has been providing a one-of-a-kind hair care experience that does the work of 12 products in only 3 simple steps, taking users from wash to style in a fraction of the time. Gwen Jimmere, CEO, is the first African American woman to hold a patent for a natural hair care product. Gwen Jimmere has been featured in numerous media outlets including The Washington Post, Entrepreneur, Black Enterprise, Essence, Fast Company, Buzzfeed, and more. Naturalicious is a proud partner of Services to Enhance Potential (STEP), a Detroit-based nonprofit, offering opportunities for men and women with special needs to join the Naturalicious team. Purchasing a Naturalicious product means you are supporting a brand that is dedicated to hair beauty while helping our community thrive.

 

https://naturalicious.net | https://www.facebook.com/naturalicious/

https://twitter.com/naturalicious  | https://www.instagram.com/naturalicious

 

 



 

Mettle Ops Receives Certification as a Participant in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Business Development Program

Mettle Ops Receives Business Development Support from the U.S. Small Business Administration

Sterling Heights, MIMettle Ops has been certified as a Participant in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Business Development Program. This program allows the government to contract with socially and economically, disadvantaged small businesses and provides assistance in increasing economic activity.

The Small Business Administration strives to help small businesses develop and advance by providing a large network of field offices and partnerships. The Small Business Administration fosters the interests and concerns of small businesses.

As an 8(a) Business Development Program Participant, Mettle Ops can take advantage of specialized business training, counseling, marketing assistance and high-level executive development provided by the SBA. Mettle Ops can receive sole-source contracts (up to a ceiling of $4 million for goods and services and $6.5 million for manufacturing).

The 8(a) Business Development Program chooses small businesses that are at least 51 percent owned by U.S. citizens who are economically and socially challenged, have a good character foundation and show promise for success.  The full list of qualifications can be found on the 8(a) Business Development Program page of the SBA website.

“We’re grateful for this opportunity and have a clear vision for our business plan. We plan on taking full advantage of this program and using all of the resources offered,” states Katie Bigelow, President of Mettle Ops.

As a certified participant, Mettle Ops receives strategy growth and business development assistance from a Business Opportunity Specialist who helps guide federal contracting, provide technical assistance, business coaching, counseling, marketing support, and executive development. The federal government attempts to award at least five percent of all federal contracting dollars to help small, disadvantaged businesses advance each year.

“We’re excited about the future of Mettle Ops and plan on growing our business to its greatest potential with the help of the U.S. Small Business Administration,” Bigelow said.

The program began on May 14, and Mettle Ops will participate in the program for the next nine years.

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About Mettle Ops

Mettle Ops is a certified Service-Disabled, Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) and Economically-Disadvantaged, Woman-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB).  Headquartered in Sterling Heights, Michigan and founded in 2013, Mettle Ops specializes in extensive research, development, reverse engineering, ground vehicle design, test and evaluation experience, system integration capabilities, and facilitates manufacturing and fabrication.

Throughout the past several years, Mettle Ops has established itself in Army acquisitions and federal government contracting including building relationships with TARDEC and TACOM, teaming with employees, contractors, and subcontractors of established government and automotive manufacturing engineering companies to assist customers and provide top quality, ethical workmanship. Mettle Ops’ team includes war veterans with 35 years combined experience in Army service. Inspired by courage and tenacity and so-named Mettle Ops.

Warfighters Serving Warfighters | mettleops.com

 

 

Valentine Distilling Co. Releases New, Upscale Valentine Vodka Bottle to Share in the Quality of its World-class Status

Valentine Vodka Has a New Look. Don’t Miss this Fabulous Bottle on a Shelf Near You!

Ferndale, Mich. – Well Detroit, the best just got better. Valentine Distilling Co. will release a new-and-improved bottle that reflects the elite sophistication of its award-winning vodka late this spring.

After researching, via several focus groups, Valentine Distilling found that consumers look for a  bottle that embodies a high-quality drinking experience. The consistent theme that Valentine heard was the quality of the product far exceeded the branded look that sat on retail shelves. Valentine determined it was time to have all elements of the branded vodka appeal to the quality that is known as Valentine.

The new design features vertical ridges around the bottle, which adds a touch of class to the look and feel consistent with the world-class taste of what’s inside. The re-designed label is a classic white with light, wavy horizontal lines in the background. The simple, yet elegant text gives consumers a first glance at what kind of quality they are purchasing.

The decision to tone the bottle to a more classic look allows the eye to be drawn to this stand-out design on the grocery or liquor store shelf.  

“We are the top vodka product in the industry. Those who know us, know our products rate among the best in the world, so we made the choice to look the part, too,” said owner Rifino Valentine.

Valentine Distilling’s product distribution is growing at a significant rate year over year. As the brand gains more national distribution, Valentine knew it was imperative to meet consumers’ expectations.

As the bottle hits retail shelves, consumers will notice Valentine’s brand icon, Belle, still included in the redesign. Belle passionately represents a staple of the Valentine brand, as she pays homage to an era of American history, the 1920s through the 1940s, during a time when Detroit was known as the Paris of the Midwest. Belle’s look reflects the work of the Peruvian artist, Alberto Vargas, and her image will draw consumers in and show that Valentine’s traditional roots are still very much present.   

For those who wish to collect the original design of the bottle before it’s gone, act fast, as the brand new-and-improved bottle hits shelves soon.

Valentine Vodka’s new look can be defined as:

●      A simple label with the right balance of information and style

●      Elegant ridges to offer a sleek, high-class feel

The tagline on the bottle speaks for the new design itself: quality above all else.

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About Valentine Distilling Co. 

Established in 2007, Valentine Distilling Co. is an American pioneer of small batch spirits. When Valentine first started production, there were approximately 15 to 20 micro-distilleries in the U.S. Today, there are more than 2,000 known micro-distilleries in the country. Valentine Vodka has been named “World’s Best” by The World Vodka Awards in London back-to-back in 2016 and 2017. Also in 2017, Valentine Distilling Co.’s 10-year Mayor Pingree Blue and Black label bourbons received the most prestigious medal awarded, the Double Gold, at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. The company’s award-winning vodka, gin, and bourbon are available in seven states, Western Europe and Ontario. In the tradition of Detroit’s manufacturing leadership, Ferndale, Michigan-based Valentine Distilling Co. is dedicated to American ingenuity, quality manufacturing, and small batch distilling using old-world techniques that create superior products.

Valentine Distilling Co. | 965 Wanda Street, Ferndale, Michigan 48220

Valentine Distilling Co. Cocktail Lounge | 161 Vester Street, Ferndale, Michigan 48220

Local to Global. It’s Better.

 www.ValentineDistilling.com | www.facebook.com/ValentineVodka  |www.twitter.com/ValentineVodka  | Media Kit

 

 

Valentine Distilling Co. Awarded Double Gold Medal for Liberator Old Tom Gin

Valentine Distilling Co. Awarded Double Gold Medal for Liberator Old Tom Gin

The Fifty Best Announces “Best Gin” Competition Winners

Ferndale, MI – Valentine Distilling Co.’s Liberator Old Tom Gin wins Double-Gold medal this month at the world’s largest gin tasting competition. The Fifty Best recently hosted a gin tasting competition in New York to evaluate and award candidates on the “Best Gin” of 2018.

Judges blind-tasted and rated each of the 68 competing gins individually, based on a five-point system. Double-Gold, Gold, and Silver medals were awarded based on the judge’s impression. The Double-Gold medal is awarded to the best of the entries.

Barrel-aged for two years, Liberator Old Tom Gin is a respectable gin featuring flavors of juniper berries and pine with a touch of vanilla, citrus, cardamom, and cinnamon.

“We know the difference between good and great, and that is what creates a difference in our product. By crafting a mix of high-quality ingredients and exceptional flavors, we stand out from the rest,” said Rifino Valentine, Founder and President of Valentine Distilling Co.

Only a handful of distilleries in the world produce a barrel-aged gin like Valentine’s Liberator Old Tom Gin, which is Valentine’s Liberator Gin aged in American Oak barrels for two years.

Liberator Old Tom Gin has earned the title of ‘Best Cask Gin in the World’ from the World Gin Awards. It also has received a Gold Medal from the International Craft Spirit Awards.

A complete list of The Fifty Best winners can be found here.

About Valentine Distilling Co. 

Established in 2007, Valentine Distilling Co. is an American pioneer of small batch spirits. When Valentine first started production, there were approximately 15 to 20 micro-distilleries in the U.S. Today, there are more than 2,000 known micro-distilleries in the country. Valentine Vodka has been named “World’s Best” by The World Vodka Awards in London back-to-back in 2016 and 2017. Also in 2017, Valentine Distilling Co.’s 10-year Mayor Pingree Blue and Black label bourbons received the most prestigious medal awarded, the Double Gold, at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. The company’s award-winning vodka, gin, and bourbon are available in seven states, Western Europe and Ontario. In the tradition of Detroit’s manufacturing leadership, Ferndale, Michigan-based Valentine Distilling Co. is dedicated to American ingenuity, quality manufacturing, and small batch distilling using old-world techniques that create superior products.

 

Valentine Distilling Co. | 965 Wanda Street, Ferndale, Michigan 48220

Valentine Distilling Co. Cocktail Lounge | 161 Vester Street, Ferndale, Michigan 48220

Local to Global. It’s Better.

 www.ValentineDistilling.com | www.facebook.com/ValentineVodka  |www.twitter.com/ValentineVodka  | Media Kit

 

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EY Announces Rifino Valentine of Valentine Distilling Co.  as Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2018 Award Finalist in Michigan and Northwest Ohio Region

Ferndale, Mich. – EY recently announced that Rifino Valentine, Founder of Valentine Distilling Co. is a finalist for the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2018 Award in the Michigan and Northwest Ohio Region. The awards program recognizes entrepreneurs who are excelling in areas such as innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. Valentine was selected as a finalist by a panel of independent judges. Award winners will be announced at a special gala event on June 27 at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA).

“I am honored to be recognized as a finalist for the Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Our spirits are known for their numerous accolades internationally, and to be recognized as an outstanding entrepreneur and business owner is humbling,” said Rifino Valentine, Founder of Valentine Distilling Co. “Thank you EY for creating this opportunity and recognition.”

Rifino Valentine is an American entrepreneur who has a vision for the big picture and presses above the competition of the highly competitive imported spirits catalogue across the world. Rifino Valentine has a philosophy about manufacturing in this country and specifically in Detroit – a city well-established as the epicenter of quality manufacturing for more than a century. Valentine shows America what true excellence in manufacturing can be when distilled spirits production meets the most vaunted manufacturing capital in U.S. history.

Valentine has always appreciated the American craftsman; working by hand, making one-of-a-kind products that stand the test of time. In distillation, this means selecting the best ingredients, distilling in small batches, and taking care in every single step of the process. This leans heavily on employing old-world techniques that haven’t changed in centuries, but improving on them through an intimate understanding of the science involved in the complex and dynamic processes.

Valentine focuses on two main goals in his business: to prove the best products are still made in this country – and in Detroit –  and that the end-goal of business does not have to be solely about profit. “You can have both – quality and profit,” Valentine remarks.

“I am taking a stand against mass produced spirits. I am here to prove that American ingenuity and quality American manufacturing is still alive,” says Valentine.

Now in its 32nd year, the program has expanded to recognize business leaders in more than 145 cities and more than 60 countries throughout the world.

Regional award winners are eligible for consideration for the Entrepreneur Of The Year National competition. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner, will be announced at the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards gala in Palm Springs, California, on November 17, 2018. The awards are the culminating event of the Strategic Growth Forum®, the nation’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies.

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About Valentine Distilling Co. 
Established in 2007, Valentine Distilling Co. is an American pioneer of small batch spirits. When Valentine first started production, there were approximately 15 to 20 micro-distilleries in the U.S. Today, there are more than 2,000 known micro-distilleries in the country. Valentine Vodka has been named “World’s Best” by The World Vodka Awards in London back-to-back in 2016 and 2017. Also in 2017, Valentine Distilling Co.’s 10-year Mayor Pingree Blue and Black label bourbons received the most prestigious medal awarded, the Double Gold, at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. The company’s award-winning vodka, gin, and bourbon are available in seven states, Western Europe and Ontario. In the tradition of Detroit’s manufacturing leadership, Ferndale, Michigan-based Valentine Distilling Co. is dedicated to American ingenuity, quality manufacturing, and small batch distilling using old-world techniques that create superior products.
Valentine Distilling Co. | 965 Wanda Street, Ferndale, Michigan 48220
Valentine Distilling Co. Cocktail Lounge | 161 Vester Street, Ferndale, Michigan 48220
Local to Global. It’s Better.

About Entrepreneur Of The Year®
Entrepreneur Of The Year®, founded by EY, is the world’s most prestigious business awards program for entrepreneurs, chosen from an independent panel of judges including entrepreneurs and prominent leaders from business, finance, and the local community. The program makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global awards program of its kind, Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 145 cities and more than 60 countries. Founded and produced by EY, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are nationally sponsored in the US by SAP America, the Kauffman Foundation, and Merrill Corporation. In Michigan and Northwest Ohio Region, sponsors also include Citizens Bank, Colliers International, Foley & Lardner, Oswald Companies and Tanner Friedman.
ey.com/eoy

Author of GG’s Journey: From Lost to Loved, Cheryl Lyn Phillips, Hosts Exclusive Book Signing at Barnes & Noble Ann Arbor May 12

Northville, MI – And both of their lives changed forever. Second chances and compassion are what GG’s Journey is all about. Found lying under a tree in Detroit, Gorgeous Gal, a terrier mix, also known as GG, was struggling to survive when Cheryl Phillips came along. GG deserved a second chance, and that is what Phillips gave her.

Get to know Phillips and learn all about GG’s Journey at her book signing and exclusive meet and greet event on Saturday, May 12, from 1 to 3 p.m., at Ann Arbor’s Barnes & Noble. Books will be available for purchase, and Cheryl will be signing books for those in attendance.

“If you ever wondered what the animals you take care of are thinking, GG tells you in her own words. Every shelter director or staff member should be compelled to read this book. Her journey could be the same as any animal that comes into your shelter,” said Ken Kempkens, President of the Humane Society of Macomb.

Through GG’s eyes, Phillips writes the story of GG’s long and tumultuous journey.  From her rescue to encountering a near-death experience in a shelter to her recovery, Phillips was determined to find GG the loving home of her dreams.

“The book GG's Journey is a classic. It was written with LOVE from the heart, and when you are reading it, you feel like you are taking the journey with GG. I can tell you there is no word complimentary enough to describe it,” said reader Virginia C "G". 

About GG’s Journey
GG’s Journey gives a voice to animals who cannot speak for themselves. Being compassionate to animals and providing humane education in our communities can help us become a kinder, gentler nation. Fifteen percent of net proceeds benefit GG’s Foundation to support animal welfare organizations to prevent animal homelessness, euthanasia of healthy and treatable pets, exploitation, inhumane treatment, and provide low-cost spay/neuter.
www.ggsjourney.com | Media Kit  | info@ggsjourney.com | Cheryl’s Bio

About the Author
Cheryl Phillips has held the positions of Vice President, Masco Corporation Foundation and Director Global Purchasing for Masco Corporation, a Fortune 250 Corporation with annual sales of more than $8 billion. She received a Bachelor of Science Degree in business from Madonna University and MBA from Eastern Michigan University.

Detroit Fashion + Tech Hackathon Co-Hosts Whim-Detroit and Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) Announce Winners

First-ever Michigan Fashion + Tech Hackathon aims to attract investments and create jobs

Detroit, MI -- Detroit is all about making tomorrow better than today. April 20-22 were great days for Detroit, thanks to regional fashion and technology students and professionals who competed in the first annual Detroit Fashion + Tech Hackathon to solve real problems facing established brands in the industry. The event occurred from 5 p.m. Friday, April 20 until 3 p.m. Sunday, April 22 at Lawrence Tech University Center for Design + Technology, 4219 Woodward Avenue, Detroit.

The Hackathon brought participants from Lansing, Ann Arbor, and Detroit together for the weekend challenge with a thoughtful balance of students, freelancers, and experienced industry professionals all competing for cash and other prizes.  Cash prizes of $800, $600 and $400 were awarded to the top three winners. Hack-a-bon took first place and ExemplAR took second place after the pitches. 

The format for the Hackathon consisted of teams including two to five participants each. The teams collaborated to find solutions to real market-based challenges in the retail and fashion industries. Part of the collaboration required developing web-based solutions.

The Detroit Fashion + Tech Hackathon was judged on the quality of participants’ responses to how their proposed solution presented an innovative approach in addressing the customers’ needs in a target market. Further, judges considered originality, scalability, creativity, and practical implementation of the solution.

“I want to thank everyone who was involved with this event. It was an inspiration to see a vision come to life and to see how excited participants and supporters were to bring this type of event to the region,” said Lori McColl, Founder of Whim-Detroit. “This event presented real challenges for brands, who are looking to scale and grow their businesses, so teams were able to connect to the problem statements.”

Topics discussed throughout the weekend ranged from the local fashion ecosystem to the global luxury and innovation trends and challenges.

The Detroit Fashion + Tech Hackathon was co-hosted by Pure Michigan Business Connect (PMBC), an initiative of the MEDC, and Whim, a Detroit-based tech company specializing in the apparel, athletic, and retail industries.

“This region has an incredible range of innovators in industry, the arts, music and fashion, and our goal is to elevate the profile of the fashion industry,” said Ryan Michael, director of PMBC. “As with our other programs, the long-term goal is to build a sustainable ecosystem to attract private investment and create jobs.”

The 36-hour competition brought together designers, creators, and developers, and provided networking opportunities with industry experts, and was created as a strategic event to attract investment and create jobs for Detroit.

"Detroit has been home to makers for many generations. With the goal of diversifying trades and manufacturing, we have an opportunity to diversify technology and innovation to bring creatives together in a new and sustainable way,” states McColl.

The event was made possible with support of numerous sponsors. Platinum and technical sponsors included: Bedrock, who supported participants Bonobos and Ash & Erie, and Google. Swag sponsors included: WeWork, Detroit Gourmet Nut Company, and The Renewal Workshop. Community partners included: William + Bonnie, Northof41.org, Alchemy Detroit, Vajze, Detroit Denim Co., and Embrace Creatives.

To get involved in the 2nd annual next Detroit Fashion + Tech Hackathon as a sponsor, mentor, or participant, stop by detroitfashionhackathon.com.

About Detroit Fashion + Tech Hackathon
The 36-hour Detroit Fashion + Tech Hackathon brings together creatives, makers, and tech to create solutions to the problems facing the fashion and retail industries. The goal of the event is to support the overall foundation of innovation in Detroit.
detroitfashionhackathon.com | Twitter | FacebookInstagram

About Whim-Detroit
Whim-Detroit was founded with the mission to promote diversity in tech and innovation.  Inclusive of a team doing game-changing work, Whim-Detroit pushes the limits of innovation, taking risks, and working with passion.  Together, the Whim-Detroit team has more than 20 years of global experience in creative design, digital strategy, enterprise implementations, business transformations, and data analytics. 
www.whim-detroit.com | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedInInstagram

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, and Twitter.

Author of GG’s Journey: From Lost to Loved Hosts Book Signings & Meet and Greet

Michigan Author Cheryl Lyn Phillips to Appear at Leon & Lulu and Barnes & Noble Ann Arbor this Spring

 Northville, MI – And both of their lives changed forever. Second chances and compassion are what GG’s Journey is all about. Found lying under a tree in Detroit, Gorgeous Gal, a terrier mix, also known as GG, was struggling to survive when Cheryl Phillips came along. GG deserved a second chance, and that is what Phillips gave her.

Get to know Phillips and learn all about GG’s Journey at her book signing and exclusive meet and greet events this spring. Visit Phillips at Leon & Lulu’s Books and Authors event on Sunday, April 29, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.  And on Saturday, May 12, from 1 to 3 p.m., at Ann Arbor’s Barnes & Noble, Cheryl Phillips will be hosting an exclusive meet and greet and will also have books available for purchase and sign books for those in attendance.

“If you ever wondered what the animals you take care of are thinking, GG tells you in her own words. Every shelter director or staff member should be compelled to read this book. Her journey could be the same as any animal that comes into your shelter,” said Ken Kempkens, President of the Humane Society of Macomb.

Through GG’s eyes, Phillips writes the story of GG’s long and tumultuous journey.  From her rescue to encountering a near-death experience in a shelter to her recovery, Phillips was determined to find GG the loving home of her dreams.

“The book GG's Journey is a classic. It was written with LOVE from the heart, and when you are reading it, you feel like you are taking the journey with GG. I can tell you there is no word complimentary enough to describe it,” said reader Virginia C "G". 

About GG’s Journey
GG’s Journey gives a voice to animals who cannot speak for themselves. Being compassionate to animals and providing humane education in our communities can help us become a kinder, gentler nation. Fifteen percent of net proceeds benefit GG’s Foundation to support animal welfare organizations to prevent animal homelessness, euthanasia of healthy and treatable pets, exploitation, inhumane treatment, and provide low-cost spay/neuter. www.ggsjourney.com | Media Kit  | info@ggsjourney.com | Cheryl’s Bio

About the Author
Cheryl Phillips has held the positions of Vice President, Masco Corporation Foundation and Director Global Purchasing for Masco Corporation, a Fortune 250 Corporation with annual sales of more than $8 billion. She received a Bachelor of Science Degree in business from Madonna University and MBA from Eastern Michigan University.

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Valentine Distilling Co. Cleans Up at Largest National Craft Spirit Competition

American Distilling Institute announces award winners

Ferndale, MI - Valentine Distilling Co., one of the nation’s first craft distilleries, is no stranger to national recognition. The American Distilling Institute’s 2018 Judging of Craft Spirits awarded Valentine Distilling 10 total medals including three Best of Category Winners on March 27 in Portland, Oregon.

“It feels good to know we were up against some of the top distilleries in the world, and even some of our neighbors here in Michigan,” said Rifino Valentine, owner of Valentine Distilling. “These awards are important to us, because I started this company to not only compete on a national level, but with the best brands in the world.  I’ve always said, we’re not a local distillery, we’re a world-recognized distillery that happens to be located where you live.”

The American Distilling Institute’s (ADI) Judging of Craft Spirits is known as the largest and most respected competition devoted to craft spirits. While other Michigan distilleries were competing in the event, Valentine Distilling Co. received the highest quality awards.

“We’re beating out spirits from a few cities away to several countries away,” said Valentine.

Valentine Distilling’s complete list of awards from the ADI includes:

  • Best of Category – Aged Gin – Certified Craft Distilled Spirit – Liberator Old Tom Gin
  • Best of Category – Bourbon - Certified Craft Blended Spirit - Mayor Pingree Black Label Bourbon
  • Best of Category – Bourbon - Merchant Bottled - Mayor Pingree Blue Label Single Barrel Straight Bourbon
  • Best of Class – Gin - Certified Craft Distilled Spirit – Liberator Old Tom Gin
  • Gold Medal – Aged Gin – Certified Craft Distilled Spirit – Liberator Old Tom Gin
  • Gold Medal – Bourbon - Certified Craft Blended Spirit - Mayor Pingree Black Label
  • Gold Medal – Bourbon – Merchant Bottled Mayor Pingree Blue Label Single Barrel Straight Bourbon
  • Silver Medal – Rye Whiskey - Certified Craft Blended Spirit - Mayor Pingree Orange Label
  • Bronze Medal – Classic Grain-to-Glass Gin - Certified Craft Distilled Spirit: Liberator Gin
  • Bronze Medal – Flavored Vodka - Certified Craft Distilled Spirit - White Blossom Vodka

The judging process consists of each judge assigned to specific classes of spirit that play to the expertise of the specific judges at the table. The judges are picked to provide a mix of experience between various areas within the spirits industry — distillers, wholesalers, importers, retailers, bartenders, educators, and journalists/writers, according to the ADI website.

By receiving these awards, the spirits listed above are ADI Certified as Craft Blended Spirits and Certified Craft Distilled based on the notoriety.

Valentine products began in a local Michigan community, but has always had the vision to be a globally-recognized brand maintaining quality above all else. Consistently recognized for excellence in national and international competitions, Valentine Distilling Co. continues to produce some of the finest vodka, gin, and whiskeys in the world.

For the full list of award recipients, visit the ADI website.

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About Valentine Distilling Co. 
Established in 2007, Valentine Distilling Co. is an American pioneer of small batch spirits. When Valentine first started production, there were approximately 15 to 20 micro-distilleries in the U.S. Today, there are more than 2,000 known micro-distilleries in the country. Valentine Vodka has been named “World’s Best” by The World Vodka Awards in London back-to-back in 2016 and 2017. Also in 2017, Valentine Distilling Co.’s 10-year Mayor Pingree Blue and Black label bourbons received the most prestigious medal awarded, the Double Gold, at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. The company’s award-winning vodka, gin, and bourbon are available in seven states, Western Europe and Ontario. In the tradition of Detroit’s manufacturing leadership, Ferndale, Michigan-based Valentine Distilling Co. is dedicated to American ingenuity, quality manufacturing, and small batch distilling using old-world techniques that create superior products.

Valentine Distilling Co. | 965 Wanda Street, Ferndale, Michigan 48220
Valentine Distilling Co. Cocktail Lounge | 161 Vester Street, Ferndale, Michigan 48220
Local to Global. It’s Better.

 

Mettle Ops Receives $4.26 Million in Additional Funding forDepartment of Defense Contract for Solider Safety and Survivability

Mettle Ops and TARDEC continue partnership on U.S. Ground Troop Efforts
 
Sterling Heights, MI – A recent adjustment to a contract between Mettle Ops and U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) features a funding ceiling hike of $4.26 million. This previous contract of $9.1 million, which was created as a Research and Development project, has the aim of putting soldiers’ survival as number one priority. Mettle Ops’ signed contract, known as the DoD (Department of Defense) Ordnance Technology Consortium (DOTC) Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) Contract, now totals more than $13 million.
 
The hike is due to increased budgetary funding allowing TARDEC to aggressively pursue survivability solutions for increased soldier safety. With this additional funding line, Mettle Ops will continue supporting their government customer and be able to make an even larger impact for America’s ground soldiers. 
 
"We are excited to receive this increase, as this shows that the DoD is taking this topic seriously and allowing TARDEC to pursue survivability solutions for increased soldier safety which is our passion," states Katie Bigelow, President of Mettle Ops.
 
Both Mettle Ops and TARDEC have unique specializations, and this collaboration makes for a well-rounded service provider.
 
Mettle Ops is responsible for the program management, design, modeling and simulations, analysis, and documentation aspect of the process for the agreement.
 
The deal will continue to provide both virtual and physical prototypes for tracked and wheeled ground vehicles, specifically Abrams Main Battle Tank, Bradley Fighting Vehicle, Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle, Combat Vehicle Prototype, and Next Generation Combat Vehicle.
 
TARDEC is continuously seeking the latest technologies to affordably and effectively enhance vehicle and crew survivability for existing and future ground vehicle systems. This collaboration with Mettle Ops will assist TARDEC in achieving its goals.
 
“Our chief goal is to serve the warfighter.  Survivability effort deals like this provide soldiers with equipment that protects them better in wartime environments,” Bigelow said.
 
Both organizations are committed to providing consumers with high-quality, efficient products with safety as the number one priority.
 
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About Mettle Ops
Mettle Ops is a certified Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) and Economically Disadvantaged Woman Owned Small Business (EDWOSB).  Headquartered in Sterling Heights, Michigan and founded in 2013 Mettle Ops specializes in extensive research, development, reverse engineering, ground vehicle design, test and evaluation experience, system integration capabilities, and facilitates manufacturing and fabrication.
 
Throughout the past several years, Mettle Ops has established itself in Army acquisitions and federal government contracting including building relationships with TARDEC and TACOM, teaming with employees, contractors, and subcontractors of established government and automotive manufacturing engineering companies to assist customers and provide top quality, ethical workmanship. Mettle Ops’ team includes war veterans with 35 years combined experience in Army service. Inspired by courage and tenacity and so-named Mettle Ops.
 
Warfighters Serving Warfighters | mettleops.com

Cheryl Phillips, Animal Rescue Volunteer Expert/Voice of Animals, of Gorgeous Gal (GG) Shares Ways to Protect Your Pets this Spring

Northville, MI - Spring may bring months of cleaning and flowers, but it also brings new risks to animals. This spring, GG is sharing ways to make sure your pets are safe. Family pets are subject to cleaning products and garden plants and flowers many of which can be rather toxic to an animal. It’s important to know what to look for when working cleaning products around animals and which plants to keep away from your pets.

Common plants that are capable of being poisonous to pets when ingested include azaleas (rhododendrons), baby’s breath, begonias, carnations, chrysanthemums, daffodils, gladiolas, lilies, morning glory, and tulips.

Keeping plants, if you must have them, in areas not easily accessible by your pets is key. Some common ways to do this include hanging your plants in baskets from wall brackets or growing plants in vertical or wall planters.  

And not all plants are toxic to animals. Here are a few that are common houseplants that are non-toxic to pets: African violets, air plants, ferns, orchids, and succulents - hens and chicks (echeveria elegans).

If you have younger or baby pets, especially kittens and puppies, remember that they really like to explore and chew on things including plants, and maybe a slipper or two! Keep them same from getting sick by keeping your plants away from them.

We’ve covered the plants that come to brighten the spring months when those April showers come and what to protect your furry friends from. Now, we want to make sure you are aware of those pesky cleaning products that aren’t safe for your pets. We know you are just itching to get that spring cleaning in motion!

There are many products that can be very dangerous to your beloved pets. Let’s start with the ones that have Danger or Warning symbols on them. Let’s stay away from those please. Products that pose the biggest threat include: drain cleaners, pool chemicals, lime-removal products, and concentrated toilet cleaners. Dogs and cats like to drink up water by drains after showering or sink usage, be sure to rinse and wipe your cleaning products away on these areas. And let’s not leave that toilet seat up for “Fluffy” to enjoy for a variety of reason, but especially to avoid the toilet cleaner that is lingering in there.

Some safe product brands that we recommend using include Method, Greenworks, and The Honest Co. Some household kitchen products are also great resources for cleaning such as baking soda and vinegar. Please note that we still highly recommend reading the labels on the cleaning products you purchase to determine pet safety.

If your pet or animal you see is experiencing signs of poison, contact Animal Poison Control immediately.

Although February was Spay and Neutering Awareness Month, spring continues to support the effort to control the pet population. There are around six to eight million homeless cats and dogs in the U.S. and other parts of the world, and controlling the amount of future animal births is critical to their safety.

Cheryl Phillips works year-round to make sure animals are safe and healthy. She’s constantly searching for the best, most accurate resources to educate and get people involved. Between now and May, you can look for ways to help out including:

●      Thinking twice about what you’re putting in and around your home. Remember, this is your  pet’s living space too, so be mindful of products that could hurt or be toxic to them.

●      Staying educated on spaying and neutering animals.

●      Volunteering at your local shelters.

●      If you see something that might be wrong with an animal, say or do something.

●      Adopt shelter pets.

●      Advocate for those who can’t advocate for themselves.

●      Take a stand.

Rescuing animals has always been a passion of Phillips’s, and she’s no amateur at this. She is an expert when it comes to animal rescue and care. Her passion, integrity, and compassion are exemplary and an inspiration to many. She spends hundreds of hours each year conducting a variety of rescue efforts. She has completed TNR work with more than 225 “community cats” through all types of weather conditions. Community felines are the abandoned pets that roam neighborhoods and live in outdoor colonies; many have caretakers.

Using her personal money, she helps animals who are sick, buys everything she needs for rescues, and helps to care for the animals while they wait for forever homes. Phillips hosts many Trap-Neuter-Releases during the year in an effort to help bring down feral cat populations. In 2017, Phillips responded to 29 calls for assistance and made 49 trips to rescue felines and canines. She spayed/neutered and saved 68 animals of which two were canines.  Of the 68, 38 were adopted, and 30 returned to their colony caretakers. In 2017 alone, she traveled than 2,500 miles and volunteered more than 130 hours of time.

Cheryl is the ultimate voice for animals who need to be heard. She makes sure they can talk as loud as they can and that people pay attention.

Please support springing GG’s mission forward this season by protecting your pets and taking a stand with us against animal homelessness, neglect, and abuse.

About GG (Gorgeous Gal)

GG gives a voice to animals who cannot speak for themselves. Being compassionate to animals can help us become a kinder, gentler nation. When purchasing GG’s Journey, 15 percent of net proceeds benefit GG’s Foundation to support animal welfare organizations. These programs work to help end animal homelessness, euthanasia of healthy and treatable pets, exploitation, inhumane treatment, and other types of animal cruelty.

www.gggorgeousgal.com | Media Kit | Cheryl Phillip’s Bio

Valentine Distilling Co. Invests $1 Million in Production Expansion to Meet Consumer Demand

Liquor Brand Focused on American Ingenuity and Quality Manufacturing Hosts
Ribbon Cutting & Open House on March 22 to Celebrate Announcement

Ferndale, MI – It’s time to mix up a cocktail and offer a toast to one of the country’s first micro-distilleries, Valentine Distilling Co. The 10-year milestone has been completed by Valentine and to celebrate the local distiller is investing $1 million in its production operation to fulfill customer demand.

Founded by Rifino Valentine, Valentine Distilling Co. has seen exponential growth since opening its doors more than 10 years ago. With a constant demand for the ever-growing list of award-winning spirits, an expansion of the production facility has become a necessity. The investment to make such an expansion happen: $1 million.

The expansion begins with the introduction of Sherbert. No, not the sweet treat. A new custom-made, 1,500-gallon still imported from Italian distillation company, Frilli. Named after Valentine Distilling Co.’s resident distillery dog, this still will have the capacity to produce 1,000 barrels of whiskey each year for the award-winning micro-distillery.

“We wanted to build the best still to maintain the quality of our products. Frilli has been building distillation equipment since 1912 and has a phenomenal track record and experience in triple pot distillation, and that’s just what we need to keep up with the demand of Valentine spirits,” said Rifino Valentine, founder and owner of Valentine Distilling Co.

This is the first still Frilli has ever shipped to America, and Sherbert is one of the largest stills being placed in a micro-distillery in the United States.

“We are honored to build this still for Valentine. We are excited to ship to the U.S. for the first time. The creation of this still will allow Valentine to continue to produce even more of their exceptional products,” said Frilli representative Simone Martini.

The whiskey being distilled with Sherbert will be ready to bottle in 2023. So, although the whiskey connoisseurs out there won’t be able to taste this whiskey today, the wait is sure to be worth it.

In 2016, Valentine Distilling Co.’s production relocated and expanded from the Cocktail Lounge location in Ferndale to a 15,000-square foot warehouse down the street from the Lounge. The warehouse is lined with state-of-the-art copper stills and whiskey barrels from floor to ceiling. Since beginning this custom still build with Frilli, Valentine also made the decision to expand once again in the current warehouse facility to add an additional 5,000 square feet for a rick house to store the aging barrels once the product leaves the still.

Valentine has seen immense growth throughout the years, and the addition of this still and additional expansion is critical to keep up with high demand for its award-winning products.  

“The quality of Valentine's distillate is unparalleled. And quality is why the consumer comes back again and again. Rifino and his team understand this and have propelled themselves on the path of authenticity and quality,” comments Christophe Bakunas, Spirits Director at Cream Wine Company in Chicago. “The demand is absolutely there for Valentine, so we were ecstatic about the investment being made to focus on fulfilling demand for their products.”

A Valentine-style “ribbon cutting” ceremony and open house will reveal Sherbert and debut the expansion of the production facility on March 22 at Valentine Distilling Co. The celebration will take place from 6-9 p.m. at the Wanda Street location. Registration for a complimentary ticket and details of the event are now available on Eventbrite.

Keeping to his philosophy, Valentine explains that no matter how big they get, Valentine Distilling Co. will keep ingenuity and quality in mind, above all. It takes a dedicated entrepreneur and a continued commitment to creating excellence to be a staple in the distillery industry, and that is exactly what Valentine Distilling Co. has done.  It’s been more than 10 years since Valentine Distilling Co. debuted its first product, its award-winning vodka, and the micro-distillery looks forward to the next 10 years. 

About Valentine Distilling Co. 
Established in 2007, Valentine Distilling Co. is an American pioneer of small batch spirits. When Valentine first started production, there were approximately 15 to 20 micro-distilleries in the U.S. Today, there are more than 2,000 known micro-distilleries in the country. Valentine Vodka has been named “World’s Best” by The World Vodka Awards in London back-to-back in 2016 and 2017. Also in 2017, Valentine Distilling Co.’s 10-year Mayor Pingree Blue and Black label bourbons received the most prestigious medal awarded, the Double Gold, at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. The company’s award-winning vodka, gin, and bourbon are available in seven states, Western Europe and Ontario. In the tradition of Detroit’s manufacturing leadership, Ferndale, Michigan-based Valentine Distilling Co. is dedicated to American ingenuity, quality manufacturing, and small batch distilling using old-world techniques that create superior products.

Valentine Distilling Co. | 965 Wanda Street, Ferndale, Michigan 48220
Valentine Distilling Co. Cocktail Lounge | 161 Vester Street, Ferndale, Michigan 48220
Local to Global. It’s Better.
www.ValentineDistilling.com | www.facebook.com/ValentineVodka 
|www.twitter.com/ValentineVodka  | Media Kit

 

Security Vitals Secures Contract with Haymarket Media, Publisher of SC Magazine

Security Vitals will be collaborating with Merit Network, Inc.’s cyber range to conduct product reviews for SC Magazine

Pontiac, MI - Security Vitals has been awarded a new contract with Haymarket Media, publisher of SC Magazine. After an extensive search and review process, Haymarket Media selected Security Vitals as the firm to conduct SC Magazine product reviews beginning in 2018. This latest venture reinforces Security Vitals’ thought leadership in the InfoSec community.

“We have a great opportunity to validate the value of information security technology, and our alignment with Merit Network provides an outstanding framework for ongoing testing,” said Rob Cote, President of Security Vitals.  

Reviews will be conducted through collaborative efforts between Security Vitals and Merit Network, Inc. Security Vitals will utilize Merit Network’s Cyber Range to conduct the monthly product reviews. By leveraging Merit Network resources, Security Vitals will have access to leading-edge technology for security product evaluations.

“The Cyber Range is always looking to partner with innovative organizations, so we're excited to partner with Security Vitals and especially proud that they came to us with the idea of helping test equipment and inform the public about technology,” said Dr. Joe Adams, VP Research and Cybersecurity at Merit Network.

The first Group Test, covering offerings that help address ransomware, will be published online as part of SC Magazine’s April coverage.

“The SC Media team and I look forward to working with Security Vitals, as well as Merit Network’s Michigan Cyber Range, to continue providing readers with critical insights into cybersecurity solutions,” said Illena Armstrong, VP, editorial, SC Media. “Since 2006, our former Technology Editor and current Editor-at-Large Peter Stephenson and I have worked tirelessly to ensure that our independent and unique Group Tests, First Looks, and Innovators of the Year profiles meet the needs of security professionals who seek guidance in their buying decisions. Through this new partnership, we expect to not just uphold our lofty standards, but surpass them as we evolve and enhance our Product Review offerings.”

Security Vitals believes that this new partnership will leverage its team’s experience to evaluate a wide variety of security product categories. Through this process, they will gain additional exposure to evolving technologies that could ultimately benefit their clientele.

“This is a great opportunity to leverage our team’s experience and background to add clarity around the evolving mix of security products,” commented Cote. “We look forward to reviewing the different product groups and providing insights that will help security professionals determine what products will best meet their specific needs.”

SC Magazine has a great reputation, and its product reviews reach a broad audience base. By being involved with this widely known organization, Security Vitals further expands its own brand and capabilities. Through the initial work on the product reviews, Security Vitals anticipates that there will be future opportunities with Haymarket Media and Merit Network as needs evolve.

In seeking a new partner, SC Media sought the advice of close industry contacts and members of their editorial advisory board, which ultimately led them to seek out RFPs from several organizations. After much consideration, Security Vitals was determined to be the best fit -- not only because of their industry knowledge, technical/product acumen, and adherence to a strictly vendor neutral stance, but also because of past work that Security Vitals’ President Rob Cote performed with us for a few previous Group Tests.

As it stands today, the new SC Media Product Reviews team is composed of a formidable group of seasoned industry experts who add experienced, robust, and knowledgeable perspectives to our existing editorial crew. SC has retained our long-time Labs Manager Judy Traub, and, of course, added Rob, who as SC’s Program Director, brings 30 years of experience in the tech industry. Michael Diehl, whose 18 year of industry experience includes work with multiple MSSPs and various private enterprises, has been named Technology Editor. Matthew Hreben is our Security Technologist, and Dan Cure will serve as Technical Writer.

The product review contract is an annual agreement. Reviews will be completed monthly, and will include anywhere from three to 15 products. Security Vitals will be expected to conduct group tests and emerging product category reviews, one-off first look stand-alone reviews, the annual Innovators Product Review special, and the Hall of Fame that is a part of the annual Product Review.

About Security Vitals
Security Vitals is a cyber security solutions firm that helps organizations identify and effectively mitigate risk.  Offering a blend of technology and consulting services, Security Vitals helps clients address the many challenges related to ongoing compliance and IT risk. securityvitals.com

About SC Media
SC Media is cybersecurity. We've lived it for more than 25 years, sharing industry expert guidance and insight, in-depth features and timely news, and independent product reviews in various content forms in partnership with and for top-level information security executives and their technical teams. scmagazine.com

About Merit Network
Merit Network is a non-profit, Member-owned organization governed by Michigan’s public universities. Founded in 1966, Merit owns and operates America’s longest-running regional research and education network. After 50 years of innovation, Merit continues to provide high-performance services to the educational communities in Michigan and beyond. merit.edu

GG’s Journey: The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Contribute to  GG’s Foundation to Spay/Neuter and Help Animals 4-Paws at a Time with the Purchase of GG’s Journey

Northville, MIGG’s Journey: From Lost to Loved is more than just a novella.  It’s an emotional journey that inspires people and gives back to animals in need.

The holiday season is about giving. Whether it’s giving a gift to someone special or giving back to a charitable cause close to your heart, these next couple months are about making a positive impact on someone else’s life.  By giving the gift of GG’s Journey, you will be giving the gift of an inspirational book while donating to GG’s Foundation.  The Foundation was started by Cheryl Phillips after Gorgeous Gal changed her life. It is her mission to create better lives for animals in need in our communities.

TNR, Trap-Neuter-Return, and humane education are significant programs supported by GG’s Foundation. Abandoned felines are humanely trapped and brought to a veterinary clinic to be spayed or neutered, to reduce overpopulation.  Each feline gets shots, flea treatment, and other medical attention as needed.  The felines are then returned and reunited with their colony caretakers who provide them with love, food, and shelter. The TNR program has spayed and neutered 194 felines, and 70 of the animals found loving homes through collaboration with local shelters and rescues.  

For readers of any age, this book is giving the gift of hope this holiday season. GG’s Journey readers have said, “If you ever wondered what the animals you take care of are thinking, GG tells you in her own words… She proves that compassion and understanding are the key ingredients to making the right decisions about these animals. I encourage you to read this book and then visit your local shelter and find your GG.”  Ken Kempkens - President and Shelter Director, Humane Society of Macomb

About GG’s Journey: From Lost to Loved

GG’s Journey gives a voice to animals who cannot speak for themselves. Being compassionate to animals can help us become a kinder, gentler nation. For more information visit www.ggsjourney.com or contact info@ggsjourney.com.

About the Author
Cheryl Phillips has held the positions of Vice President, Masco Corporation Foundation and Director, Global Purchasing for Masco Corporation, a Fortune 250 Corporation with annual sales exceeding $8 billion. She received her MBA from Eastern Michigan University.

In 2003, she joined Beaumont Health (Oakwood Healthcare, Inc.) Foundation Board of Trustees and chaired the Stewardship Program and the Beaumont Health (Oakwood Women’s Healthcare Classic). In 2013, she joined the Beaumont Health (Oakwood Healthcare, Inc.) Board of Trustees. She was a member of the Board of Trustees Quality Committee and sits on the Women Supporting Women’s Health Advisory Board.

She was a recipient of the 2014 Twilight Benefit Civic Leadership Award.  In 2008 accepted the R. Gene Richter Global Award for Leadership and Innovation in Supply Management from the Institute for Supply Management.  In 2007 received the YWCA Western Wayne County’s Women of Achievement Award in the category of Dedicated Volunteer, and in 2003 was awarded Distinguished Volunteer by the National Society of Fundraising Executives on National Philanthropy Day. Other activities include volunteer work for the Humane Society of Huron Valley and participating in animal rescue, spay/neuter to prevent animal homelessness and overpopulation and protection activities speaking on behalf of our furry friends for humane treatment of animals and Humane Education for people, animals, and the planet. 

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Valentine Distilling Co. Repeats Highest Honors for Small Batch Bourbons in National Blind Taste Test 

Ferndale, MI – If Valentine Distilling Co. is known for one thing, its world-class, high-quality spirits. The Ferndale-based company’s Mayor Pingree ‘Black Label’ Limited Edition Straight Bourbon received among the highest rankings in the North American Whiskey Review this month.

Tastings, host of the North American Whiskey Review, awarded the Mayor Pingree Bourbon Whiskey as an exceptional, Gold Medal winning spirit. With a score of 94 Points out of 100, Valentine’s bourbon was the only Michigan distillery to rank, also beating out other well-recognized brand names such as Jim Beam and Knob Creek while coming in just behind a special release from Wild Turkey.

The blind taste test takes place in a tasting lab in Chicago to ensure consistency and accuracy. According to Tastings, “The room is specially designed to minimize external factors and maximize our panelists concentration.”

“My goal when marrying these releases is to emphasize the characteristics shared by all fine bourbons beyond just great flavor, aroma and color... qualities of mouthfeel, layering, and linger,” said Justin Aden, distiller and blender for Valentine Distilling Co.

“Products breaking the critical 90-point barrier are tasted twice without exception, virtually guaranteeing that they deserve the accolades,” according to Tastings. The Mayor Pingree bourbon whiskey came just one point shy of the overall top spot, but was noted as “A gorgeous and mature bourbon with a bazaar of exotic spices.”

“We are excited to receive this award from The North American Whiskey Review on the heels of our ‘Double Gold’ award from The San Francisco World Spirits Competition that further cements our recognition for the highest quality spirits across our entire product line,” said Rifino Valentine, owner and president of Valentine Distilling Company.

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About Valentine Distilling Co.

Established in 2007 and among the nation’s first craft distilleries, Valentine Distilling Co. is an American pioneer of small batch, handcrafted spirits.  In early 2016, Valentine Vodka was announced as winner of “World’s Best Vodka” by The World Vodka Awards in London. And most recently, Valentine Distilling Co. shared its first television commercial with viewers around the world to celebrate this award. The company’s award-winning vodka, gin, and bourbon are available in seven states, Western Europe and Ontario. In the tradition of Detroit’s manufacturing leadership, Ferndale, Michigan-based Valentine Distilling Co. is dedicated to American ingenuity, quality manufacturing, and small batch distilling using old world techniques that create superior products.

 

 

 

 

 

Valentine Distilling Co. Expands Production Capacity Yet Again

Custom-built still from Italy is welcomed to Detroit

Ferndale, MI – A custom-made, 1,500-gallon still from Italian distillation technology company Frilli is making its way to Valentine Distilling Co.

This is the first still Frilli has ever shipped to America, and it is one of the largest stills being placed in a micro-distillery in the United States – producing X barrels each year.

“We are honored to build this still for Valentine. We are excited to ship to the U.S. for the first time. The creation of this still will allow Valentine to continue to produce even more of their exceptional products,” said Frilli rep, title.

Valentine has seen immense growth over the years, and this still is crucial to keep up with high demand for its award-winning whiskeys.

“We wanted the best still built in order to maintain the quality of our products. Frilli has a phenomenal track record of experience in triple pot distillation, and that’s just what we need to keep up with the demand of Valentine spirits,” said Rifino Valentine, owner of Valentine Distilling Co.

In 2016, Valentine Distilling Co.’s production relocated and expanded from the Cocktail Lounge location in Ferndale to a 15,000-square foot warehouse down the street from the Lounge. The warehouse is lined with state-of-the-art copper stills and whiskey barrels from floor to ceiling. Since beginning this custom still build with Frilli, Valentine has made the decision to expand once again in the current warehouse facility to add an additional 5,000 square feet for a rick room to store the aging barrels once the product leaves the still.

The growth and expansion of Valentine continues, but the quality product remains the same. Consistently recognized for excellence in national and international competitions, Valentine Distilling Co. continues to produce some of the finest vodka, gin, and whiskeys in the world with distribution available throughout the United States, as well as in six other countries.  In the tradition of the spirit of Detroit, Valentine remains dedicated to the manufacture, export and promotion of world-class quality goods.

Because this still is becoming such a big part of Valentine’s production and success, owner Rifino Valentine felt it was fitting to name it Sherbet, a tribute to his adored 14-year-old Old English Sheepdog, who has been the distillery dog since the Valentine venture began.

Sherbet will be debuted at Valentine’s still launch party in October where guests can view the new production facility.

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About Valentine Distilling Co.

Established in 2007 and among the nation’s first craft distilleries, Valentine Distilling Co. is an American pioneer of small batch, handcrafted spirits.  In early 2016, Valentine Vodka was announced as winner of “World’s Best Vodka” by The World Vodka Awards in London. And most recently, Valentine Distilling Co. shared its first television commercial with viewers around the world to celebrate this award. The company’s award-winning vodka, gin, and bourbon are available in seven states, Western Europe and Ontario. In the tradition of Detroit’s manufacturing leadership, Ferndale, Michigan-based Valentine Distilling Co. is dedicated to American ingenuity, quality manufacturing, and small batch distilling using old world techniques that create superior products.

 

Valentine Distilling Co. and McClure’s Pickles Spice Up the Tailgating Season

Ferndale, MI – Not many things go better together than football and tailgating in Michigan. Until now: Valentine Vodka and McClure's Pickles. The two Michigan-based companies have teamed up to make the perfect Bloody Mary box kit just in time for this season’s football tailgates.

Available in limited quantities, the kit comes with two glasses, a fifth of Valentine vodka, and a McClure’s Bloody Mary mix jar for $29.99. It will hit shelves mid-to the end of September at some of Michigan’s most convenient retailers such as Meijer and Kroger while supplies lasts.

“As longtime Detroit-area companies, we knew a collaboration was inevitable,” said Rifino Valentine, Owner of Valentine Distilling Co. “We’re excited to bring a classic cocktail to life, Michigan-style.”

From first place at the Michigan State Fair in the 1970’s to a feature on The Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” McClure’s has been making all the right moves. Pairing up with Valentine’s “World’s Best Vodka” – their best move yet.

“McClure’s and I understand the value in high-quality, local products. Our companies have seen tremendous growth over the past few years and are making a name for Michigan-made products. We want to show football fans what Detroit products are made of. And what better time than Lions tailgating season?” said Valentine.

From production to packaging to placement, Valentine Distilling Co. and McClure’s Pickles are putting every ounce of Michigan into this product. Even the packaging is designed and built by Driven Creative Supply Co., a branding agency located in Pleasant Ridge.

“This kit is unlike any other. The highest quality ingredients of two unique products. It’s a win win-win for Michigan and Detroit,” said Valentine.

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About the Products

Valentine Vodka has a silky medium-to-full body and a creamy, peppery spice and talc finish. It is derived from a proprietary blend of three grains: corn, wheat and barley. The award-winning company is one of the few distilleries in the world to craft vodka from a blend of grains.

McClure’s describes its bloody mary mix as “Bold, tangy, and robust – this bloody mary is nothing ordinary and all extraordinary. Using our spicy pickle brine, dill, garlic, and black pepper, we've created a pucker-up bloody mary mix that will knock your socks off.”

History of the Companies

Some may not see the correlation between spirits and pickles, but these companies did. Valentine and McClure’s have had a lifelong business relationship. Working together for years as friends and now partners as they collaborate on this product release, the two companies have extraordinary synergy and strong dedication to Detroit.
McClure’s company story shows great pride in Detroit – just like Valentine’s. The family pickle company started in Detroit from Grandma Lala’s recipe and making pickles every summer. The family business began to take off in 2006, expanding to a warehouse in Brooklyn, New York, where brother Bob McClure facilitated production.

Growing at a rate between 10-25% year-over-year, brothers Joe and Bob McClure remained loyal to Michigan by bringing all production back to Detroit in 2009.  In July of this year, the company invested in a local 20,000 sq. foot manufacturing facility by purchasing the building to keep up with high demand.

The company has added to its supply of automated systems to increase efficiency, and has avoided cutting any jobs in the process. In fact, the company has expanded to more than 20 employees since its beginnings.

“This is two Detroit brands making something pretty damn awesome,” said Joe McClure, Co-owner of McClure’s.

Made in Detroit to celebrate in Detroit. Just the way we like it.

Information on locations and distributors can be found on Valentine Distilling’s website