How Partnerships Can Help Small Businesses Grow

Founder and CEO George Smith of Copper Barrel Distillery discusses what he loves about owning a business in Wilkes County, NC.

Our goal is to actually make sure that we preserve the heritage of the moonshine history here in the county and also to help with the revitalization efforts here in the community. There's a lot of potential and a lot of great people here and I'd like to see it come back to the heyday that it once was.

Our moonshines have won 112 international awards — everything from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition to the Denver International Spirits Competition. Copper Barrel was originally established in 2013 and we opened our doors about four and a half years ago from today. My main motivation for starting Copper Barrel was again to find something that would allow me to be creative and get away from my previous career, which was actually working for IBM. I love technology, but I love people more.

My name is Roger Lee Nance, better known as Buck, and I am the master distiller here at Copper Barrel. My goal has always been to make the best, smoothest moonshine possible. Since we've opened here about four and a half years ago, the support that we've received from the people in the community has really been outstanding. We've developed a lot of relationships and partnerships with other businesses throughout the community, whether it be from local bars or restaurants that serve cocktails made with our products, to other businesses that we are actually collaborating on creating new products that we're going to release the market in the near future.

What I love most about running Copper Barrel in particular is just the ability that it gives me to be creative and meet people all the time. It's wonderful having a business where people are coming to you because they want to have a good time as opposed to a lot of other businesses where somebody may or may not want to be the customer. Here, if they come through the door, we're greeted with a smile and they leave with a smile.

Hi, my name is George Smith and I'm the president and CEO of Copper Barrel Distillery. We're located right on Main Street in the moonshine capital of America, also known as North Wilkesboro, and we invite you to come out and visit us for a tour and tasting or to check out our new cocktail lounge Thursday through Monday from 5 p.m. to midnight.

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