Minnesota’ based Du Nord Social Spirits is the first Black owned distillery in the country. They recently landed a deal with Delta Airlines to sell their Foundation Vodka on domestic flights. By 2022, Delta plans to sell other Du Nord products onboard and make the distillery’s spirits available on international flights.
When Delta approached Du Nord last summer, the company was feeling the economic impact of the pandemic. During the civil unrest following the killing of George Floyd, their warehouse building was set on fire and flooded by its sprinkler system.
It took more than a year to work out the details of the deal, and for Du Nord to scale up its production to meet Delta’s needs.
“When this opportunity came about, we realized there was no way, with our equipment and capacity, that we would be able to do all of this on our own,” said Du Nord co-founder, Chris Montana. “We’ve had to get creative about some ways that we do things.”
The distillery, which recently changed its name from Du Nord Craft Spirits to Du Nord Social Spirits, was inspired by the 12,000 people who donated $1 million to their Go Fund Me after their buildings were damaged.
During that time Du Nord switched from making spirits to making hand sanitizer. They also turned their brick-and-mortar location into a food and supplies donation and distribution center.
Chris and his wife, Shanelle decided to use the money to start the Du Nord Foundation to support other businesses that had been impacted, many of which did not have insurance.
Du Nord Social Spirits says they will give a portion of sales from their vodka on Delta flight to their Du Nord Foundation, which helps give grants to local businesses and entrepreneurs who were impacted by the unrest following the death of Floyd.