He started his first business at 23 and now owns a leading whiskey brand in the US

Stephen Nartey June 08, 2023
Jason established his first company at the age of 23, and spread his interests into a wide range of businesses. Photo credit: Jason Ridgel on Facebook.

Jason Ridgel began his journey into entrepreneurship shortly after he completed Tennessee State University. He established his first company at the age of 23, and spread his interests into a wide range of businesses; including clothing lines, pain management companies, and a cleaning business to provide jobs for underrepresented communities.

However, Jason’s latest business venture has been his most successful one. As the mastermind behind Guidance Whiskey, he has become one of the leading whiskey manufacturers in the United States. In 2018, Jason introduced his whiskey to the liquor market, positioning it as one of the few Black-owned premium craft small-batch whiskey brands in the country.

Guidance Whiskey, aged for two years, is distilled in Iowa and headquartered in Nashville. Today, it has gained significant recognition and is available in many states across the nation. Jason’s dedication to building the brand is unwavering, as he continues to expand its reach and offerings.

With plans to launch new products, including a 100-proof whiskey, Jason Ridgel is committed to further establishing the whiskey brand as a prominent player in the industry. He is actively seeking partnerships with lifestyle brands, fellow spirits labels, local restaurants, and more – contributing to the brand’s growth and presence in the market, according to guidance whisky.

The growth trajectory of Guidance Whiskey aligns perfectly with Jason’s aspirations when he began his journey into entrepreneurship. He only needed a blend of corn and rye with a touch of malted barley to produce the bottle of spirit. Once that was done, the unique features that completed the Whiskey were the dominant aromas of banana and caramel that greet anyone who takes a whiff before a sip.

Ironically, Jason never set out to manufacture whiskey, his brand is one of those businesses serial entrepreneurs stumble upon while in their search for a breakthrough in their pursuit of success. He started with Red Boot Distillery when no one was willing to give him a chance. When he found himself in an industry dominated by white businesses, Jason had to rely on a disruptive strategy to break ground, partnering with music stars who commanded influence in the wine market.

He worked with legendary funk singer, Larry Dodson, who became the brand’s spokesperson and ambassador, and artist, Chuck Indigo. He also partnered with some culinary hotspots like Willie B’s Kitchen, Chef Bunchie, and Vena Cava Cookie Company to promote Guidance Whiskey.

Jason Ridgel’s journey, therefore, exemplifies the spirit of entrepreneurship, showcasing the power of ambition, determination, and a passion for creating successful ventures.

Last Edited by:Editor Updated: June 11, 2023


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