#7 Amber Polluck: How to Use Your Influence to Strengthen Your Community

July 2, 2018

Amber Polluck is part of a family of four who decided to dive into fine spirits production five and half years ago, an industry which was not prominent at the time in Wyoming. The Polluck’s main hobby as a family was to seek out new spots to eat and drink during their travels; to explore the best of the best in each new location they visited.

Amber and her brother, Chad, a spirits collector, went backpacking through Europe, exploring the food and beverage culture while they were there. When they returned the Polluck family decided to learn how to go into the fine spirits business for themselves. They were starting from scratch but felt confident they would figure it out with enough commitment and practice. They each came from different industries and brought their own unique talents to the business. The result was the creation of a wonderfully quirky business and a new experience for their community of Casper, Wyoming.

The Pollucks essentially run two separate businesses with their tasting room and their warehouse. The tasting room offers customers a full experience and allows the Pollucks to develop relationships with members of their community. They’re currently on their 8th cocktail menu, each of which is carefully planned and meticulously curated to provide something for everyone.

Backwards Distilling Company is also active in their community. A large part of their community efforts goes towards Casper Pride, which is leading Wyoming in the LGBTQ movement. They have been instrumental in creating space in their community for causes that did not have space there and will continue to contribute to the forward motion of these causes. “There’s something to be said for businesses participating in the growth of their community, and making their community stronger.”

What’s next for Backwards Distilling Company? You’ll have to listen to find out! “This is a treacherous point for a small business: that gray area between staying stagnant and moving ahead.”

Amber’s interview is packed full of industry knowledge, and her passion for relationships and her community is evident throughout this chat over her signature cocktail! If you’ve ever wondered what goes into running a successful family business, and what it takes to make a consistent impact on your customers and your community, this episode is for you!

 

A few things you’ll take away from this episode:

  • “For us, the real fun is in the experimentation, in the innovation, creating new flavor profiles, so when we entered the industry we did it with the idea that we would create many different things.”
  • How the Polluck family developed their timeless brand and aesthetic. Even the name Backwards Distilling Company was carefully thought out and represents their family in a unique way.
  • “It’s all in the details. When I go places I find that I can identify that more now. ‘They’re just missing that one tweak that could tie this whole story together.’”
  • “I think my customers like that they can come here and get something wild and off the wall if they want, or they can come here and get just a great Bloody Mary or Moscow mule or maybe something they’ve had hundreds of times but they know it’s going to be good. And that we’ll break down as many barriers we can to make that a good experience either way.”
  • How the Pollucks give people the confidence and curiosity to explore fine spirits. “If I want people to drink my product, they have to know how to use it. If they don’t feel confident that they’re going to have a good result in the cocktail that they make, they’ll probably shy away from doing it. We hopefully can get return sales, and they get to learn a skill that will enhance their lives and their social gatherings.”
  • Their perspective of living in a small community: “There is room for you to create your own reality in terms of how you want it to be.”
  • How the Polluck family learned to contribute to their community and influence others to do the same. “Try to contribute to something where there’s strength in a group.”
  • “There’s something to be said for businesses participating in the growth of their community, and making their community stronger.”
  • “When people see somebody willing to take the risk and do something, it makes them more confident in trying that themselves as well.”

For more on Backwards Distilling Company:

 

 

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