We had the good fortune of connecting with Timothy Irving and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Timothy, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
When it comes to being an entrepreneur, it had never been a goal or aspiration. I had always been fulfilled in my career as a school counselor. However, a few years ago I realized that I wanted more. I began to desire more personal autonomy for how my days and time look. With that being said, I decided to act on my aspiration of starting my own spirit brand.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I was inspired to get into the spirit industry after learning of my family’s history of making moonshine. In 1968, when my grandfather passed away, my eldest uncle took responsibility in supporting the family. Back then in rural Georgia, there were few opportunities for Black families. So to supplement income, he began making and selling moonshine. He apparently was really good at it too! Unfortunately, his mash and process was never passed down. I wanted to create a spirit brand that pays homage to my family’s name while also acknowledging that it is a new product. This is why the brand is called The Original Irving Whiskey. We are unique in that we break away from the traditional look and feel of whiskey. This is reflected in the esthetic and branding of our product. Regarding how I have gotten to where I am today, it has been a long and difficult journey. Because I did not have anyone to guide me, I have had to learn along the way. This means I have made many mistakes! However, persistence has been key. Though we are at just the start of our journey, I am proud of what we have been able to to accomplish in just a few months post-production. We are currently available in 11 retail and restaurant locations in the metro Atlanta area as well as available for online purchase in 29 states. Keep an eye out as we look to establish ourselves as a leading brand in the spirit industry!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m probably the last person you should ask about itineraries and plans considering I don’t get to go out much these days but here’s what I got! Coming to Atlanta, you have to hit the brunch spots. So I’d recommend that they check out places such as Ms.Icey’s and Suite Lounge. Some places I’d suggest they hang out are Piedmont Park, the Beltline, and Bar Vegan. I also have to suggest you check out one of our restaurant partners Forks and Flavors where you can enjoy some amazing food and grab an Original Irving Whiskey cocktail!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Definitely my wife, Aiyanna. One day we were sitting at the kitchen counter and discussing my dreams of having a whiskey company and she was like okay, why not do it. And it literally just clicked, I was like damn, why not? So she has been real supportive throughout the process. In addition, she has served as my consultant when it comes to advertising as that is her profession. So yes, a huge shoutout to Mrs.Coombs-Irving!
LaJoy Photography & Austen Paul Productions