• Melanin Enterprise

How a Louisville Distributor Plans To Build Diversity In The Spirits Industry

Left to right, DJuan Ditto and Kelvin Young of Legacy Wine & Spirits.

Legacy Wine & Spirits, a new liquor distributor, led by Kelvin Young Jr., DJuan Ditto and Kelvin Young Sr., looks to be a gateway into the industry for up-and-coming brands.

Though Legacy Wine & Spirits has been a company since 2017, it just received its distribution license in December. In a competitive market space with microbreweries and distilleries popping up seemingly every day, Young said Legacy is setting its sights on helping smaller brands secure distribution in order to break into the market.

“There’s not a lot of diversity in the alcohol industry, especially on the higher levels like owners of brands and companies,” Young said in an interview. “I’m not familiar with any African Americans in distribution in Kentucky. When we were doing just an ambassador role, we didn’t see many people like us. That was a motivation for us to get into it.”

Legacy is providing distribution for three brands: Love Cork Screw Wines, Brough Brothers Bourbon and Local Choice Spirits — all minority-owned spirits companies. Brough Brothers, set to open soon, will be one of the first black-owned bourbon brands launching out of Kentucky. It's set to distribute in a few weeks.

Overall, Young said he’s invested about $17,000 into getting Legacy Wine & Spirits up and running, between lawyer fees, licensing, product for sampling and the 500 square foot storage facility he operates at 4850 Crittenden Drive.

Growing the Legacy Wine & Spirits portfolio will be an effort in marketing to as many retail partners as possible and, from there, hosting events, in-store tastings, social media campaigns and the like.

He said that although Legacy Wine & Spirits won’t be opening a storefront, the company does seek to expand to a larger operation with more employees and delivery drivers in the future.

“Kentucky is considered a good place for alcohol to be released, especially bourbons,” Young said. “A lot of the brands that are outside of Kentucky that have bourbon feel like getting into Kentucky kind of solidifies and legitimizes their brand.”

Young said Legacy Wine & Spirits’ first event will be a small tasting on Feb. 1 at Roots 101 African American Museum in Downtown Louisville.

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