“An entrepreneur must have equal parts tremendous confidence and tremendous fear of failure.”
How do you honor the memory of your father and grandfather? For Paul Kozub, it was creating V-One Vodka.
Shortly after Paul graduated from college, his father Ed Kozub passed away, leaving a successful family business behind. Paul's grandfather passed a few years later. On the day his grandfather died, Paul sat in his living room thinking back to the stories he was told about moonshining during prohibition.
As the story goes, his grandfather produced his own vodka during the 1930s and distributed it all over the state of Massachusetts. The entrepreneurial spirit of his father and a business background from years of banking led Paul to ask why small batch vodka wasn't being made today. Paul scoured the internet to learn as much as he could about vodka and spent the next year experimenting with recipes in the basement of his home in Hadley, Massachusetts.
Paul made his first batch of vodka one night in the middle of winter. It became clear that this was his calling in life as he fell in love with every aspect of the vodka making process. Paul made several trips to Poland to perfect his recipe and it was there that he met the master distiller at Polmos Lublin. After several successful meetings the two teamed up to begin crafting the world's most drinkable vodka. V-One is now distilled in Poland by Polmos Lublin, which has been successfully manufacturing its own line of vodka for 100 years. The recipe and the V-One brand are 100% owned by Paul's company Valley Vodka, Inc.
On September 1st 2005 V-One Vodka made its debut in 10 liquor stores and 5 restaurants in Western Massachusetts. The company had no office, no computers, no distributors, just Paul and his V-One Vodka Van.
In the first year, Paul spent all of his time going door to door (bar-to-bar and store-to-store) letting people try his vodka. Many of these restaurant and liquor store owners told Paul V-One was the smoothest vodka they had ever tasted.
From its humble beginnings, V-One Vodka is now considered one of the top vodkas in the world.