Kami kenna Archives • Piscologia
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The Many Facets of Kami Kenna

kami kenna, pisco, piscologia, women owned liquor business, peruvian pisco

 

 

Kami recently described herself as a Matryoshka doll, her layers unstacked by life experiences, a journey of self-awareness as she progresses through her career. However, when I think of Kami, I envision a mass of snow tumbling down a steep slope, accumulating the necessary mass to gain force, avalanching to its destination.

 

In the case of Kami, both metaphors apply. She is introspective like the innermost Matryoshka. But like an avalanche, she is also indomitable. Kami is multi-faceted; an avid researcher, activist, spirits specialist, distiller, businesswoman and visionary leader. Determined but intuitive while fulfilling those roles, she cares for her community as she continues her crusade.

 

Many exciting endeavors await my business partner. Drink a Seat, a blog that documents her extensive knowledge of food and drink, will become a wild success. She will complete a Master’s degree in Food Studies at NYU (yes, I said NYU!) where she will continue her research on Peruvian pisco, mezcal and beyond. Her sustainable distillery will revolutionize the way people think about liquor. She will change mentalities through education through her future podcast. Kami won’t stop until PiscoLogía is the best, most widely distributed pisco in the world. More importantly, she will care for the earth and its people while reaping its precious edible ingredients.

 

Kami’s past experiences gave her the tools to spearhead a path to success. As a young child, she used to spend numerous hours at her grandparents’ pharmacy in Northern Idaho. She passed the time by observing the business operations and playing with the cash register, punching random numbers to record imaginary sales. Her grandpa reproached her carelessness. Little did he know, his granddaughter was learning how to run a business and how to be accountable. Kami also experimented with food in her kitchen as an adolescent, learning to combine flavors, aromas and ingredients, information she would use in the future to become one of the best bartenders in the Northwest.

 

It was in the Portland community that she found her sense of belonging and the drive to learn more. She moved there at the age of 18, training under the best bartenders at her uncle’s bar, the Brazen Bean. Years later, the lessons learned from that apprenticeship led her to win a cocktail competition. The grand prize was a trip to Peru. Throughout all this, her past was the force behind her – observing her grandparents’ business, food experimentation, and mixing ingredients with liquor to create masterpieces.

 

In Peru, Nati and I recognized her talent, industry knowledge and intuition. Inviting her to become partner of PiscoLogía was the obvious choice. She built the concept that encapsulates our craft pisco brand now. But she didn’t stop there. She moved to Mexico to become a specialist in tequila and mezcal, now giving tours to inquisitive minds from around the globe. However, for Kami, these monumental steps are part of the process of achieving something even greater.

 

Kami’s path started with tiny punches of numbers, spitting out the register tape of life, imaginary scenarios that would one day play out in her career. Nati and I are fortunate to be this trajectory with her, our forces coming together to reach our final goal. Her innermost Matryoshka epitomizes perfection, but I see it growing rather than retreating. It’s grander than she thinks- a tremendous mass gaining momentum, advocating for change, lifting up others and building empires.

 

 

-Meg

What it means to be 100% women-owned

Nati gordillo, women owned companies, women liquor companies, craft pisco, piscologia, peruvian pisco, women entrepreneurs, female entrepreneurs, forbes women running the liquor world

 

Forbes Magazine recently highlighted the role of women in the liquor industry in its “Women Running The Liquor World” series. After reading about these inspirational figures and as Women’s History Month approaches, we have been reflecting on why it matters to be a 100% female-owned company. In this post, Kami and Meg will share their thoughts on the subject.

 

We have experienced economic benefits that could be attributed to qualities of female business leaders. Studies show that companies owned by women could have 13% higher revenues because they set achievable goals, collaborate better, believe in slower, steadier growth and have excellent time management skills (Parets).

 

Our growth has increased by 194% in the past year. Although we can’t prove that upward trend was due to our female partnership, we can attest to the fact that Nati, Kami and Meg demonstrate the qualities listed above. As a team, we have set the very ambitious goal of being the most widely distributed craft Peruvian pisco in the USA and beyond. We plan to achieve this together through a series of practical, methodical steps over the next few years.

 

It has also been shown that women don’t express themselves as freely in the presence of men. In her paper, “Overcoming the Gender Gap: Women Entrepreneurs as Economic Drivers” Lesa Mitchell states: “Men, consciously or not, may act in ways that discourage women from getting involved in high-growth startups or even articulating their ideas as fully as they could” (14). We PiscoLogía partners express our ideas with each other without reproach. This unhindered exchange of ideas was especially important when we formed our new partnership and had to define who we were as a company and what our brand represented. In retrospect, we can now see that our high-quality craft pisco perfectly encapsulates the values of our 3 partners. Not only do we focus on creating the best product possible, but we also treat our workers, clients, and communities with respect and understanding.

 

On the same note, our partners are empathetic to each other. That empathy allows us to value each other’s opinions and needs. Meg McFarland observed: “Nati, Kami and I work well together because we are equally intuitive, nurturing and respectful. I am a mother, Nati is a mother and grandmother and Kami is a very special aunt. The caring relationships we have in our personal lives translate into our business. I believe this understanding has been the key to our success so far”.

 

Finally, in the spirit of collaboration, we plan to use our empathy and intuition to help other female entrepreneurs in the future. Lesa Mitchell also demonstrates that only 29 percent of privately held firms in the US are women-owned” (9) and that women owned firms tend not to grow or prosper nearly as much” (3). For that reason, we are creating a program to mentor other women-owned businesses and aspiring female entrepreneurs (stay tuned). As Kami Kenna states: “it’s important for women to run businesses so we can create a more equitable society. We hope to hone the skills of female entrepreneurs (organization, intuitiveness, personal drive, diligence, dedication, innovation, to name a few) so they can achieve the same success”.

 

The foundation of our company was built by our innately “female” traits, our open communication, empathy and skills. As we continue to learn and grow our company together, we also hope to support women entrepreneurs to create more opportunities for aspiring females around the world, closing the prevalent gender gap and making change for future generations.

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Mitchell, Lisa. “Overcoming the Gender Gap: Women Entrepreneurs as Economic Drivers.” Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, September 2011, https://www.kauffman.org/~/media/kauffman_org/research%20reports%20and%20covers/2011/09/growing_the_economy_women_entrepreneurs.pdf

 

Parets, Robyn. “4 reasons why Women-Owned Businesses Succeed”, Money Under 30, 31 March 2018, https://www.moneyunder30.com/why-women-owned-businesses-succeed

Peruvian Pisco in Spokane

Peruvian pisco, Meg McFarland, Kami Kenna, Peruvian pisco, boutique distillery peru, Piscologia

 

We would like to thank all the pisco enthusiasts in Spokane who have supported us after reading the recent article about our partners in the Spokesman Review. In her article “Spokane pair are partners in women-run, boutique Peruvian distillery PiscoLogia”,  Adriana Janovich tells the story of how Meg McFarland, Kami Kenna, and Nati Gordillo formed the partnership that now successfully operates our company, Topa Spirits, LLC. Many from the Spokane and Northern Idaho region have contacted us to find out where PiscoLogía is available. To read the article, please visit: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2019/jan/22/spokane-pair-are-partners-in-women-run-boutique-pe/?fbclid=IwAR3EAmbT6IPqVbX8TaF1ZcXnEosXTfOpEKjg4NPH-f89e2UxHWYhyJAICD8

 

Here are some options to buy our Peruvian pisco in the Inland Northwest:

 

Spokane area:

 

My Fresh Basket

Kendall Yards

1030 W Summit Pkwy

Spokane, WA 99201

Ph: 509-558-2100

 

Millwood Grocery and Spirits

3409 N Argonne Rd

Millwood, WA 99212

Ph: 509-926-0380

 

Bulldog Liquor & Wine

1101 N Division St

Spokane, WA 99202

Ph: 509-315-9098

 

 

Other areas in Washington State:

PiscoLogía is distributed by American Northwest Import and Distribution in Washington State. To see where to purchase our Peruvian pisco in Washington, please contact them directly: http://www.anwdistributors.com/

 

Idaho:

Liquor distribution is controlled by the State of Idaho. Please check your local liquor store to see if PiscoLogía is available. If you can’t find it on the shelves, you can request that it be special ordered. For more information, please visit:

 

Idaho State Liquor Division

 

The (not-so) New Kids on the Block: Pisco and Mezcal

There are many parallels between the histories and cultures of Peru and Mexico, the crowns of the New World. Before the arrival of the Spanish, the Incas, Aztecs and Mayas had exceptionally advanced cultures. They were sophisticated astrologers, mathematicians, engineers and culinary experts. Today, Peru and Mexico not only share the Spanish language (and have many unique indigenous languages), but they both have immense pride in their national spirits, Pisco and Mezcal.

 

Fascinated by this socio-historical connection, our partner Kami Kenna loves combining Pisco and Mezcal in creative cocktails. We have highlighted one of her masterful creations, “The Meeting of the Minds” and the methodology behind it.

 

Kami: “When I think of Mezcal, the words ‘rustic, authentic, wild, alive, proud, terroir, historic’ come to mind. I associate words such as, ‘rustic, strict tradition, elegant, expressive, proud, terroir, historic’ with Pisco. I like to consider these concepts when creating combinations with both liquors. The flavors fit into this narrative and I play with proportions of the drink until they fill their starring roles.

 

When creating a cocktail, I like to pick a theme to help narrow my thoughts. If I incorporate a second base spirit, it’s important for me to understand their flavors individually and then together. I ask myself what other flavors can I combine to add interest and to highlight them.

 

In this case, I had a French 75 on my mind, so for sparkle, I grabbed a bottle of Txakolina – a delicious Basque wine. For this cocktail, I used the ‘rosado’ version, which worked perfectly as a topper and added the effervescent texture required for a French 75 style drink. It’s no secret that pineapple, lime and pisco make a dreamy Pisco Punch. For this cocktail, I decided to use a caramelized pineapple gomme syrup with clove and cardamom to add depth to hold up to the mezcal, a sweet and creamy Espadín with hints of mesquite from the roasting process. I was ecstatic with the final result, a cocktail I named “Meeting of the Minds”. I hope you enjoy this cocktail as much as I do!

 

Meeting of the Minds 

 

PiscoLogia Acholado-1 oz 

Mezcal Tosba- 1 oz 

Caramelised Pineapple Syrup- 1 oz

Fresh lime juice-1 oz 

Txakolina Rosado -1 oz 

 

Shake all ingredients together, top with Txakolina Rosado. Serve up. ¡Salud!