News & Media

Southern Distilling Hosts the Second Industry Leaders Council of 2024

Committed to the growth and success of the existing businesses and industries in Iredell County, Iredell EDC regularly organizes Industry Leaders Council meetings where business leaders throughout the community can openly discuss topics and trends impacting their businesses. On May 21, more than 35 representatives of Iredell County businesses convened at Southern Distilling Company for a tour provided by Pete and Vienna Barger, lunch, and a presentation from the International Trade Division of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) on the extensive resources they have available to companies interested in international exporting.

Recently recognized by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services as the 2024 Exporter of the Year, Southern Distilling was the perfect choice for hosting the event. The company, which produces high quality and award-winning local bourbon, rye whiskey and brandy, has actively worked with the NCDA&CS International Marketing section and SUSTA export programs for several years and currently sells its products internationally in Germany. The company participated in NC and Tennessee Spirits Week and the NC and Tennessee Spirits Sample Box activities in Berlin in 2023, and they have also exhibited at the Pro-Wein Trade Fair in Dusseldorf, which is the world’s largest trade fair for wines and spirits.

Despite owning one of the largest, privately owned distilleries in the country and employing 50 people in the operation, Pete and Vienna Barger remain true to the roots that sink deep into the soil of Statesville which was known as the “Liquor Capital of the World” prior to 1903 when the city was voted dry.  Since opening their doors in 2017, the Bargers have forged collaborations with North Carolina neighbors like the Carolina Panthers and most recently the Charlotte Football Club with the release of a special edition Southern Star Double Shot Bourbon Cream Liqueur bottle featuring artwork highlighting the diverse landscape of the Carolinas.

This Industry Leaders Council was the second meeting of 2024 and just one more way Iredell EDC demonstrates their own commitment to collaboration and  assisting the existing businesses and industries in Iredell County achieve their goals of growth and success. If you are an industry leader and would like to take advantage of this unique and informative program, contact Todd Black, Existing Industry Manager,  [email protected]