THe story of us - a letter from our founder
Ever since moving from Costa Rica to California to attend college, I have been a huge fan of 100% de agave tequila. But it was not until late 2015, during my senior year of college, that my relationship with tequila became more serious. That’s when I was given an assignment that included a challenge: “Think of a business idea that has nothing to do with technology.”
The assignment challenged me to go back to a more “rustic” business model. Following a night out, the answer was pretty straight forward. Nothing gets more rustic than tequila. After the pitch, I became fixated with the idea of tequila – as a way to bring people together while being a viable business. So at age 22, I booked a plane ticket to Jalisco, Mexico, and met with several distilleries down in Tequila. The vision: To create something different.
By graduation day, I had recruited my good friend Michael who is now Nosotros’ CFO. We had a bottle, a label, a formula taste-tested and ready to go, and most importantly, a name that encompassed the spirit and the social experiment we all call drinking… Nosotros. With a name we believed in and a couple of loans later, Mike and I found ourselves back in Tequila when, on October 31st, 2016, we initiated our first small batch production of 168 cases – which amounted to 2016 bottles. Nosotros Tequila was a reality.
The first few months were tough. Between importation, permits, and all the craziness of alcohol regulations, we couldn’t hit shelves until January 2017. Like every industry, there’s a steep learning curve we had to climb, and the spirits industry is still very much controlled by a pay-to-play mentality. Luckily, we were able to find our niche in the craft and artisan bar/restaurant spheres of West LA. This quality-based niche is a perfect fit for us, and to this day we are still a self-distributed brand.
By this point our friend and partner Ryan had joined our team, and with his help we were able to secure some of our first few menu placements. These provided some stability to the business, but it wasn’t until April 2017 that everything changed. Without knowing much about the industry, we decided to send our Tequila Blanco to the San Francisco World Spirit Competition. This competition is basically the Oscars for spirits. We sent in our application with the little money we didn't use for production. Not only did we win the Double- Gold, top of the line award, but we also won the “Best Tequila” of the competition. Suddenly, we - the new kids on the block - had the World’s Best Tasting Tequila.
We proved that our artisan process is a signature of quality. This wild journey is a combination of sweat and serendipity.
Carlos M. Soto, Founder and head-honcho