Published October 19, 2010
Volume 18, Number 10

Skyy Spirits Supply Chain Group Alights in Hacienda          
Local Start-Up has Become an Industry Giant in the 18 Years Since its Founding

By Nicole Zaro Stahl

Skyy Spirits has just moved its 15-member Product Supply Chain group from San Jose into an office at 4305 Hacienda Drive. The San Francisco-based company is somewhat of a phenomenon in the beverage industry. Its flagship product, SKYY Vodka, was created by a Bay Area engineer with no prior spirits experience who pioneered “an innovative, state-of-the-art quadruple-distillation, triple-filtration process.”

The exceptionally smooth vodka launched commercially in 1992, and word-of-mouth fueled rapid growth. The following year, a distinctive, specially commissioned cobalt blue bottle further shook up the industry as the category’s first “style” packaging. A subsequent string of accolades, such as the “Hot Brand,” “Brand of the Future,” and “Blue Chip” awards, signaled that SKYY was rapidly becoming one of the most prestigious brands in the business. 

Over the past 18 years, the tiny local start-up has mushroomed to become the eighth largest spirits company in the nation. Now owned by Gruppo Campari in Milan, Italy, the world’s sixth largest spirits company, Skyy Spirits has built a full portfolio of vodka, tequila, rum, whiskies, liqueurs, and distinctive Campari brands “unrivaled in quality, innovation and style,” its website points out with pride.

A relocation of SKYY Vodka’s San Jose bottling operation triggered the change of scene for the Product Supply Chain group. The new office will handle Customer Service to distributors, Production Planning, PSC Finance, Imports, and Innovations.  “We thought it was a good time to make the move to Hacienda, which is a central location for dealing with our production facilities, as well as our distributors,” remarks corporate spokesman Dave Karraker.

The Pleasanton site will be staffed by existing employees, but the company is in the enviable position of hiring in the middle of a difficult economic climate.

“Skyy Spirits’ business here in the U.S. was up 13 percent in the first half of 2010,” states Gerry Ruvo, the company’s CEO. “We attribute this to some great products like SKYY Vodka, Wild Turkey Bourbon, and Cabo Wabo Tequila, but also to the fact that consumers continue to embrace cocktailing even in a down economy. They are looking for that little escape or that little indulgence. While they may not be able to afford a new car or television right now, they can certainly afford a delicious SKYY Vodka cocktail.”

Among this year’s accomplishments are the release of SKYY Infusions Ginger, expanding the popular Infusions line to include seven all-natural flavors; and the re-launch of EspolonTequila and the introduction of Glen Grant Single Malt Scotch Whisky into the U.S. market. The company also celebrated the 150th anniversary of Campari and mounted the largest promotion in its history, partnering with this summer’s hit movie, “Sex and the City 2,” complete with  a limited-edition SKYY Vodka bottle, designed by the movie’s costume designer Patricia Field.

For more information about the company, its brands, and tasty cocktail recipes, visit www.skyyspirits.com


Also in this issue ...