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The Epicurean Journey of Preiss Imports

Photo for: The Epicurean Journey of Preiss Imports

27/02/2024 Cultivating a new perspective and appreciation for the finer, artisanal side of life, one sip at a time.

Since its inception, Preiss Imports has been at the forefront of the importing and marketing of international spirits, wines, and culinary specialties, embodying the fusion of product intimacy, knowledge, and a passion for the artisanal side of life. With a rich history dating back to 1961, Preiss Imports has evolved into a boutique firm known for its stellar portfolio, strong supplier relationships, and innovative marketing strategies. We chat with Henry Preiss about his journey.

Can you share the story behind the founding of Preiss Imports and how it has evolved over the years?

The current Preiss Imports was founded by Nikki Preiss and me in 20112. From our beginnings, we have grown to sell many of our brands in 45 states through a network of 60 distributors.

Image: Henry Preiss - Preiss Imports

How does the team's expertise in spirits, wines, and culinary specialties influence the company's portfolio and brand management?

This is my 50th year in the industry and people around the globe know us and seek us out to carry their brands. We are very selective in working with family producers.

What strategies has Preiss Imports employed to market and promote its niche brands effectively? Can you tell us about any innovative marketing campaigns or partnerships that have been particularly successful?

The truly large range of our portfolio is one of our biggest assets.

Image: Preiss Imports Office Bar - Preiss Imports’ portfolio

We are a go-to for bars, restaurants, and retail stores via our distributors. No magic here just a lot of showing our brands at trade events around the country and direct engagement with our distributors.

What criteria does Preiss Imports use to select the international spirits, wines, and culinary specialties in its portfolio? How do you ensure the quality and authenticity of the products it imports?

Two primary ingredients are, do we like the people and their company and whether we like the brands. From there do they fit our portfolio? We try to find or take in brands with true heritage or new brands with exceptional creativity from the producer.

Which markets does Preiss Imports currently sell in, and are there any new markets you are targeting for expansion?

We are nationally distributed outside of a few liquor control states.

Image: (Left) Natasha Bahrami Gin Room owner in St Louis MO and Founder of Gin World, (Right) Divertido Tequila

Can you discuss any new products or brands that Preiss Imports is experimenting with or planning to introduce to its portfolio?

Currently, a hot category is the plant-based liqueur used in cocktails and we recently brought in Izarra from the French Basque country and elixir D’Anvers from Belgium.

What would you consider to be Preiss Imports' biggest achievement or milestone to date?

When we launched Izarra Liqueur last summer it immediately found a home at Total Wine and More nationwide which is rare for a brand just entering the country.

Image: Izarra Liqueur the Classic From the Franch Basque Country

How has participating in the Bartender Spirits Awards competition helped Preiss Imports in promoting its brands and expanding its reach?

Anytime we can use awards from a prestigious spirits competition such as the Bartenders Spirits Awards it helps our brands get market recognition.

Image: Regan Doughty Preiss Imports Mid-West Sales Manager

In what ways does Preiss Imports plan to build on its success and continue to grow in the future?

The main focus for us is to be sure that the brands we are taking to market have relevance, especially for bartenders.

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Conclusion:

As Preiss Imports continues to expand its reach and portfolio, it remains committed to its core values of quality, authenticity, and sustainability. With Henry and Nikki Preiss leading the way, the company is poised for continued success in the ever-evolving landscape of the spirits and culinary industry. Through its dedication to excellence and innovation, Preiss Imports is not just importing products; it is shaping the future of the epicurean experience.

Header Image: Nikki and Henry Preiss

In conversation with Malvika Patel, Editor and VP, Beverage Trade Network

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