My acquaintance with Terray Glasman started with a bottle – a bottle of Amorada tequila. My husband likes picking up unusual and unique liquors for his bar. Not long ago he brought home a beautiful hand-made bottle of Amorada Tequila to add to his collection. The bottle itself caught his eye, then we tasted the contents, and we were instant fans. So, when an opportunity arose to speak with the founder of Amorada Tequila Terray Glasman, I couldn’t miss the chance.
Terray, I was a little surprised that a liquor company would be in the hands of a lovely woman. How did you find yourself in the men’s world?
Well, it is a complex story. My decision to start this business was based on two motives: my passion for tequila and my dream to do good in this world. I grew up drinking and appreciating tequila the way Europeans appreciate fine wines and cognac. Tequilas can have a variety of tastes and textures; they should be savored and enjoyed. Fine quality tequila is a sipping drink that you hold in your mouth to relish the flavor of its bouquet. I believe there is a great opportunity for fine “boutique-style” product on the American market. I have started the business five years ago. In December 2014-January 2015 our tequila was launched here in Texas. So far, we’ve been very successful.
You are obviously an aficionado of tequila. The way you are describing it is very poetic. How is it different from the regular product we drink every day?
It is all in the process. Everything we do is done by hand. Our bottles are hand-blown and sand-blasted; our tequila is produced in small batches and is carefully aged in French White Oak and French cognac and wine barrels. It is made of only 100% Weber Blue Agave and nothing else. The bouquet develops during the aging process and is absorbed from the barrels. It has taken years to find the right distillery and perfect the recipe that I myself was ready to stand behind.
Our Blanco Tequila is housed in a stunning cobalt blue bottle while our Reposado Tequila is housed in a beautiful amber bottle. We are currently aging our Anejo, which, when released, will be housed in a crimson crystal bottle. In the near future, we plan on also releasing our Extra Anejo, which will be housed in a black crystal bottle.
For those who haven’t tasted the Amorada tequila yet. How would you describe it?
Amorada Blanco, in classic blanco style is unaged. It is crisp and refreshing with subtle taste of pineapple and a hint of pepper and vegetable. The Reposado, aged in white oak French barrels, first hits the palette with vanilla, brown sugar and oak, and then gives way to an assemblage of intense almond, clove and cinnamon. The Anejo, which we are unveiling September 17 th in Austin, is even more complex. It is aged in white oak and French cognac and wine barrels that give it its complexity. Vanilla and oak are prevalent at first, then transitioning into tobacco and caramel, until the taste dissipates into rich butterscotch.
My mouth is watering! You have to tell our readers where to buy your tequila. Where is it available?
We are well represented in Austin and San Antonio, and have entered into the Dallas area. However, if you need to find us nationally, you can visit any of the Total Wine & More stores. They carry our products.
Terray, you’ve mentioned that one of the motivations for founding this business was your desire to do good in this world. What did you mean by that?
For a very long time I had a strong desire to have my own non-profit organization and give back to the community. Amorada Tequila currently donates money to other charitable organizations. However, I knew one day I would be blessed to be able to start my own non-profit. I was simply waiting on the approval, and I finally have it.
What are your goals, your vision? Running a non-profit organization in addition to a business is a big responsibility.
Yes, it is, but I am very passionate about it. I know what happens when one experiences hunger. I am planning to establish a food-bank of a sort, but not a typical one that mostly offers non-perishable food and dry goods. It is going to be a self-sustained 5 acre ranch in the North Austin, where children can come and learn how to grow and cook organic food. They will be given valuable skills and knowledge about nutrition. Everything grown on the ranch will be distributed among the participants and other local food banks. The children will be taking the food home and hopefully share what they learn with others. They may even become our new generation of farmers. Any excess produce can be sold at a local framers’ market, and money invested back into the organization.
This is such a beautiful endeavor! I really admire you for that. You mentioned that your personal experiences led you to your decision to start this non-profit. Do you mind sharing your story with us?
I was born in Mexico. My family moved to the US when I was six. My father left my mother when I was very young, he died much later, and my mother had to raise eight children on her own. I cannot express how hard it was for all of us, especially my mother. I actually did not even finish high school. I felt that I needed to work to help my mother, who, at times, had to work two jobs to provide for us. Don’t get me wrong, we always had food on the table. But that came with a price of not seeing my mother, as she had extra-long working days. As for myself, well, I just never made it back to school. I always had an entrepreneurial spirit. First, my friend and I had a small but successful advertisement business. Later, after working for AT&T, I established my own telecommunications company. During that time I traveled a lot for business to Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras. There I saw children in the streets: hungry, barefoot, and despondent. It brought back the memories of my own childhood; I was absolutely overwhelmed by the torrent of emotions I experienced. I vowed then that I will do everything in my power to make a difference in this world, to help the children. It was a long and hard journey, a lot of sacrifices had to be made to make it happen, but I am happy now – things are finally coming together. You have given a totally new angle to the notion of the American dream. You have achieved personal success and are sharing it with others! That’s the achievement worthy of applause. What’s next?
What is your vision for the future?
Growth! Definitely growth! The bigger we can make the business, the bigger impact our non-profit organization can make. Now we are donating 10 cents from the sale of each bottle of tequila to other food banks, and will continue to support other charities, as well as expanding our own. Perhaps, someday my small endeavor can grow into a movement, and other people would participate in creating organic food banks. That’s my vision of the future.
I always say “A Company without purpose leaves a business without passion.”
Fantastic! I wish you the best of success. By the way, if anyone needs an additional reason to buy fine tequila – this is definitely it!