December 22, 2021 (Peoria, IL) JK Williams Distilling today announced today that it has landed a significant investment from noted British serial entrepreneur Rory Sweet and his wife Elisabeth through their family investment fund. This is the single largest investment the company has received to-date since JK Williams’ President and majority shareholder Andy Faris took over in 2019.
Sweet has previously held large stakes in UK-based technology firms such as RBR Networks (sold to Datatec for $60 million in 1998), MessageLabs (sold to Symantec for $695 million in 2008), and Halo Technologies (sold to Amphenol for $715 million in 2021). Sweet will continue in his current role as CEO of IT solutions provider Hardware based in Kemble, England.
Faris stated, “This is a validation of the hard work our entire team has put into the relaunched and reimagined brand of JK Williams Distilling. To attract international investment dollars states volumes about where we are today and where we’re heading in the future as we continue to expand our operations in Peoria, Illinois, and elsewhere.”
Sweet commented that his wife Elisabeth will join the Board of Directors of JK Williams. “I see incredible potential in these brands, not just in the U.S. market but also the UK and EU, and we are delighted to be a part of JK Williams and build on its solid foundation,” said Sweet.
Elisabeth Sweet commented: “I’m excited to be involved in helping to guide the trajectory of the JK Williams brand.”
Faris stated that the investment will be used to continue expanding the distribution network to include another 3 - 4 states in 2022, targeting Missouri, Minnesota, Indiana, and Kentucky. Additionally, the goal is to see to fruition a Peoria riverfront project that has been in the works for over two years and to significantly ramp up production when the company’s new 1,000-gallon distilling system is delivered in February or March of 2022.
About JK Williams Distilling
Located in Peoria, Illinois, the one-time “Whiskey Capital of the World,” JK Distilling is the oldest craft distillery in the Greater Peoria area. The brand can trace its roots back to Bootician and Prohibition Legend J.K Williams, who made whiskey in Peoria, an area known for its high-quality grains and plentiful water source. Through Prohibition and subsequent years, Williams’ famous century-old recipe was passed on to generations of descendants. Current Owners Andy Faris and Stacy Shunk Faris are honoring the Williams family tradition with the release of Gold Zephyr Straight Bourbon Whiskey and Stormy River High Rye Whiskey, crafted under the care of Head Distiller Jeff Murphy. The company has also released the The Bridge Series: American Wheat Whiskey and Blueprint Vodka. For more information, visit: jkwilliamsdistilling.com or follow on social @jkwilliamsdistilling.