MANCHESTER, NH — On Sunday, Dyn founder, Minim CEO and Queen City angel investor and philanthropist Jeremy Hitchcock turned to Twitter in hope of finding people interested in starting a new distillery or glass blowing studio.
“If you want to start a distillery or a glass studio in NH, @lizesc and I would love to help – Greater Boston Area (aka Manchester) — let us know or introduce us to someone who is please,” Hitchcock tweeted.
Hitchcock, a Manchester West High grad who made his fortune starting Internet powerhouse Dyn, which later sold to Oracle, said this is the first time he used Twitter to solicit pitches like these. But as a tech entrepreneur, he said he isn’t that well connected to folks in the craft liquor or glass art scenes.
He said it’s part of a larger effort to revitalize Manchester.
“I guess it’s very similar to the Bookery,” Hitchcock said, referring to the new independent bookstore on Elm Street he and his wife Liz have partnered to open earlier this year.
The bookstore was a “missing component” in the city, he said. And a glass blowing studio is similarly missing.
He became interested in a glass studio after seeing one in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which has a thriving artist scene, he said. Not only was it a place for an artist to ply his trade, but it was a gathering place for people in the community to come and watch him work.
“It’s just an amazing cultural amenity,” Hitchcock said.
He wants to improve Manchester’s downtown but he said some of these places, like the distillery, may end up a little off the beaten path due to zoning and fire safety rules.
Manchester has a distillery operation at Stark Brewing Company on Commercial Street, which started making vodka in recent years from the same grain used to make their beer.
If you want to start a distillery or a glass studio in NH, @lizesc and I would love to help – Greater Boston area (aka Manchester) – let us know or introduce us to someone who is please
— Jeremy Hitchcock (@jhitchco) August 12, 2018
Hitchcock said he would like to replicate the success and quality of places like Tamworth Distilling in Tamworth.
“Gins and bourbons I think are kind of underrepresented,” he said.
So far, he says he’s gotten a significant response to his tweet in the past few days.
Both distilleries and glass blowing studios require some expensive equipment to get started, but he said they would be more flexible than banks when it comes to collateralizing. As a startup founder himself, Hitchcock said he knows how to spot the right people to make bets on, and he can provide his own expertise to help any new partners.
“They have to have some skin in the game just as much as we do, and they have to be sustainable,” he said.
The bookstore took about 10 years to get off the ground, according to Hitchcock. So, while he is willing to let these ventures go at their own pace, he would hope to start something sooner than that.
And Hitchcock said they are also taking other ideas that are unique and help liven up the community.
“We’re always interested in crazy ideas,” Hitchcock said.
Anyone who wishes to pitch their ideas to Jeremy and Liz Hitchcock, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org — an email address he created on a whim during the course of our interview.
Or click here for more info.