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Rhonda Kallman

Founder & CEO of Boston Harbor Distillery


What inspired you to start your business?

Passion and a ‘white space’ for whiskey in New England.

What challenges have you faced as a woman entrepreneur and how did you overcome them?

TNTC (too numerous to count)! I’ve always believed in myself and my abilities. Although I look different than most of the men I dealt with, I plain outworked everyone and followed through consistently.

What advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs?

Follow your instincts, though keep in mind that it takes money, passion and perseverance to make something of value that others want. There are many sacrifices to be had, so be sure you love what you do!

What three traits define you?

Heart, Brains, Thick Skin.

What women inspire you?

Women who have carved out a place for themselves and have broken through with their passion.

What do you see as the coolest or most important trend in your industry?

Ready-to-drink “real deal” cocktails delivered to your door.

What are the biggest obstacles you see for young female entrepreneurs?

There are always going to be obstacles, if it’s worthwhile… The biggest is finding the right support group, whether it be family, friends and especially significant other support.

What do you love about being a business owner?

Everything, especially the ability to create on my terms, of course with an eye to what the consumer proposition is.

What’s the hardest part about being a business owner?

The insecurity of being out front on your own.

How do you define success?

Happiness, repeat sales, and ultimately return on investment for all involved.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?

Cash flow, cash flow, cash flow.

What’s your favorite career moment?

Acknowledgement as being the “pioneering woman in the beer industry” … that started it all.

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?

If I had extra time in a day, I’d probably work more! It’s what I enjoying doing. Of course, I would also like to have more time to spend with my husband, three children, my dog and my friends, though likely we’d be going to restaurants and events! Walking the beach, swimming and boating are favorite pastimes as well.

What do you like about your workspace?

Boston Harbor Distillery is housed in a pre-Civil War era 1850s building on the southernmost waterfront of Boston, with views of the entire city. It’s an 11,000 square foot space with original brick and beam building and 40’ ceilings. Original hand hewn, old growth wood trusses and beams crisscross high above, as daylight spills down from clerestory windows. Day turns to night and the light transfixes! Housed behind a 12-foot glass wall, there is a bright copper, American-made still made by Vendome Copper Works in Louisville, Kentucky. The luck of the still’s unique serial number being 1776, is a symbol that it found its rightful home here in my beloved city of Boston!

If that isn’t enough, my wonderful team is as inspiring as the building itself! There is an energy that I pick up immediately from each of the team members. There is youth, passion, commitment and excitement that exudes from each of them.

Fill in the blank:

When I face a challenge, I... figure out the best way to conquer it.

If I could go back in time, I would tell myself life is short, follow your passion.

The one thing I couldn’t live without is… love.

By this time next year, I will be… healthy, happy and will be enjoying the next chapter of my life in my sixties!

The best thing that happened to me last week was… spending time with my husband, kids and dog.

To get my creative juices flowing, I… drink some whiskey. Cheers!

Boston harbor distillery

Boston Harbor Distillery (BHD) opened at The Port on Boston Harbor in Dorchester in June 2015, reviving an entrepreneurial center from the mid-1800s. BHD creates proprietary craft spirits that integrate rich history, distinctive experiences and beverage culture into each bottle it produces. Housed in a pre-Civil War era building overlooking Boston Harbor, the Distillery serves as both a distilling facility and an event space, tasting room and mercantile.

Learn more.

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