(WSVN) - Two South Florida friends are toasting to their hard work and good fortune after leaving the world of finance. They’re now making whiskey, and Kevin Ozebek has a look at their “spirited” efforts in tonight’s 7 Spotlight.
These two South Florida friends have very similar interests.
Chima Burey and Amani Maculey are the founders of Duke and Dame Whiskey. They met in New York where both worked in corporate finance.
But after spending years in the Big Apple, they made a big leap from the boardroom to the bar.
Chima Burey: “And my friends and family both were like, ‘What are you doing? Like, how did this happen?'”
A few years ago, when Chima was visiting family in South Florida, he met up with Amani and a few friends at a bar.
Chima Burey: “And when one of my buddies bought a round for the table, it sparked a conversation. If you can start your own flavored whiskey, what would it be? I said I would do a salted caramel flavor!”
Chima couldn’t get that “sweet” idea out of his head.
After eventually moving back to South Florida, he called up Amani and told him his plan to create his own whiskey.
Amani Maculey: “I think the very next week we went to a distillery, spent four hours there, just asking every question under the sun.”
They quit their jobs and dedicated months to creating the right blend.
Amani Maculey: “I mean, we had chemistry sets. I mean, we had beakers! We had pipettes! We’re taking notes, and we’ll call each other like ‘try one mil of that’ and ‘do two mils of that.'”
The final formula was a hit with friends and family. Then it was time to find a Florida distiller to mass produce it.
The friends also came up with a slick name.
Chima Burey: “Duke and Dame, it is ‘him and hers.'”
Duke and Dame launched in 2017 and was soon sold at stores across the state.
It didn’t take long for Duke and Dame to be picked up at some of South Florida’s most popular bars and restaurants, including here at Confidante in Miami Beach.
Amani Maculey: “It’s constant validation that we created something amazing, right?”
Duke and Dame is also “on deck” on all Carnival Cruise ships and available in three other states and the Caribbean.
It also earned 10 international awards.
But the work isn’t over.
Amani Maculey: “Oh, in the future, we want Duke and Dame to be everywhere.”
Cheers to these two friends who took a chance and turned their “sweet” dream into a reality.
Kevin Ozebek, 7News.
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