INTERVIEW WITH ÅSA CAAP

WHY DID YOU START OUR/VODKA?

I was possessed by this prevailing attitude in the market that either a product was local or it was global. My feeling was that it did not have to be one way or the other. We humans have a need for both. I wanted to create a business model for a product that preserved the local community, but was global at the same time.

IN WHAT WAY DOES OUR/VODKA PRESERVE THE LOCAL COMMUNITY?

We partner up with local people with whom we share our profits. They use at least 50 square meters of their floor space for neighborhood activities. In Berlin, it is a stage for artists who do not get a spot in the Berlin Music Festival. In Detroit, we collaborated with Detroit Soup, an entrepreneurial forum where individuals can get funding to bring their ideas to life.

 

AND YOU HIRE PEOPLE LOCALLY?

Exactly. We look for local talent and offer them a share of the profits from Our/Vodka. They are responsible for the production and marketing on-site. For those of us who fought for Our/Vodka, the search for new partners is a very important process. We see it as looking for adoptive parents for our children. They are good people who have a creative drive and the feel for running a start-up are what characterize the Our/Vodka family today.

YOU'VE HAD TIME TO OPEN SEVERAL DISTILLERIES SINCE OUR/BERLIN. WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN GOING FROM VISION TO THE FINISHED PRODUCT?

Combining the characteristics of a start-up – a small organization with speed and short decision paths – with such a large business like The Absolut Company and Pernod Ricard. Our idea was so different that it had to have its own business model. So it is a test of the company’s strength that Our/Vodka got the mandate it did.
December 4, 2014 – Stockholm