After a successful investment campaign with Honeycomb Credit, Nippitaty Distillery has raised the funds to renovate and move into a circa-1950s Gulf service station located on Spruill Avenue with enough space for a 40-seat tasting room. Owner Traxler Littlejohn signed the lease earlier this month and renovations will start in the coming weeks, he told the City Paper.
Honeycomb helps individuals invest in small local businesses by setting up campaigns with predetermined interest rates for companies in need of funding, setting it apart from donation-based crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter. According to Littlejohn, Nippitaty raised a total of $68,000 from 64 investors who contributed amounts from $100-$10,000.
“I would rather pay back people who support and love us, versus paying back whatever bank,” Littlejohn said. “This was a chance for them to truly help us grow and make this next step.”
Nippitaty became South Carolina’s first organic distillery when it opened in 2017, setting itself apart with craft gin and flavored vodka. The gin has won multiple awards, including a 2019 gold medal from the International Review of Spirits. Nippitaty’s present-day Pace Street facility can only serve between 10-15 patrons at a time — 4405 Spruill Ave. will be able to hold around 40 customers at a time.
With the funds to purchase the lease and start renovations, Littlejohn and his small staff will get right to work, with plans to complete most of the changes themselves by late May or early June. One room needs a new ceiling, and Littlejohn is looking forward to building out the bar in Nippitaty’s tasting room, where he’ll serve samples of gin and craft cocktails.
“Finally to be able to realize our dream that we’ve been holding on to for a year and a half is amazing,” Littlejohn said.
Look for Nippitaty Distillery at its new location in late May or early June. For more information, visit nippitatydistillery.com.