V-One Vodka's owner has local tastes with national dreams
By Courtney Llewellyn
Reminder Assistant Editor
SPRINGFIELD Paul Kozub, owner of V-One Vodka, has big dreams for his local company.
At the "V-One Vodka Stimulus Package" event last Wednesday at Max's Tavern, Kozub told Reminder Publications that within the next five to seven years, he wants his organic vodka to be sold in all 50 states.
His short-term goal is to head east. "Nine out of 10 bottles of vodka are sold within I-495," Kozub said. "I'm aiming for Boston, then the rest of New England."
He currently has 1,000 accounts in Western Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Touted as "the world's most drinkable vodka," V-One Vodka was created by entrepreneur Kozub as a way to honor his father and Polish grandfather, according to the company's Web site. "As the story goes, his grandfather produced his own vodka during the 1930s and distributed it all over the state of Massachusetts. The entrepreneurial spirit of his father and a business background from years of banking led Paul to ask why small batch vodka wasn't being made today. Paul scoured the Internet to learn as much as he could about vodka and spent the next year experimenting with recipes in the basement of his home in Hadley."
On Sept. 1, 2005, V-One Vodka made its debut in 10 liquor stores and five restaurants in Western Massachusetts.
The stimulus package event, which took place on Tax Day, was a way for Kozub to say thank you to those who have been supporting him for the past four years.
"I like to buy people drinks when I go out," Kozub explained, "so I thought, 'Why not just have one event where I can buy everyone drinks?'"
All of V-One's marketing is "very viral," according to Kozub. He doesn't spend a lot on advertising -- he'd rather host tastings at liquor stores or have fans of the drink follow its pages on Myspace and Facebook.
Kozub believes this kind of grass roots advertising will take him far.
For more information on V-One Vodka, visit www.v1vodka.com