Jan 25, 2010

Ilegal mezcal

This FT article is about an American smuggler turned entrepeneur who started his bar out of nothing in Antigua Guatemala, and is now becoming an international business man, exporting mezcal to his home country.

I appreciated many aspects of his story. The first one is his entrepreneurship. I admire people who take the risks involved in making our lives better. For sure, he had no opportunity cost. He had no money and no job…so why not start a bar! But then, he had to circumvent harmful regulation to smuggle good mezcal from Oaxaca, in Mexico, to Guatemala. Respect!

I also admire his choice of product, ilegal mezcal, which he describes as of "communal, ceremonial, hand-crafted" quality.

What I also liked about the story is how a Zapotec fourth-generation mezcal producer from Tlacolula manages to export his product, benefiting from an immigrant’s knowledge and contacts with the US market. I wonder how much of the revenues he gets. In any case, more business is a good thing, and the entrepreneur's nationality was what made the trade happen.

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