Like most good things, Mike & Ron’s partnership started over drinks…
They were brought together by mutual friends who knew that each was pursuing the idea of opening Delaware's first stand alone small-batch distillery. After chatting, they found that each had done the opposite pieces as the other: Ron had done a lot of work exploring investors & developing a business plan, whereas Mike had been heavily researching production & learning the basics of distilling.
Legacy Distilling, LLC, was started the following month, and the next two years were dedicated to firming up the business plan, pooling our monies, courting investors, changing laws, searching and settling on a location, renovating a space to meet our needs, and seeking permission from our wives. Most of this was done while maintaining their other careers... Ron, an Assistant Professor of Orthopedics at a College of Medicine and Mike, running a non-profit, tasked with education policy reform.
The building that houses the distillery was originally a single screen, first run movie house, called the Old Smyrna Theater. The movie house was in operation roughly 27 years, closing in 1975, and was eventually sold to a local family who consolidated their plumbing supply business in the space from 1985-2005.
With the build-out complete we assembled, together with both of our father in-laws, our main production still in October 2013, then opened our doors for the first time to the public a month later, November 8th.
The building sat empty for 7 years until we started our renovation during the first week of January, 2013. We are likely the only distillery in the country whose immediate neighbor is an active Presbyterian church.
In 2018, Painted Stave Distilling added a Barrel House to create more space for aging whiskey, and a cocktail garden for enjoying cocktails on sunny days.