Rachelle Henderson is one of Union Horse Distilling Company's Territory Managers. This month, Rachelle shares with us about her background, the impact of women & whiskey, and what it means to be a part of Union Horse history.
Q: Tell us about yourself and your background. When did you first get involved in the industry?
Rachelle: It was an unexpected happenstance that drew me into the world of whiskey. I have a BA in Human Services, but decided to stay at home with my kids after college. Once my youngest entered Kindergarten in 2016, I needed a part-time job while I searched for a career in my degree. Someone suggested I apply as a part-time tour guide at a local distillery. Surprisingly to myself, I loved everything about it. That’s where I found my passion for learning the history and process of whiskey, and talking spirits with customers and like-minded people.
I found a career that I truly enjoyed doing. I eventually moved on to the distributor side of the alcohol industry, but my true passion was the supplier side, specifically whiskey. I was ecstatic to come on board with Union Horse in 2022 which produced my favorite rye whiskey in the market. I now proudly pour Union Horse as my whiskey of choice but also my career.
Q: Since you started working in whiskey (and the wider drinks industry), what have you seen change in relation to women and diversity in the industry?
Rachelle: I’ve seen so many more women become actively involved in the whiskey community who were once apprehensive because it was thought as a “man’s drink of choice”. More women are open to sampling and growing their palate and knowledge of this spirit category. We have a fantastic whiskey club in Kansas City that has an active women’s group. It’s a wonderful mix of women that love whiskey or simply enjoy the comradery of the community of women it attracts. While it still is a mostly male dominated industry with its challenges, I do find more acceptance as a woman than I did when I first began in the industry. There’s still a ways to go but I’m proud to be a part of paving that way for women.
Q: What does your day-to-day look like?
Rachelle: I usually start my day in the office reading and sending emails, checking in with my director/co-owner, and replenishing sale sheets and sample bottles. Then I head out into the market. As a Territory Manager, I manage predominately Missouri retail liquor stores, bars and restaurants. I also make sales calls to potential new clients and existing accounts. Sales calls include sampling our portfolio of whiskeys, collaborating and creating cocktails for menus, checking inventory, schedule tastings and events, and providing brand support through coasters, bar mats, barrels for aging cocktails, and staff education.
Q: What’s your favorite way to enjoy whiskey?
Rachelle: My favorite way to enjoy whiskey is the Union Horse Barrel Strength Rye Old Fashioned. I love the bold spice flavors of the rye at a higher proof, mixed with the simplest ingredients that are meant to compliment the flavor of the whiskey. Cheers!
Wanna learn more about Rachelle? Click here to listen to a recent podcast with Women & Whiskey. Want to learn more about the Union Horse process? Distillery tours are available in both a public and private setting. Tours are $17 per person, and must be purchased in advance by contacting email@example.com or calling 913-492-3275.