Local vodka brand gives back in unexpected ways
Quebec · Jun 9, 2020
Nicolas Duvernois, owner of Pur Vodka in Montreal
Nicolas Duvernois started brainstorming other ways he could use his product when the pandemic hit. Ever since then, his pursuit has been relentless… from making hand sanitizer to helping the bartending community and beyond.
“To be successful you need two successes: the company and the community! One without the other makes no sense to me.” – Nicolas Duvernois, owner of Pur Vodka.
When Nicolas Duvernois, owner of Pur Vodka, sees an opportunity, he seizes it. Working in a restaurant for a few months, he noticed two things: first, patrons buy a lot of Vodka, and second, there was no vodka being produced in Quebec. This inspired Duvernois’ to take a risk, jump at an opportunity and start his own vodka brand. It has since become Canada’s most awarded vodka with 72 medals won at the world’s leading competitions.
That same proactive mindset helped Duvernois pivot yet again once COVID-19 broke out. “We were, since day one, ultra proactive. We started to produce large volumes of hand sanitizers for emergency workers and front line employees a couple of days after the start of the pandemic.” It was a brilliant switch from distilling vodka to producing alcohol-based sanitizer, but they didn’t stop there. They partnered with Cook It, a ready-to-cook company, and donated 6,000 meals to local restaurant and bar industry staff that had lost jobs. Then, Duvernois and his team developed a cocktail-at-home program with three of the best bars in Montreal. It helped get mixologists back working behind the bar; creating 3 amazing cocktails which people could order as kits to enjoy at home. Sales revenue was donated to the bars that created the cocktails as well as the Bartender Benevolent Fund.
With a leader seizing opportunity and a team supporting his vision, Pur Vodka has been able to accomplish incredible things in a short period of time. Duvernois says, “An entrepreneur is the best person to be given a challenge because the way our minds work is an incredible force. So don’t look at the mountain and be scared to run down it. Just feel excited to climb it!"
Even through the hardship of an uncertain future, Duvernois remains positive. “I strongly believe in the resilience of all humans, especially when we’re all affected by this health crisis. We’re in this together and I’m convinced that we’ll all make it through together.”
To support Nicolas Duvernois, Montrealer’s can visit the