Terressentia, which plans to use the SC Launch investment for marketing and sales efforts, uses a patented distilling process to create private labels for a variety of customers. The company also is working on a research project with students from the College of Charleston.
Published Aug. 5, 2010
A North Charleston-based startup plans to use a $200,000 investment from SC Launch to increase its exposure and grow its customer base for custom-distilled products.
Terressentia uses a patented manufacturing technology process called TerrePure that quickly refines high-quality distilled spirits for retailers and private brand owners, the company said in a statement.
Terressentia was founded in 2007 in Charleston, led by Earl D. Hewlette, a Columbia native with an MBA and law degree from the University of South Carolina. Hewlette serves as the company’s president and CEO.
“We at Terressentia are thankful for the SC Launch recognition and investment in our company,” he said. “These funds will expand our sales and marketing efforts, enabling us to achieve more market recognition of the way our patented technology can dramatically improve the purity and flavor of distilled spirits at a very low relative cost.”
Hewlette said that, as the company gains more exposure, he hopes to continue to increase the number of restaurant, hotel, grocery and liquor store chains using Terressentia’s products for their own private labels.
O.Z. “Ty” Tyler is Terressentia’s co-founder and chief technology officer. Edward W. Bailey is the company’s vice president of operations.
Terressentia also is partnering with the College of Charleston on a chemistry research project.
Undergraduate students at the College of Charleston, along with a faculty mentor in the chemistry and biochemistry department, are working with different methods of chemical analysis, including gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and solid phase microextraction to find and measure the traces of flavor-producing molecules found in the Terressentia vodka product, said chemistry professor Wendy Cory.
“The research allows students to apply what they have learned in the classroom to solving a real-world problem and exposes them to independent laboratory work and a variety of specialized instrumentation,” she said. “Students present their findings in written reports, as well as poster presentations on campus and at a regional scientific meeting.”
Since the inception of the SC Launch Program four years ago, SC Launch has assisted, helped form and land more than 230 knowledge-based entities in South Carolina, providing funding and services to more than 178. The SCRA affiliate has attracted more than $104 million in add-on, private equity investment in S.C. companies. SCRA operations have made a cumulative economic contribution of more than $13.7 billion to South Carolina.