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Distillery Preneur: Litty Mathew

Female distiller launches first of its kind since prohibition.

Brewing beer and distilling alcohol has long since been revered as a man’s trade, but historically women were the makers of spirits. Continuing this legacy is Ethiopian-born Litty Mathew, the co-founder of Greenbar Distillery. Litty has a Masters in Journalism from University of Southern California, where she met her husband and Greenbar co-founder Melkon Khosrovian.

Before launching Greenbar, Litty attended Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris to pursue her passion for food and cooking. After cooking school she returned to the U.S. and worked as a freelance travel and food writer for publications such as Maxim and Saveur. She’s also a published author with the novel “The Musician’s Secret,” based on the Armenian community in Glendale, California, where she lives with her husband.

Greenbar is haled as the first distillery in LA since prohibition, and it’s living up to that innovative era with a modern twist including a website with a cocktail quiz to find your perfect drink, and an online library filled with recipes. The distillery features a range of liqueurs including tequila, whisky, vodka—with a variety of collections such as City, Tru and Fruitlab.

“I get to combine my passion and obsession for real food with my search for exceptional flavors at Greenbar Distillery.”

But that’s not all that sets the distillery apart from other spirit makers. Litty’s line of liqueurs are organic, made with fruits that are harvested from organic farms that are free of artificial pesticides, synthetic fertilizers and genetically modified organisms (GMOs); which produces a product with tastier, more intense flavor.

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Litty’s love for cuisine and culinary background has been instrumental in the process, “I get to combine my passion and obsession for real food with my search for exceptional flavors at Greenbar Distillery,” she explains. “We still taste our spirits daily—from fermentation to distillation to flavor—to find that sweet spot for ultimate flavor and consistency.”

I recently caught up with Litty to learn about Greenbar Distillery and how it’s making an impact on the environment, one bottle at a time.

Share your background.

I was born in Ethiopia to South Indian parents. My family, including my two older sisters, grew our own fruits and vegetables in each country they lived. When I was four, we moved to Jamaica, then to the United States, when I was nine years old. My roots and the countries of my childhood steeped me in flavor and a rich culinary history.

You can find me most Sundays at the Hollywood Farmers’ Market. I also like grocery stores that cater to various immigrant communities. These jaunts inspire me personally and also the work I do at Greenbar Distillery.

By Art of Preneur

Art of Preneur is a guide and galleria for women entrepreneurs. We’re on a mission to build a professional community to help female founders get exposure and funding. Join the movement and put your state on the map!

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