Thursday, January 4, 2018

Tales of the Cocktail Has Been Sold

     Founders Ann and Paul Tuennerman have reportedly entered into an agreement with two local entrepreneurs to sell annual drinks festival Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans.   Gary Solomon Jr, head of the Solomon Group, and Neal Bodenheimer, co-owner of cocktail bar Cure, have signed a letter of intent to purchase TOTC’s parent company Mojo911 LLC from founder Ann Tuennerman and her husband Paul Tuennerman.
     According to Neat Pour, the deal will see the company restructured as a not-for-profit.   Paul Tuennerman previously announced his resignation as TOTC’s Chief business officer last year following a row over a ‘blackface’ video of his wife, Ann. Both later apologized for the content.  This was followed by the Tuennermans announcement that they were stepping down from the company effective immediately in September 2017.  Co-Founders, Ann and Paul Tuennerman, will be transitioning away from their roles in producing the world’s renowned cocktail event, Tales of the Cocktail, effective immediately.   Melissa Young, who has served as Director of Operations for the past nine years will assume the reins of the operating company behind the event as President. 

      "We have devoted our professional careers to the hospitality industry even before the formation of Tales of the Cocktail and the New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society. Our goal has always been to create something lasting that can benefit the industry and the people of New Orleans well beyond our years. This allows that to continue," said Ann R. Tuennerman.   “It has been an honor to spend the last fifteen years working within the industry to create something extraordinary. I am fortunate in that I have had the opportunity to work alongside some amazing bartenders, spirit producers, authors, and educators, from around the globe. While Ann and I have mixed emotions, we are excited about the next chapter in our lives, and look forward to watching the event continue to evolve and flourish,” said Paul G. Tuennerman.

     Founded in 2002, Tales of the Cocktail has grown from a small gathering of cocktail lovers into the world’s premier cocktail festival.   Each year the international spirits industry is welcomed to New Orleans for a week of seminars, tastings, networking events and much more. With 200+ annual events developed specifically for bartenders, distillers and other spirits professionals.   Tales of the Cocktail is the industry’s annual meeting place for exchange of new ideas, products and techniques. 
     Tales of the Cocktail® is produced by the New Orleans Culinary & Cultural Preservation Society, a non-profit organization committed to supporting, promoting and growing the cocktail industry in New Orleans and around the world. In addition to offering opportunities to learn and acquire new skills through Tales of the Cocktail® events and Tales 365®, for which the proceeds go back into the spirits industry. Since 2008, there has been more than $886,000 invested into programs like the Cocktail Apprentice Program, a tuition reimbursement program, the Apprentice medical aid fund, educational scholarships and a new health and wellness program for members of the hospitality industry.   According to a report from the University of New Orleans Research Department, Tales of the Cocktail 2017 generated a total economic impact of US$18.9 million for the city.