S&B Farmstead Distillery in Bancroft, Iowa is the proud vision of entrepreneur Sara Winkleman and comes from some unlikely beginnings. Sara is not a descendent from a family of distillers nor does she have an academic background or training in the distilling industry. In fact, she was originally a hair stylist and salon owner. So what prompted her to change career paths so drastically?
In 2009 Sara was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Over three years she dealt with memory loss, vertigo, and double vision. Every day was a challenge. But gradually Sara’s condition improved, and she has since been able to participate in many MS walks to raise awareness of the disease. Through the process of recovery not only was she a committed wife and mother of two, she also worked alongside her husband at their farm, tending to hogs and their corn crop. During this time she was inspired by the corn on their farm to begin making whiskey products right here in Iowa.
The wide world of whiskey was new to Sara so she decided to head to the south to learn from the best moonshiners in the country. With a newfound knowledge of the practices and intricacies of whiskey distilling, Sara began carefully studying the whiskey industry and forming her business plans. Sara then contacted the Northwest Iowa Small Business Development Center to help get her distillery off the ground. Michael Wampler, SBDC Regional Director, helped her with financial projections, obtaining financing, and developing her overall business model.
Today the S&B Farmstead Distillery is a booming success. They currently have five products on the market: Sir Winston Bourbon, Sir Winston White Whiskey, Private First Class, Field Fire and Hog Wild. They have also collaborated with other vendors to boost tourism in Iowa and served as a mentor for other distillers looking to start out. Through all the amazing work and effort Sara put into S&B Farmstead Distillery, she was awarded the prestigious Deb Dalziel Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award for 2019 among different awards for her products.
Visit S&B Farmstead Distillery: https://sbfarmsteaddistillery.com/