Justin Douglas, the owner of Simple Man Distillery, has sights set on Cumming City Center as the perfect location to open his first storefront. A Cumming City press release from early June stated “Cumming City Center is a natural fit for a mission-driven company to put roots down in the heart of one of the fastest-growing cities in Georgia.”
As a business partner of Georiga Grown, a division of the Georgia Department of Agriculture, Simple Man Distillery creates unique spirits featuring raw ingredients from family-owned farms throughout the state. Georgia Grown is an initiative that helps new agribusinesses grow and established agribusinesses thrive by bringing producers, processors, suppliers, distributors, retailers, and consumers together in one powerful, statewide community.
Up until the opening of the new store, Simple Man Distillery operated through other distilleries across the state to produce its spirits via contract arrangements. Simple Man’s Gullah Geechee Gin is concocted by Jovan Sagemade using botanical ingredients like hibiscus from Gilliard Farms in Brunswick, one of the oldest African American-owned farms in the Southeast.
The new distillery’s concept will offer patrons the experience of a fully functional distillery. The location will include a special event barrel room and a tasting room styled as a mid-century speakeasy with private dining booths. The menu hasn’t been finalized yet, but a rotating pop-up kitchen featuring local chefs and culinary startups will offer a new experience every visit. Adjacent to Simple Man, the City Center’s Lou Sobh Amphitheater will offer a to-go bar.
Owning his own distillery location will open many creative doors for Douglas to expand and perfect his crafting skills. “Control of our own production will allow us to create incredible regular and special releases showcasing what Georgia farmers can do,” Douglas said in the release. Some Simple Man originals include a Smoked Apple Brandy using hand-cut, smoked apples over apple wood grown from Penland Farms in Ellijay.