February 3, 2023

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There was John and Paul and then John and Oko. Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan. Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. Sure, we’ve had great combinations on screen, in the recording studio, and on stage, but sector mixing takes on a whole new life and energy.

Rocker Sammy Hagar doesn’t play second fiddle to anyone unless you’re a bleach-blond, larger-than-life taste junkie who chases good times like it’s a profession. We are, of course, talking about Guy Fieri.

Hagar and Fieri, both from small towns in California, share a love of entertainment and experience and continue to bring that to consumers with more offerings from the Santo Spirits company.

Entrepreneur spent time with the duo to delve deeper into the roots of their partnership and, more importantly, friendship.

Affectionately known as the “Godfather of Tequila,” Hagar was already in the spirits business long before Ryan Reynolds, George Clooney, Conor McGregor, Bryan Cranston or Charles Barkley made money from the billion-dollar distillery worldwide.

Hagar attributes much of his success in the spirits industry to the gritty and comforting roots of his cultivation in the lettuce fields of Salinas, California. “We grew up poor, but we always had a garden. My grandmother and my mother canned everything. We ate good tomatoes all year round,” he says. Hagar recalls the smell meters away from his artisan chef and grandfather’s trailer-turned-Italian bistro. “He made his own cheese, pasta and olive oil. He even made his own wine! I walked up to his caravan and it was like a deli – it smelled so damn good!”

See also: ‘No one believed’ that this black founder owned a liquor brand in 2012. He launched to much acclaim – and then lost it all. Here’s how he made a multi-million dollar comeback.

The romance of his relationship with food and family is reflected in his description and experience of flavors today. He had no intention of starting a booze business, but good taste attracted him, like many things in his life. Hagar leans into the quality of the food and spirits industry, perhaps because he first got to know a restaurant at the age of 24.

Wine was Hagar’s first love, and some unexpected and global twists landed him in Jalisco, Mexico, drinking tequila. What started with Cabo Wabo eventually grew into new ventures. “Good tequila tastes like earth with salt and citrus. Overtones, fruity, herbaceous, time and limit all come into play. Santo Tequila Blanco, you can drink it like this. There are so many notes in it.”

“Fieri grows peaches all over the distillery, and you can taste and smell the peaches there. It’s such a great agave spirit. From a Blanco tequila I can name 15 different things that I smell in ours because there’s nothing else in it sit “Others may smell like sugar or honey because they are trying to induce it with agave syrups. A lot of tequila isn’t as pure as it should be.”

Before tequila, Fieri drank the Kool-Aid

Years before Fieri was crushing flavor profiles on our screens, he was selling Kool-Aid in his neighborhood. Known for rolling up his sleeves, Fieri literally dipped his youthful arm into pitchers of the iconic 1980s drink until his father noticed. “My dad kicked me out of the Kool-Aid business after he caught me with a purple arm. I’d lost my swizzle stick, my dog ​​took it and my dad caught me. He said, ‘That’s it, you’re out. ‘”

The budding drinks king learned a valuable lesson as an emerging entrepreneur. “As a kid I always had a few businesses. I was a budding entrepreneur growing up in the angelic town of Ferndale, California. I always had businesses and tourists were always passing by. I used to buy penny candy from the candy store and sell it for a penny across the street with my own little booth made out of cardboard. People couldn’t believe this little kid was making money.” Although his entrepreneurial Kool-Aid days are behind him, it wasn’t the only time Fieri would make a profit selling drinks (albeit of the alcoholic variety).

Enter the dream team

When Hagar sold Cabo Wabo, Fieri was crushed — his restaurant self-reported selling more Cabo Wabo than any restaurant in the country.

They talked. Hagar was ready to relax and enjoy the well-earned sips that had solidified his position as an entrepreneur. Fieri wanted to set up a spirits company with Hagar, who was reluctant. Call me in ten years, and maybe I’ll be ready, Hagar replied.

Fieri was ready, even if the decade was a few years before he returned with Hagar. This time it was Hagar who called, and Santo Spirits was born.

Band members

For decades, Hagar has approached life and business with the goal of being the best. “Honestly, when I joined Van Halen, I thought, if I can’t sing better than the previous guy [David Lee Roth]I wouldn’t have joined the band.” By all accounts, Hagar has found in Fieri a bandmate who embodies a key element of success for entrepreneurs: complementary skills and a passion to win to match.

Fieri advises entrepreneurs in something to which he attributes the 25/8 rule. “If you don’t have spark, you don’t have sh-t. But it takes hard work. It’s one of the things this country was founded on and the sacrifices our veterans made. Get the 40-hour week out of your mind. You have to work 24/7, and in my book it’s more like 25/8 But it’s important to remember that you also live 25/8 Don’t separate work and life, but make sure it’s the same thing, and put it all together.”

Hagar achieved business success through gates of established fame and beliefs that enabled him to put passion over profit in his pursuits outside of music. “I came through music and had more success, fame and fortune than anyone could ever want in a lifetime. When I started making business deals it was strictly out of passion and creativity, with a strong connection to music.” It has become personal for Hagar, who finds peace and reward in his Hagar Family Foundation, which helps children and families in need. Hagar remembers being poor and sees it as his job to help communities and give back.

Hagar’s mother, if not for an unexpected supporter, took typing lessons that resulted in a desk job and away from daytime work in the fields. Hagar repeatedly shares, “What if? What if she wasn’t so lucky?”

Don’t make the mistake of thinking a little tequila can knock these two back. Hagar and Fieri have discovered the entrepreneurial recipe that celebrates friendship, income and a dash of legacy to personalize the business of experience.

Most “how to” books about entrepreneurs mock friends going into business together. I think spirits and rock and roll are slightly more exciting than widgets. Hagar and Fieri will rock the sipping industry, while most of us will rock our email and spreadsheets. Salud!

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