Interview with Matteo Randazzo, CEO of Whisky To You
June 29, 2022
Interview with Matteo Randazzo, CEO of Whisky To You, the startup that organizes private whisky tasting experiences directly at home
Whisky is an alcoholic beverage, obtained by the distillation of a fermented must composed of barley in purity or, in some types, from the latter in combination with other cereals in variable percentage. The most famous is certainly the one produced in Scotland where different categories of products are produced like: single malt whisky (in practice a barley malt brandy), blended whisky composed of single malt spirits and distillates produced from a single distillery with other cereals or method (single grain whisky). If you are among those who want to start approaching the world of whisky, it is good that you know Whisky To You!
Cos’è Whisky To You
Whisky To You is the startup born by Matteo Randazzo, whisky Teller for passion, which offers private whisky tasting experiences, led by an expert and directly at home. The different tasting experiences start from inevitable theoretical hints on the spirit, with the most important production notions and some interesting curiosities, passing to the most exciting and fun part of his whisky experience: the real taste! At the heart of this project is certainly the importance of relationships and quality entertainment aimed at personal growth. Precisely for this reason, the platform offers different experiences that enrich the spirit and strengthen ties in a comfortable and family atmosphere.
The whisky tastings, customizable according to taste and needs, are addressed to small groups of people (private, companies or events) in Florence, Prato, Empoli and surroundings.
To find out more about this fantastic project, we interviewed him, Matteo Randazzo, founder of Whisky To You.
Hi Matteo, thank you so much for this opportunity. It is really a pleasure to meet you. Tell us more about Whisky To You.
Whisky and I met many years ago. I am now 35 years old, but already from the first university exams some small “stolen” sips of whisky helped me to pamper myself in the study period. From there we never really broke up and now, with Whisky To You, I’m trying to turn this passion into something more. The experience is a private whisky tasting, led entirely by an expert, which I define by the “pop” character. It is an opportunity for recreation and relaxation that at the same time leaves a trace in our soul, making us grow and learn something new, even about ourselves. In my opinion this is the true gift of our passions.
With this adventure I also do not necessarily want to introduce my customers to the world of whisky (although I wish), but I would like to be a source of encouragement to anyone who has a simple passion and wants to try to develop and launch it.
How and when was the idea born?
As I said, passion is old, but until three years ago, all that was connected only to the choice of my drink when I ordered from a bar. Then, in 2019, a trip to some distilleries in Scotland sparked my curiosity and in 2020 the pandemic and lockdown were an opportunity to study and gave “fuel” to creativity. I discovered that whisky is a mix of narrative, conviviality, craftsmanship, emotions and memories. I thought there were all the ingredients to make something beautiful.
So I asked myself: what could I do to tell this fantastic story to everyone? Without excluding anyone and in the most comfortable way possible? So from 2021 I launched the first home tastings.
How did you launch your startup? Did you use crowdfunding campaigns?
The business was born first of all from a passion and initially as a side-business, so the goal has always been to maintain the organization and service with a “lean” mentality. To do this I decided to start from the small aspects, testing the service by proposing the first experiences on the territory, making use of word of mouth and constantly refining my proposal. To do this I decided to self-finance the business, and then make it sustainable as soon as possible. For crowdfunding, I think it’s still early
What are the different tasting experiences you offer?
The tasting experience is personally guided by me and has always the same goal: to transport people on a sensory journey, fed by aromas and tastes that ignite memories, emotions, sharing and dialogue. This is whisky, very simple (contrary to what you imagine). To help in the choice, I tried to synthesize the different experiences in some thematic paths: a walk among the whiskys of the world or among the whiskys of Scotland, or even a sensory journey to discover hidden aromas. All the experiences last between 2 and 3 hours and are all in delivery.
Who is Whisky To You aimed at?
Whisky To You is an idea that wants to help all those who are looking for an experience in company, an unforgettable cuddle and at the same time that is extremely easy to live and suitable for everyone. The proposal is for individuals, companies for teambuilding activities or for events or private parties. There is no need to be lovers of distillates: the experience is mainly based on the olfactory perception of aromas and conviviality, therefore there are no problems also for those who are not used to drinking alcohol.
At this moment the activity is growing and I always try to have enough flexibility to seize ideas and opportunities for new developments. I have many ideas in mind, starting with the enlargement of the coverage area. All while preserving the values of curiosity, genuineness and humility that have pushed me so far.
Surely a lot of attention will go to the opening of collaborations: as I said the ingredients in the world of whisky have potential connections with many areas, so I will try to connect synergies with as many realities as possible with which to exchange mutual value.
Curiosity: Why the choice to propose this experience in people’s homes?
Good question! There are two reasons. The first is that I am a lazy person and I have always found Tuscany as a territory where recreation is not always easy to find. The car parks in Florence are a nightmare and the villages in the suburbs are quite poor. For this reason, I primarily have always wanted “zero kilometer” leisure.
The second reason is more concrete. Whisky and the tasting experience need to be experienced in quiet, silent and comfortable environments. Most places that serve whisky can’t give us all this, so what better place than home?
Facebook: Whisky To You
Ph. Luca Managlia