Delta Air Lines starts serving locally-made, Black-owned vodka on flights
Delta Air Lines is now serving locally-made, Black-owned Du Nord Foundation vodka on all domestic flights.
The launch of the Minneapolis-based vodka being served on one of the largest airlines was a year and a half in the making, Du Nord Social Spirits says.
Owners of the country’s first Black-owned distillery, Chris and Shanelle Montana, say that Delta first approached them to talk about supplying spirits for the airline in the summer of 2020.
At that time, Du Nord Social Spirits was still reeling from the economic impact of the pandemic, and one of their buildings had been damaged in a fire during the unrest following the death of George Floyd. The distillery is located near Lake Street in Minneapolis.
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS reporter Rich Reeve talked to Chris Montana following the building damage, when they opened the unusable part of the facility as a temporary food and supply bank for the local community dealing with unrest in their neighborhood and a lack of open, undamaged stores in the area.
"When Delta first reached out to us about this, it was nowhere near possible for us to do any of the things they were talking about. We had to envision a future where we were back on our feet, then able to do what they needed," Chris Montana said.
Montana also said that, as a small distillery, they couldn’t initially produce the demand needed to supply Delta. However, Montana says that Delta met with them weekly to help them prepare.
While Du Nord Foundation vodka started being served on domestic Delta flights on Oct. 1, other Du Nord spirits will start to be offered on the airline in 2022 and eventually added to international flights as well, a press release says.
Du Nord Social Spirits says they will give a portion of sales from their vodka on Delta flight to their Du Nord Foundation. 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS talked to Montana when they launched the organization, which helps give grants to local businesses and entrepreneurs who were impacted by the unrest following the death of Floyd, among other assistance.
Delta says that one of their commitments is to diversify their supplier base "to serve products that are made people who reflect the world we live in."
Du Nord vodka is one of seven new beverages available on Delta flights on Oct. 1.
The seven new Delta beverage offerings are:
- Du Nord Foundation vodka.
- Breckenridge Brewery cookie porter beer.
- Une Femme "The Callie" California sparkling rosé – 100% women-made champagne and sparkling wine.
- Tip Top proper cocktails negroni.
- Terrapin Beer Company hopsecutioner IPA.
- Vizzy Hard Seltzer pineapple mango.