In Fine Spirits: Terressentia Biz brief CPM
Biz brief CPM
BY L I Z R E N N I E
A HOME-GROWN BANK
Anchoring a slew of financial institutions
along the East Montague corridor, CPM is a
tradition that began with the opening of the
paper mill in 1955. It serves the community
by maintaining fair interest rates and caters
to hardworking blue-collar clients who need
a friendly bank that provides superior online
and personal service.
People living paycheck to paycheck will be
comfortable walking into CPM for financial
assistance. Tellers and managers pride themselves on knowing their regular customers’
“Here, you’re a person, not a number,” says
Patty Bivens, marketing manager for CPM.
CPM is leading a movement to educate local young people about financial literacy. By
opening two in-school branches, one in Greg
Mathis Charter High and another in Eagle
Nest Elementary, the bank is helping the next
generation learn the importance of financial
Students manage all aspects of their
local branch, from teller duties to branch
manager. The programs in these schools
have been so successful, that there is talk
of spreading it to more local schools. “This
has been so rewarding. We all learned
together, and we want to provide this
service for more Lowcountry students,”
You can catch the CPM team out and about
on Montague during lunch breaks at such
popular spots as Madra Rua and Sesame.
Employees adore their prime location, and
are renovating the building next door for an
“We’d love to see even more retail along
this street to complement the restaurants
and other businesses already thriving here,”
Bivens says. N
Photograph by Dan Hale
O.Z. “Ty” Tyler (left)
and Earl D. Hewlette.
In Fine Spirits: Terressentia
BY C A RO L I N E O ' H AGA N
NORTH CHARLESTON IS HOME TO THE FIRST DISTILLER LICENSED IN SOUTH
CAROLINA SINCE THE PROHIBITION ERA, TERRESSENTIA. BUT DON’T PLAN ON
PICKING UP A CASE OR TWO WITH A PRIVATE LABEL TO CLASS UP YOUR WEDDING
OR FAMILY REUNION. THE COMPANY SELLS ONLY TO WHOLESALERS.
But you can enjoy its award-winning
vodkas, gins, rums, tequilas and bourbons
at such local outlets as TBonz Restaurant
Group, Pearlz Oyster Bar and Maverick
Terressentia doesn’t even distill anything
itself. Instead, its patented Terrepure process
purifies ordinary distilled liquors into madeto-order spirits that are smoother to the taste.
The six-hour process, invented by O.Z. “Ty”
Tyler and Edward Bailey, accelerates fermentation and filtration and removes the harshtasting elements that produce acidic flavors.
“We are primarily a technology business,”
says Chief Executive Officer Earl D. Hewlette.
“The value of our company lies in the terrepure process.”
While the company is licensed to distill, it
primarily buys high-proof products and reduces
them with distilled water. Once they are diluted,
250 gallons are placed in machines about the
size of a microwave for transformation.
“There are three methods for producing spirits: fermentation, distillation or aging,” Hewlette
says. “But they produce incomplete reactions.
The terrepure process uses ultrasonic energy to
make incomplete reactions complete, allowing
us to get rid of more congeners (unwanted byproducts) than other methods and in less time.”
Tyler says Terressentia’s liquors have
competed in six international competitions,
winning a total of 30 medals.
FI N D I N G IT S N I C H E
Most notably, Terressentia offers opportunities for businesses to create specialty
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liquor labels and brands.
From the initial concept to the manufacturing details, Terressentia works with its
customers to provide the highest quality
liquors and packaging. It custom tailors spirits to strengthen the image of any business
looking to distinguish itself.
“We offer a broader range than most businesses,” Tyler says. “We have 40 products
we can make at any time for someone who
requests our business, making us a distinguished choice.”
Terressentia’s experienced chefs select
the ingredients for the flavored spirits, using
fresh fruits, herbs, nuts and extracts. Unlike
other flavoring techniques, the terrepure
process integrates and binds the flavors so
they remain distinctive and vivid.
“While most industries simply mix in
their flavor, we introduce flavor during the
terrepure process,” Hewlette says. “Because
of how we add flavor, it’s bright on the
tongue and doesn’t fall out when poured in
The company says this method allows the
flavors to blend in a more “sophisticated”
way, even when the liquors are mixed with
other products such as tonic water. As one
sips any of the flavored spirits, Terressentia
says, the flavors will immediately fill the palate rather than arriving as an aftertaste.
A sampling of Terressentia’s products is always offered to potential clients and visitors.
The company says the terrepure process
truly removes the bitter flavor found in spirits processed through other methods.
The difference is most notable in the rum.
Tyler attributes this to the terrepure’s removal of the “bite” because it allows drinkers
to notice flavors in the rum they normally
would not have tasted.
Terressentia’s gin (made from 12 botanicals), tequila and bourbon, which consists of
a caramel coloring rather than the traditional
brown, also demonstrate a prominent improvement in quality.
And there is science to back up the claims.
The University of South Carolina Moore
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TERRESENTIA ADDRESS: PATRIOT BOULEVARD, NORTH CHARLESTON.
EMPLOYEES: 25, INCLUDING 12 SALES REPRESENTATIVES
PRIVATE LABEL SALES TERRITORIES: 14 STATES, UP FROM TWO.
OUTPUT: BOTTLES, ABOUT 500,000 CASES WORTH A YEAR.
INCORPORATED: 2007; RECEIVED FEDERAL AND STATE DISTILLED SPIRITS
PLANT PERMITS IN JANUARY OF THAT YEAR.
School of Business conducted a blind consumer tasting that found the Terressentia
vodka, bourbon, spiced rum and tequila to
be superior to market labels.
Terressentia also was involved with a
College of Charleston research project where
students worked with different methods of
chemical analysis. They discovered a high
level of glyceride being produced, contributing, in part, to the smooth taste.
LE T ’ S TAKE A TO U R
The company recently expanded, allowing it to reach a larger customer base and
improve quality control.
“One of the most important improvements to our expansion is we have an
air-conditioned space now,” Hewlette says.
“This prevents us from being affected by the
changing conditions and temperatures of the
seasons, allowing us to easily produce the
same product every time.”
As visitors enter the Patriot Boulevard
facility, they see glass display cases featuring
some of the labels Terressentia has created
for its customers. Straight ahead is a room
used for testing quality control and flavoring
to “ensure the consistency of the products.”
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To the right is the tasting room.
Proceeding down the hall, guests pass walls
covered with framed articles featuring Terressentia; at the end is the production facility.
The large warehouse is filled with boxes
packed with distillates and products waiting
to be shipped. The terrepure process housed
here can bottle 60 cases an hour, according
The expansion enabled the company to
keep up with the high number of orders from
more than 250 clients. Its customers, some
from out of state, include restaurant chains,
resorts, caterers, hotels, liquor store chains,
grocery stores and cruise lines.
The company plans to open in Georgia,
Texas, Indiana, New York, Connecticut and
California. It is adding 15 employees at the
end of the month to help with the expansion.
When asked where the inspiration for the
terrepure process came from, Tyler had a
simple response. “No one had done anything
to work on a new method for hundreds of
years. And I thought, why use a method for
vodka where it has to be distilled five times
or wait several years for bourbon while it sits
in a barrel? So Edward and I asked ourselves,
‘How can we do it better?’ “ N
Photographs by Dan Hale