Houston/ Retail & Industry
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Published on February 23, 2024
Katy's MKT Distillery Closes Taproom, Seeks Buyer Amid Economic StrainSource: Facebook/MKT Distillery, LLC

The taps have run dry at MKT Distillery in Katy, Texas, but owners Nick and Nici Jessett are still working to empty the barrels. After shutting down the taproom operation on December 2, the entrepreneurial couple has not given up on their distilled dreams just yet. They're now focused on offloading the remaining inventory of spirits.

As a small but cherished part of Katy's local scene, the distillery which opened in 2018, welcomed residents with a variety of in-house distilled liquors - including bourbon, whiskey, gin, and more. According to Community Impact, patrons have been kept in the loop via Facebook for opportunities to purchase the last bottles by appointment. However, with the popular Bonners Point Vodka and OKT Shine sold out, options are dwindling.

Navigating the challenges wrought by economic pressures, including last summer's crippling heat wave, MKT Distillery has felt the squeeze. With high temperatures deterring the flow of outdoor patrons and the "buying down" trend affecting craft distilleries during the pandemic, the Jessetts were dealt a tough hand. "We're mostly an outdoor establishment so when it's 105 degrees outside, that's not a fun time to come out and visit," Nick Jessett told the Houston Chronicle. This relentless heat hammered both consumer wallets and the distillery's energy bills, straining the business's viability.

Despite these hardships, the Jessetts remain hopeful, seeking a potential buyer to assume the majority of ownership and redirect the distillery's course. "We're looking for somebody to come in, buy the majority of MKT from us," Nick mentioned in the same interview. This transition plan underscores their continued enthusiasm for the distillery, which has cemented a legacy in Katy for its community engagement and festive events, including crowning a local rice silo with a yuletide display.

While MKT Distillery's immediate future hangs in balance, the couple's dedication to their craft and community impact does not waver. With a diverse array of spirits still up for grabs, Nick and Nici Jessett appear ready to support whiskey aficionados and casual sippers alike until the final bottle is sold - or a spirited entrepreneur steps up to keep the legacy flowing.