We had the good fortune of connecting with Marsh & Jan Mokhtari and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marsh & Jan, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
We’ve all had those thoughts, usually they occur outside of our 9-5 jobs, when the pull of making money is out of the window for a moment. When we talk about what truly matters to us. Starting a business was high on our priority list.. That conversation happened with my co-founder and wife, on a camping trip to Big Sur, CA. We talked about what was truly important to us. Obviously our two girls, the majestic Californian coastline and animal conservation where all high on the list. But what would we create to support all those worthy causes? Cue the Gray Whales, on their annual migration. Seriously, they literally went past at that moment. We all watched in awe as mom and baby headed north.. Looking back, that was the inception point. Thats where this fun journey to start Gray Whale Gin all began.
We sold our house to start the company and we are now 4 years into Gray Whale Gin’s journey and our gin is still a celebration of the majestic 12,000 mile migration that the Gray Whales undertake every year. The journey starts in the warm lagoons of Baja California, to the cool waters of the Arctic and back to Baja. All of our botanicals are gathered from the migratory path of the gray whale and we proudly support ocean conservation though our support of Oceana and 1% for the Planet.
Learn more here, www.graywhalegin.com
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
We differentiate Gray Whale Gin from the competition by staying true to our mission in every way we behave as a brand. It is important to us that ocean conservation was not only something we talked about, but also a purpose we backed up with real action. Every bottle supports 1% for the Planet and Oceana, whose mission is to protect and preserve the world’s oceans. Our work with them goes beyond financial support: We also used our production superpowers to create an activation film to raise awareness about their campaign to end drift gill net fishing in California. You can see the film at oceana.org/stopthenets or usa.oceana.org/our-campaigns/drift_gillnets/campaign.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We’d be sure to spend lots of time at the beach surfing, hiking, biking the strand in Manhattan Beach. Then we’d eat at the many wonderful southbay bars and restaurants. Here’s a few of our favorites; Fishing with Dynamite [seafood], MB Post [modern farm fresh + great cocktails], The Arthur J [steak/ palm springs 50’s cool], Love and Salt [modern farm fresh], Strand House [spectacular views, modern farm fresh], Shade Hotel [Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach locations, RB is right in the harbor, great boat watching], Gabi James [Spanish tapas with a great Gin selection]. Then there are so many spectacular bars in the city from Santa Monica’s Elephante to Down Town LA’s Death & Co. There is a myriad of wonderful options.
Some other favorite things to do are taking a leisurely drive to Terranea resort in Palos Verdes. It’s a hidden gem that transports you to a spectacular view into the early unspoiled California coastline. Their bars and restaurants are all wonderful, but we especially like Nelson’s. It’s poised right on a cliff, get a table for sunset, fish & chips and an ice cold delicious ‘Whale Hello There’ Cocktail. [Gray Whale Gin, fresh lemon juice, fresh lime juice, and agave].
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many wonderful people that have helped us along the way. From our amazing group of advisors who encouraged us with their wisdom, to the phenomenal bottle designers at United Creatives, to our glass supplier, screen printer, cork producer and of course our fantastic farmers who provide wonderful fresh and dried botanicals for our award winning gin. We couldn’t possibly shoutout just a single person. As the saying goes, it takes a village, or in our case, an ocean of passionate people.