Merrisa Claridge, owner of Northwest Spirits, stands in front of a few wooden barrels. She's holding a glass of whiskey with her arms crossed, smiling.

Breaking Barriers: Our Journey as a Woman-Owned Spirits Company

February 7, 2024

In an industry historically dominated by men, breaking through barriers and carving out a space for ourselves has taken courage, determination, and a passion for the craft.

Break barriers; That’s exactly what our president Merrisa Claridge, aka Missy, set out to do when she founded our spirits company in 2021. What began as a tinkering passion project in the kitchen of our restaurant, Von’s 1000Spirits, has blossomed into a thriving business that not only celebrates the art of spirits but also champions diversity and inclusion in an industry ripe for change.

Missy, along with her brother-in-law Jason Amador and cousin Nick Warren, embarked on this journey fueled by a fascination with aging and blending spirits.

“As we experimented with different techniques and flavors, we found ourselves captivated by the mystery and magic of the process. Little did we know, our experimentation would lead us down a path towards entrepreneurship and innovation.” ~Missy

Fast forward to today, and our spirits company stands proudly as a beacon of female leadership and family values in Woodinville, WA. Nestled amidst the picturesque landscapes of Washington state, our tasting room serves as a hub for cocktail enthusiasts and spirit connoisseurs alike. Here, guests are invited to indulge in an array of craft cocktails meticulously crafted by our talented team, as well as sample our own blend of spirits that reflect the passion and dedication poured into every bottle.

Additionally, we are thrilled to announce that we have recently achieved official certification as a woman-owned business, a significant milestone that further solidifies our commitment to diversity and inclusivity. This certification not only reflects our values but also opens doors to new opportunities for growth and collaboration. Looking ahead, we have set a bold goal to have 50% of our company’s management positions held by women, ensuring that our commitment to female leadership extends beyond ownership and permeates every level of our organization. By empowering women in leadership roles, we aim to foster a culture of equality and create a more balanced and dynamic workplace where everyone has the chance to thrive and contribute their unique talents and perspectives.


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In the spirit of celebration and progress, here’s to Missy, Jason, Nick, and our entire team for daring to dream big, breaking barriers, and proving that anything is possible with passion, perseverance, and a little bit of magic. Cheers to the future of spirits and the endless possibilities it holds for us all!

Merrisa Claridge, owner of Northwest Spirits, stands in front of a few wooden barrels beside her business partners, Nick and Jason. They are each holding a glass of whiskey, smiling.


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