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Group buys former Armour meatpacking site in Stockyards

The 16.8-acre site of the historic, former Armour meatpacking plant in Fort Worth’s Stockyards has changed hands, and its new owners aren’t saying anything about their plans. Chesapeake Land Development Co., which bought the site

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Hulen Pointe Shopping Center sold

Hulen Pointe Shopping Center, located in southwest Fort Worth on South Hulen Street one mile south of Hulen Mall, has been purchased by Addison-based Bo Avery with TriMarsh Properties for an undisclosed price.

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Dallas-Fort Worth in top five commercial real estate markets in 2015

According to the Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2015 report, just co-published by PwC US and the Urban Land Institute (ULI), Dallas-Fort Worth ranks No. 5, with two other Texas cities, Houston and Austin ranking at No. 1 and 2 respectively. San Francisco ranks No. 3 and Denver No. 4.

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Social House Fort Worth plans to open mid-November

Social House has leased 5,045 square feet at 2801-2873 W Seventh St. in Fort Worth, according to Xceligent Inc.

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Fort Worth temporarily stops issuing new home permits in TCU area

The moratorium will give a committee and the City Council time to review a proposed overlay that will pare the number of permissible unrelated adults living in the same house.

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From the desks of Troy Robertson and Leonard Firestone

Leonard Firestone and his desk. Photo by Alyson Peyton Perkins

Celestina Blok
Special to the Business Press

Troy Robertson
“We definitely wanted a view of the barrels,” said Troy Robertson while seated behind his desk built of salvaged building materials.


He’s a 2013 Fort Worth Business Press 40 Under 40 honoree and one half of the whiskey distilling duo behind Fort Worth’s Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co. Robertson and his business partner, Leonard Firestone, have separate offices inside their 1920s-era distillery just south of downtown Fort Worth, but both share a glass window view of their warehouse filled with stacked wooden barrels, each filled with aging bourbon or their popular TX blended whiskey.


“We didn’t think it would look good if we had corporate furniture, so we used materials from the building to make our furniture,” Robertson said. “I just love the Old World feel and the throwback to the ‘20s and ‘30s.”
In front of his desk sit two vintage swivel chairs made from whiskey barrels that Robertson found online. He believes they’re from the 1950s.
“We make whiskey so we needed some barrel chairs,” he said.


Along with photos of his two children, there are two massive computer screens on top of Robertson’s desk. One’s for a PC, which he uses to crunch numbers, and the other is a Mac, used for his creative work and presentations.
“Before I was in the whiskey business, I was in finance,” he said. “So I learned, as most people did, Microsoft Excel on a PC. The PC is here because I can’t make the transition to Excel for Mac.”
Must-have work tools include his vintage leather briefcase, his copper whiskey thief, a long tube used to draw whiskey out of a barrel for sampling, and glassware.
“Pretty much every day, or every other day, Leonard and I perform taste tests of whiskey,” Robertson said.
Job duties change daily for Robertson and Firestone, and they regularly have to switch gears within a minute, from generating reports, managing inventory, assessing the bottling line and working on efficiencies to greeting guests who pop in without notice because they read about the duo’s blended whiskey.
“Literally every day is completely different,” Robertson said. “I think that’s what makes it so fun.”


Leonard Firestone


“Now that we’ve been selling whiskey for a year, we literally get 15 to 20 emails a day from people who tell us they are enjoying it or sharing it with others,” said Leonard Firestone. Firestone has the same kind of pallet-wood desk as his partner along with two more of those swivel whiskey barrel chairs.
Emails come from across Texas (Firestone & Robertson’s TX blended whiskey went statewide late last year) and from both coasts from folks who snagged a bottle while in town or received one as a gift. Fans also have emailed from as far as China, Denmark and Sweden, Firestone says.


“I spend a lot of time, which is the best part of my job, communicating with our customers and thanking them,” Firestone said.
Now that the demand for TX whiskey has grown, Firestone is at the office longer and later each day, meaning his desktop photos and mementos that remind him of his four young children are some of his most prized possessions. He has a coffee mug, clock and small journal all decorated by his kids.
“When I think of funny things they say or do, I’ll just note it right here,” Firestone said of the journal, which sits next to a bowl of business cards and near his computer screen.


His daily must-have work tools include his cell phone and his Pandora station playing Van Morrison or Amos Lee. A golf club is propped next to his desk and he says his in-office practice swings are about as much golf as he plays these days.
“Demand is growing and it’s something we have to address almost daily. It’s wonderful,” he said. “We’re seeing steady growth in markets outside of D-FW so we’re trying to constantly manage that, which is tricky because all of our bottling is done by hand.”
The distillery’s next big project will be the launch of its barrel-aged bourbon, which is tentatively anticipated for the fall of 2014.
“We’re tracking it monthly now and it’s coming along really well,” Firestone said. “We really want to be patient with it and release something that we’re proud of.”
 

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