MEET THE LOCALS
Roger Peery and Nick Pavlakos
Nick and Roger met when they were 13 years old in Mr. Corona’s math class at Jefferson Middle School. This was such a long time ago they actually called it Junior High School in those days. Their friendship strengthened during the years they attended Highland High School. After graduation, Nick attended commercial art school in Denver, then returned home to graduate from UNM with a degree in business. Roger stayed in Albuquerque, and he ultimately finished college, earning degrees in both Geology and Water Resources from UNM. During those college years, Nick, Roger, and a buddy named Fritz, would take turns hosting the Sunday night airing of Star Trek (reruns of the original series), where they began to think about the future and businesses they could start together. In reality, none of them hosted the Trek watching, but rather either Nick or Fritz’s mom, or Roger’s grandma (Big Mom), would enjoy having the boys over, and they strongly impressed upon the young men the idea that when it’s your turn to host, you need to treat people “extra special”.
After college, setting aside the mantra of “Live long and prosper”, Nick and Roger married, starting families, having kids, and working in their chosen fields.
Many moons later…or galaxies as the case may be, Roger and Nick again revisited the idea of “businesses they could start together”, but this time looking to the past. They began researching and learning about the art of “old-fashioned” distilling and the idea of “hand crafting” quality liquor for people to enjoy. Years later, and after numerous hurdles with partnerships, permitting, and buildout, the two brought together their love of “hand crafted” spirits, and the ideals of their past hostesses…to treat people “extra special” at your place, and opened Albuquerque Distilling in late August 2019. With his business chops, Nick runs the front of the house. With his science background, Roger is in charge of spirits manufacturing.
Nick, the Executive Director at Share Your Care, Inc., a local Adult Day Services provider, and Roger, the CEO and a Principal Hydrogeologist at John Shomaker & Associates, a local consulting firm, plan on keeping their day jobs as they manage the distillery. They will rely on their knowledgeable staff to assure patrons of a quality experience every day. Eventually, Nick and Roger’s plan is to retire from their careers and just make high quality hooch all day.