Chicago native changes face of spirits industry with tequila company

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team via WLS logo
Sunday, February 27, 2022
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A University of Illinois graduate and child of West African immigrants is changing the face of the spirits industry with his tequila company.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Jon Basil Tequila, a Black millennial-owned tequila company, is taking Chicago by storm.

Its founder, Uduimoh Umolu is a child of immigrant parents from Ghana. Uduimoh developed a passion for spirits early on and recognized immediately that there is a lack of Black representation in the spirits industry.

He's one of the youngest creators of a premium liquor company. It's named after his grandfather and the person who made it possible for his father to come to the United States. Jon Basil is now available in various statewide and sold nearly 1,000 cases in one month.

Umolu is a first generation West African American. He carries an interestingly colorful background having lived crucial years of his life in both America and West Africa. Born and raised on the North Side of Chicago, Uduimoh graduated from the University of Illinois, but not before starting two separate businesses. Jon Basil Tequila is one of the first minority millennial owned and operated spirits companies.

The children of Palestinian and African immigrants, Taher and Umolu set out to become some of the youngest creators of a premium liquor brand. They launched Jon Basil Tequila in December 2018 following an inspirational visit to Jalisco, Mexico. Their tequila has amassed a loyal customer base of 15,000 in Illinois.