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Pappy & Company's Core Values and Mission

We believe that building a company mission, to help guide our growth is important, but we are also so much more than this. Our core values define us as a company and the people we work with. Having fun, putting family first, always doing the right thing and our commitment to quality are all part of our brand ethos and what makes us unique.

We have worked as a team to develop a guiding Mission Statement and Core Values that help steer our decisions as a business and as employers. Here is what we stand for at Pappy & Company:

Pappy & Company’s Mission: To honor the Van Winkle family legacy with quality heritage-driven products that delight and excite our customers.  We will grow in a sustained way, staying true to who we are, supporting our employees and partners, and positively impacting our community.

Our Core Values:

  • We keep it fun.
  • We are family-focused.
  • We do the right thing.
  • We put quality first.
  • We hustle.

We Keep It Fun:

Mother and Daddy would entertain all their friends from the Bluegrass at a big brunch at the house on Derby Day. It was always quite a party. That Derby party, which went on for so many years, it became a Louisville tradition, had actually begun as what the Van Winkles called a mint julep party, which was featured in the May 24, 1937 issue of Life magazine.

-an excerpt fromBut Always Fine Bourbon

Pappy taught us a lot of things about running a business, and not all of them were meant to be taken too seriously. Like the fact that if you don’t keep it fun, there really is no purpose. At Pappy & Company, we work hard but we try to always have fun doing it. We remind each other not to take ourselves too seriously. We put teamwork and collaborations above individual roles and personal achievements. We celebrate successes as a whole organization. We strive to match our employees' best traits and strengths in every role we hire for. We maintain perspective about all the ways in which we are blessed and continually invest in our community and those in need with our philanthropic efforts.

We're Family Focused:

It was a family. Those who had retired—past employees—would want to come back, to see your dad, or to just walk through. It was as if they might be homesick.

—Mary Patrick

Pappy created a culture where employees were family. We try to create this same work environment and also remind our employees that their own personal families are an important priority. Caring for a sick family member, taking time for meaningful children’s activities, and making carpool pickup times are prioritized above conference calls, emails, and time spent at your desk.

We care about our employees as whole people and invest in their success. We offer a flexible work environment that enables employees to balance life’s many demands. We are open-minded and inclusive; everyone’s perspective is valued, not just the founders or executive team.

We Do the Right Thing:

Buffalo Trace was family-owned and understood the importance of preserving history and tradition.

-an excerpt fromBut Always Fine Bourbon

When we started Pappy & Company, we knew there was a great expectation to continue the Pappy legacy, founded on the premise that doing the right thing comes above all else. Preserving our family history and tradition as we grow Pappy & Company, means committing to doing the right thing by our colleagues, customers, and partners. When we face conflict, we trust each other to have honest dialogue and put courage over comfort to make the right decision. Trust is at the core of our team, we do not engage in negative talk or make assumptions that will diminish our positive work environment. We are vulnerable and admit when we make mistakes so that we can learn from them and constantly improve. We put what is right for the greater organization above our self-interest or insecurities.

We Put Quality First:

WE MAKE FINE BOURBON AT A PROFIT IF WE CAN AT A LOSS IF WE MUST BUT ALWAYS FINE BOURBON.

-The motto that hung on the plaque in Pappy’s Office

Pappy lived by this motto and so do we. We put quality over quantity and take the time to do things the right way. We work with best-in-class partners, we use only the highest quality ingredients, and we do not take shortcuts. We make products we are proud of, that we would use ourselves and that are functional in our everyday lives. We go above and beyond in our jobs and delight our customers to show our appreciation for their loyalty. We strive for continuous improvement and learning each and every day.

We Hustle

Genes are strong, and Pappy and Dad’s confidence and their courage to just hang in there when things were tough had surely passed to my brother (Julian Van Winkle III). I don’t know if he thought about Pappy fighting his way through Prohibition and World War II – or of the bleak challenge Dad faced when Stitzel- Weller was sold. But I know this: My brother has an amazing way about him. He just keeps on ticking. He keeps the front wheels in the front.

-an excerpt fromBut Always Fine Bourbon


Not every day is a walk in the park. We face hard choices and challenges as a company, that we know will ultimately make us stronger, and we do this with a small but mighty team. Thanks to our dad’s immense work ethic and unwavering commitment, we have learned the importance of hustle. We roll up our sleeves, have a can-do attitude, and change lanes when needed. We logically problem solve by being resourceful,  gathering the facts, and making informed decisions. We take initiative and drive for impactful results. We are creative, think outside the box, and don't follow the crowd. We are Pappy & Company.