For 25 years, luxury tequila brand Clase Azul has promoted the “magic of Mexico.” At least according to its CEO and founder Arturo Lomeli, who started the company as a way to pay homage to his birthplace.
Now, Clase Azul is going beyond spirits with a new upscale restaurant, La Terraza, in Los Cabos slated to open in October. For anyone unaware, Clase Azul has built a large following over the past two decades for the flavor profile of its tequilas which stand out for their sweet finish. Part of the draw is the connection he gives drinkers to Mexican art and culture by showcasing the spirits in handcrafted bottles.
“In the beginning, my goal was to create a great spirit that would raise Mexico’s profile as a luxury producer, as well as save our country’s dying artisanal culture,” Lomeli explained. “Now our goal is to become Mexico’s premier luxury house, creating a luxury Mexican brand, not just a luxury tequila and mezcal brand.”
The once-little-known brand, which has grown from 200 to 2,000 employees in the past five years, has found itself at the heart of the luxury tequila movement and promises to surprise consumers with what Lomeli calls “truly luxury.” and truly Mexican”. live.
As part of this year’s Silver Anniversary, the company announced the transformation of a spirits brand into a luxury house. As part of the expansion, the company spoke exclusively to Forbes.com about its new hospitality and experiences division, “Clase Azul Destinations. La Terraza is the first company under this umbrella.
La Terraza, at Shoppes at Palmilla, offers a culinary journey through Baja California under the direction of Chef Ivan Arias. The new upscale restaurant will be adjacent to the brand’s eponymous boutique, where visitors can experience Clase Azul’s popular tasting experience, “A Taste of Culture.”
Below are recent excerpts from a recent interview with Lomeli about Clase Azul Destinations.
What inspired Clase Azul destinations?
We wanted to create and offer spaces where Clase Azul comes to life. After 25 years in the business, we realize how touched and inspired our customers are by Mexican culture, traditions and art – and it’s an amazing thing. I started the company to share the magic of Mexico with the world, and we were inspired to offer more than tequila and mezcals.
Why did you choose Los Cabos as your first Clase Azul destination?
Los Cabos is one of my favorite places in Mexico, a place I go to most personally. My wife, Sagrario, likes that it’s not too humid and that there aren’t many mosquitoes. We love everything from the sea, especially seafood. The food in Cabo is like the sunsets – some of the best in the world.
What kind of cuisine can you expect at La Terraza? Can you share some of your favorite dishes?
La Terraza will guide you through the wonderful flavors Baja has to offer. Ingredients come from the region and are supplied by alliances of farmers and fishermen. True to our brand values, we have formed a network with local producers and promote practices such as sustainable trade and fair trade.
Menu items will range from a variety of fresh ceviche, such as corn or scallops and octopus, to our version of a garden salad with dumplings, olive hummus and fried corn. The Tamal Gobernador, with blue shrimp, brie cheese and poblano white butter will be offered, as well as the Tamal Chilayo made with marinated tofu, chilayo salsa, ayocote and purslane.
Other highlights include Smoke Kitchen’s grilled octopus, blue shrimp and mole, and of course the Carne Asada with shishito pepper, puerco frijoles and tortillas.
Clase Azul currently has four tequilas (we have five: Plata, Reposado, Gold, Anejo and Ultra) and two mezcals, and your biggest challenge is keeping up with demand. What’s it like to achieve such success while expanding into new ventures?
Although we need revenue to maintain and operate our mission, we are primarily interested in bringing more of Mexico’s exquisite nature to people. During my studies, I learned how a brand should have a point of differentiation to give it a competitive advantage.
I am grateful for what I can call my work.
Beyond La Terraza, what does Clase Azul Destinations have in store for us?
We are in the early stages of “La Hacienda”, our distillery and visitor center in Jalisco, and plans for a hotel are underway. It will be intimate, very upscale and something that feels private and special. We have big plans to develop branded homes in some of the world’s biggest cities, with Clase Azul Mexico Loft in Brooklyn being our first space to open in the United States.
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