HONORING TRADITION AND SHARING THE LOVE!
When you’re an Armenian spirits entrepreneur casting around for just the right business name to aptly describe your firm, invite conversation and brand exploration, it behooves you to pick something that really resonates in your industry, and with consumers. Karen Meymaryan, Founder of Fat & Happy Beverages, settled on the name as it brings a fun, easy going aspect to the company, it’s easily understandable by Americans, and it is one that resonates with Armenians as well. He sought something that he hopes will, “spread the joy and happiness of presenting and marketing liquor products!”
Meymaryan is confident that no matter how you raise a toast (chax u baxtavor is the Armenian way to “cheers” to your wellbeing), you will be happily celebrating things old and new with the wines, spirits and specialty foods that this boutique distributor imports from Armenia. Fat & Happy’s brand portfolio includes the world famous Ararat Brandy, Karas Wines, many specialty vodkas, and other unique items. If you should ever happen to explore the landlocked nation of Armenia, you will quickly discover it is without coastal light breezes, but what it does have is plenty of sunshine, about 300 days per year of it, enhancing the output of the wine grapes and the varieties of fruit that thrive in Armenia, which are used to create premium wines and exquisite brandies.
These are the likes of centuries-old brandies that Winston Churchill loved and that Meymaryan has been shepherding through the American market for the last seven years. He shares some common knowledge about the favorite brand of the British Prime Minister, noting, “Ararat is the most successful and recognizable Armenian brandy. If people know Armenia, they know Ararat,” said Meymaryan. Certainly some of the success of Ararat as an internationally renowned brand has rubbed off on Meymaryan who began his career as the United States Export Manager of the company that oversaw Ararat production, but it was not just mere proximity, as he has worked diligently since the beginning and expects to continue for the duration.
Meymaryan is inspired by those who are passionate about the spirits industry and sites longevity as his model in saying, “Overnight success is not about us. I have met many distributors in the United States that have inspired me, especially those who have forty to sixty years invested in the liquor business. For example, I met with the founder of Mutual Wholesale Liquor, who since 1959, is still in business today. His commitment to longevity, his sharing of his stories and learning about their developments are all very inspiring.”
Meymaryan, is also inspired to represent his portfolio with national pride, along with additional remarkable brandies, and wines from Armenia, neighboring Georgia, along with notable wine growing regions in Argentina, all while growing his business and evolving his career. He explains, “You can see the success of the Ararat Brand growth and how its reputation developed in America, as I oversaw its placement here, and now that I’m the owner of an import company, it was a huge journey for me to go from overseeing that one brand to undertaking an entire change of business within the U.S. marketplace. It required that I establish Fat & Happy Beverages as a reputable name that not only implies “fun”, it also translates to “cheers” in Armenian, but additionally as one that represents a feeling of happiness, ie, “Fat & Happy feelings” about the portfolio. Part of the journey was finding the balance between Americanizing the brand and staying true to my roots. As far as good business platforms go, in my opinion, the best is in America.”