Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Cody Salane, Director of Sales for Dregs Vodka, a not-for-profit premium vodka that donates 100% of profits to Oregon charities supporting low-income youth.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Changing Your Vodka Can Change the World!

Our mission is to help low-income youth gain access to education, a safe place to sleep and eat, and an opportunity to be a part of the community. We pursue this mission through vodka. Vodka can be a change agent. The proceeds from vodka represent a huge opportunity to help our communities. Over 3 billion liters of vodka are sold every year. In the US alone, vodka accounts for over $6 billion in sales.

Vodka is a staple in many of our favorite cocktails. Whether it’s James Bond’s vesper or a refreshing vodka soda, vodka is the most versatile of spirits. While vodka is highly prevalent, it is meant to be neutrally flavored and clear. It is there to showcase the other ingredients of the cocktail. The differences in vodka taste are nuanced. When mixing, the difference in vodka taste is almost non-existent. Once you get past the low filtered, hangover-inducing vodkas to the premium vodkas, most are pretty comparable. So why not choose a vodka that offers both great tastes and helps your community? Choose Dregs. Drink good. Do good.

Our customers are the greatest! They're conscious consumers who believe in supporting their community through the purchase of something as simple as an inexpensive locally made premium vodka. Without our customers, we wouldn't be able to grow and help amazing kids in our communities in Oregon and Nevada!

Tell us about yourself

My name is Cody. I grew up in a rough situation in the great midwestern city of St. Paul, Minnesota. Without the positive influences on my life from people who didn't need to take care of me, I'm not sure where I'd be today. We just want to show kids no matter where you come from, you will always matter, and you have a right to be a part of your community.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Getting an opportunity to be a part of something bigger than myself. It's much more special than words can explain.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Time, there's never enough time in the day to accomplish everything you set out to do. It's hard to remember that there will always be tomorrow.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Be kind to yourself and others.
  2. Support your community; they will support you!
  3. Make mistakes and grow from them! Staying positive is always the best route, even when things just don't go your way.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Massive shoutout to Mike and Courtney Nierengarten! Without them, none of what we're doing would be possible! Our Founders are amazing, and we can't thank them enough for believing in us!

Where can people find you and your business?

Instagram: @dregsvodka
Facebook: @dregsvodka

If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.