by Terry Rogers
Currently, there are six distillery licenses in the State of Delaware and two of those licenses are held in the Milford area. In addition to one-third of the distillery licenses in the state being located in Milford, both of those in the town are owned by women, EasySpeak and Feebs Distilling.
“Before getting into distilling, I was in sales,” Stacey Fibelkorn, part-owner of Feebs Distilling, said. “Until recently, I was still working in sales, selling pest control products for Ehrlich. I sold real estate, worked for Comcast and, except for when I was in real estate, always had a quota to meet.”
When Fibelkorn met her now husband, Eric, he was distilling illegally in his backyard. She joked that one of their early dates involved her learning about the still he had on the patio around his pool. Her family was from Virginia, so she had learned about moonshine while she was growing up, but had no idea how scientific the process was until she started helping Eric. In 2017, Fibelkorn was diagnosed with cancer and underwent chemotherapy as well as radiation treatments.
“I told him that something had to change after that,” Fibelkorn said. “I did not look good in orange, so it was time to figure out how we can do this legally. We talked to an attorney who told us it would cost $25,000 to do the whole process. I went to the federal website and read through it, many, many times. I went to Eric and told him that I could do this.”
Marissa King, who co-owns EasySpeak with her husband, Zack, has a different history with distilling. Before partnering in the brewpub and distillery, King worked in the medical field before leaving that to open a store in Florida. When Zack decided to open EasySpeak, that was the start of her involvement in the distilling business.
“I honestly have to give all the credit to my husband,” King said. “This was something he did before me that I just sort of stepped into with him.”
Fibelkorn stated that she and her husband were told they could not make money creating their products the way they wanted, but she says that business is doing very well.
“We had no investors, we are not an LLC, it is just us,” Fibelkorn said. “We have no one to answer to. We do things when we can afford them, and it is working …….