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Left to right: George Bourkoulas, Anthony Tomey, Michael Tomey, Alex Bourkoulas. (Photo: 8 Mile Vodka and Born in Detroit)
NEW YORK – Greek-American brothers George and Alex Bourkoulas along with another set of brothers, Michael and Anthony Tomey, produce Detroit’s 8 Mile Vodka as well as the apparel company Born in Detroit. The vodka brand is an official sponsor of the Detroit Pistons. At the 2022 San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC), 8 Mile Vodka was honored with two awards, Best in Class Vodka and Best of Class Overall Vodka, after winning a Double Gold Medal award for taste from the SFWSC earlier in the year.
The Bourkoulas brothers, whose parents are both from Kalamata, spoke with The National Herald about 8 Mile Vodka, Born in Detroit, and about how their Greek heritage influences their life and work.
When asked how they first got involved with the 8 Mile Vodka brand, they told TNH: “During COVID, we decided it was time to expand our business portfolio since our day to day business was dependent on travel. It was an opportunity that put us in the right place at the right time and we couldn’t pass up.”
About the future of the brand, they said: “We believe 8 Mile will become a household name worldwide. In addition to 8 Mile Vodka, we own an apparel company Born in Detroit that is becoming the fastest growing apparel in Detroit with major collaborations like the Pistons, Kronk Gym, Oakland and Wayne State Universities along with many other Detroit-built brands.”
When asked how their Greek heritage influences their life and work, they told TNH: “We are extremely proud to be the best of both, Greeks born in Detroit. The beliefs of both backgrounds that have been instilled in us helped pave the path to our achievements. We were raised to be proud, hard-working, never give up, stay focused, and never lose sight of where we came from. We have continued to stand true to this with our work and family lives. We are involved daily with the Greek community through our other business, Atlas Travel. We are one of the largest travel companies selling and advertising Greece to Greek-Americans and Americans for the past 25 years.”
Of the reaction of family and the community in Detroit to their success, they said: “The reaction from everyone has been very positive. We are extremely thankful to all of our family and friends and the people that continue to support us.”
When asked what they are working on next, they told TNH: “We are always looking for more ways to expand our businesses and new opportunities to explore.”
The online store also offers gift cards and glassware for sale featuring the Born in Detroit logo while a page on the site highlights the brand’s local collaborations with the Pistons and other organizations in Detroit such as the Detroit Youth Choir and the popular restaurant American Coney Island.
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