Connie Baker: CEO of Sustainable Colorado Distillery, Marble Distilling Co.

Monday, November 9, 2020 12 mins read

Connie Baker: CEO of Sustainable Colorado Distillery, Marble Distilling Co.

Monday, November 9, 2020 12 mins read


Innovation and sustainability are at the heart of everything this one-of-a-kind, female owned, Colorado distillery does


Connie Baker is CEO, Head Distiller and ‘Queen Bee’ at Marble Distilling Co., an independent distillery located in Carbondale, Colorado that’s been built on a model of true sustainability. 


“The distillery is mine and my husband's life passion,” she declares. 


With her husband Carey, Connie has been handcrafting small batch spirits from unique, local, Carbondale, Colorado ingredients since May of 2015. 


Connie’s goals with Marble Distilling Co. have never wavered. She’s committed to, “focusing entirely on making award-winning spirits and building what will be known as the most sustainable distillery in the world.”


To think, it all sort of started by chance, too. 


Connie Baker tells the story, “My brother-in-law knew I loved vodka. In 2009 he sent me an article from the New York Times detailing a distillery in Spokane, Washington, called Dry Fly that offered an immersion schooling in everything distilling.”


Her interest was piqued. So, “In 2010, he and I went and spent time at Dry Fly. The first night I called my husband after experiencing a day in the distillery and told him, ‘we're going to open a distillery.’ I had fallen in love.”


A different kind of Colorado distillery 


Yes. Connie Baker had fallen in love with the artform of distilling craft spirits by hand. 


But opening up just another distillery in Carbondale, Colorado was never going to be good enough. She had loftier ambitions and a more courageous vision. 


In her own words, “Marble has exemplified the notion that you can love making great craft spirits, but you don't have to destroy the planet while you do it.”


“Our process engineering system is net zero electricity, and conserves well over 4 Million gallons of water annually. Marble has invested in what matters, beyond the bottom line, to be the first of its kind, sustainable distillery in the world.”


Turns out, Marble Distilling Co.’s innovative and incredibly well thought out sustainable design really is a game changer in the craft spirits movement. 


Marble Distilling Co.’s Sustainability System

Connie Baker puts an emphasis on sustainability at her Colorado distillery.


“My husband and I are very proud of our investment in our Water and Energy Thermal System (WETS), and its conservation of over four million gallons of water, and recovery of over 20 homes worth of energy annually. It's the first of its kind on the planet for a distillery.” 


“Now with our most recent investment in a new heat pump, and removal of an existing chiller, our system is truly something to behold.”


The best part is, while being as kind as possible to Mother Nature, this system Connie and Carey have created at Marble Distilling Co. also yields some of the finest craft spirits you can taste today. 


Craft spirits distilled using unique, local Carbondale, Colorado ingredients


Made from 100% Colorado-harvested wheat and barley, Marble Distilling Co.’s Vodka 80 is the only vodka in the world filtered through crushed Yule marble, a metamorphosed limestone that’s exclusively quarried from the West Elk Mountains of nearby Yule Creek Valley just outside of Carbondale, Colorado. 


“Filtering our grain to glass vodka with marble, a metamorphic limestone from Marble, Colorado adds a hint of minerality and to top,” Connie Baker says.


This one-of-a-kind filtering process results in a craft spirit that’s pure Carbondale, Colorado, with a soft, creamy nose, smooth vanilla, almond, pastry flavor and warm, luxurious finish.


“Marble Vodka is very special,” Connie points out. 


“But our Moonlight EXpresso is my Mom’s recipe, so there you have it!” 


According to Connie, Moonlight EXpresso also contains the most unique ingredient that’s part of any of Marble Distilling Co.’s craft spirit recipes - the Ugandan vanilla bean.


Inspired by the stories of Italian craftsmen working the Marble quarry, this complex, dark roasted coffee liqueur combines those exotic Ugandan vanilla beans with coffee beans from Guatemala to present a smokey, dark brown taste that has a sweet, chocolatey finish. 


Colorado winters can be awfully cold. So when the snow finally melts in springtime, Centennial State natives want to celebrate with something fresh and bright. 


Marble Distilling Co.’s Craft Spirits

Marble Distilling Co.’s line of craft spirits, including their famed Gingercello.


That’s where Marble Distilling Co.’s Gingercello enters the picture. 


Their Gingercello is a lively liqueur that uses fresh-cut ginger and the sweetest part of the lemon zest to create a refreshing, citrus-rich, craft spirit that was made for warmer weather, but is easy to enjoy year round.


But what happens when you take that fresh, fruity Gingercello and let it rest in emptied bourbon barrels from other award-winning distilleries?


You get Marble Distilling Co.’s Gingercello Reserve, a complex, barrel-aged version of their effervescent original Gingercello. 


Warmer and more spicy, that rest inside the bourbon barrels adds warm and welcoming vanilla, caramel and ginger notes to the original Gingercello’s flavor.  


Carbondale, Colorado proud


Making exceptional crafts spirits always starts with selecting the right ingredients. 


“The grains from high elevation areas like Carbondale, Colorado, which is 6,300 feet above sea level, make for unique flavors,” Connie informs us. 


Grains Grow For The Colorado Distillery

Marble Distilling Co. owes some of its unique flavors to the elevation of Carbondale, Colorado. 


But great flavor is only the beginning. 


“The people in our local and regional community are steadfast to the need for our world to be more sustainably focused,” she says. 


It’s that shared mindset and communal Carbondale, Colorado support that have really helped elevate the status and contribute to the success of Marble Distilling Co. 


“The community was there day one to celebrate our opening and they've been steadily growing their support ever since,” beams Connie.


“Marble is as much a mission driven business model as anything,” she reminds us. 


Many locals have joined in to help see that this Colorado distillery’s mission gets carried out. 


“The rancher one mile away started by taking our spent mash for livestock and compost, then repurposed an old potato cellar for barrel storage. All the way to growing our grains; Marble wouldn’t be where we are without that fourth-generation ranching family and the support of our entire local community.”


Forging an independent Colorado distillery and craft spirit legacy


“No doubt Marble being led by a female distiller provides our company with a differentiator,” Connie freely admits. 


But there’s more to their recipe for success than that. 


“Ours is a family business. Owning the business mandates that we are there, but the truth is I love, love, love distilling!” 


Connie Baker Empties a Barrel

From their Gingercello to their Moonlight EXpresso, Connie Baker has a lot to smile about.


She claims, “Combining distilling with an innovative sustainable process means we live our passion, every day.” 


Beyond getting to live their passion every day, she sees Marble Distilling Co. as something that will live on for generations to come. 


Connie says, “When Carey and I are gone, we want our son to know we invested money, time and energy into making something that leaves the planet no worse for our industrial needs.”


“We want him to be proud of the fact that Marble Distilling Co. took a true leadership role in sustainable design, that you can make great craft spirits, and you don't have to sacrifice the planet just for profits.”