Spirits, Beverages & Luxury Goods
In 1998, Guillaume Cuvelier created the premium vodka brand, SVEDKA, and launched it in the US. After building distribution throughout the US, and developing a provocative and high impact advertising campaign, SVEDKA became the fastest growing vodka in the US. In 2007, with sales over 1,000,000 cases, and a 7% share of the highly competitive imported vodka market, SVEDKA was sold to Constellation Brands, Inc., the largest wine producer in the world, for $384M.
SVEDKA is imported and marketed by Spirits Marque One, a Limited Liability Company founded by Guillaume in 1998 along with one partner, ALCO Finance s.a., a Belgium company specialized in the production and distribution of ethanol. Spirits Marque One is based in New York City and employs 25 people.
The idea to launch a premium vodka came to Guillaume’s entrepreneurial spirit after having worked for 10 years with Moet Hennessy (LVMH), first in New York (1985-1989) and then in Cognac, France at the Hennessy headquarters. While at Moet Hennessy, Guillaume held various sales and marketing positions that lead him to become the North American Market Director for Hennessy Cognac. In that role, he was instrumental in the rebirth of the Hennessy brand in the US and the launch of the Hennessy Martini campaign.
During his tenure at Moet Hennessy, Guillaume took a two-year leave (1989-1991) to go to the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia where he received his MBA.
Since the sale of SVEDKA in 2007, Guillaume has been active in the venture capital market with a focus on premium consumer goods and beverages. As such, he has invested and advises brands like LEBLON, a Cachaca from Brazil, and TY KU, a line of super-premium Sake from Japan. He’s on the Board of SAVELLI srl, a maker of luxury phones, and CUVELIER LOS ANDES, a wine bodega in Mendoza, Argentina. He’s also on the Board of The Knights, an innovative classical music orchestra in New York.
As a French citizen, Guillaume grew up in Paris where he received his college degree in 1982, and afterward, completed his military duty as a First Lieutenant with the French mountain troops at the 13ème Bataillon de Chasseurs Alpin, in Chambery, France.
Guillaume Cuvelier, 50, is married to a native New Yorker and lives in New York City with his 3 children.