From a tiny distributor of candy and newspapers to becoming one of the most innovative and enduring distilled spirit companies in America, the story of Phillips spans hundreds of products, five generations and two continents.
1899 Edward Phillips and his family emigrate from Minsk, Russia to Manitowoc, Wisconsin on the shores of Lake Michigan.
1912 At the urging of his son Jay, a newspaper boy, Ed Phillips starts Ed Phillips & Sons, a wholesaler of candy, newspapers and magazines.
1933 The 21st Amendment ends Prohibition and within months Phillips becomes the exclusive distributor for Hiram-Walker and Schenley, two of the largest distillers.
1935 A Phillips salesman, Al Dorsch, develops a recipe for Peppermint Schnapps. Phillips Peppermint Schnapps becomes an immediate success as America’s first Schnapps brand.
1945 Phillips becomes America’s largest independent distributor of wines and spirits and one of the strongest regional spirits brands in the country.
1964 The third generation of Phillips, Morton Phillips (front, center), assumes the role of President.
1995 Edward Phillips launches Millennium Import Co to develop and market luxury spirits. The company’s first introductions, Belvedere and Chopin Vodka.