Jason Momoa (right) and Blaine Halvorson are excited to enter the vodka industry with a product perfected over seven years.
Jason Momoa is taking a break from the big screen to return to his hometown grocery store. Fareway Stores Inc.'s store in Norwalk, Iowa, will be a host of the Meili Vodka bottle-signing tour featuring Momoa, a former Norwalk resident, and partner Blaine Halvorson.
Co-founders Momoa and Halvorson are celebrating the launch of their new vodka, Meili, with a bottle tour across the country. Fareway customers can visit the Norwalk store on Oct. 16 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. to purchase a bottle of the luxury spirit and have it signed by the duo. Customers will also have the opportunity to take photos and get autographs from the movie star.
Born in Honolulu, Momoa relocated shortly after to Norwalk, Iowa, where he was raised and graduated from Norwalk High School.
“From the moment we decided to embark on the Meili bottle tour, Jason had been talking about stopping in Iowa to visit his local town,” said Kevin Cooke, COO at Bozeman, Mont.-based Meili Vodka. “Seeing as Iowa was a big part of Jason’s childhood, we’re thrilled to be able to share his new venture with local residents.”
[Read more: “Fareway Builds Upon Its Presence in Iowa With New Sports Complex”]
Founded in 2023, Meili Vodka combines natural spring water, high-quality grains, a unique distillation process and sustainability to create what the brand is calling the purest, most versatile vodka on the market. Crafted using pure water – needing zero treatment or filtration and hand-selected grains from local farms in Montana, Meili Vodka is only distilled once, which the company says allows “the quality of [the] ingredients to shine.” Overall, Meili is created, sourced and produced as ethically, environmentally friendly, and humanely as possible.
“Seven years ago, Jason and I noticed a void in the vodka industry; nothing tasted remarkable,” said Halvorson. “We embarked on this journey to create Meili together, spending countless hours fine-tuning the product, and are proud to have created a spirit we believe will revolutionize the broken vodka industry.”
In other Fareway news, the Midwest grocer recently hosted a groundbreaking ceremony last month for a new store site in Hull, Iowa. The new 10,600-square-foot store will be located at the southwest corner of Highway 18 and Division Street.
Additionally, after more than 80 years, Fareway is moving its headquarters out of Boone, Iowa. The grocer will establish its new headquarters approximately 35 miles south in Johnston. The move is expected to be completed in 2024.
Family-owned Fareway employs more than 12,000 associates in its 135-plus stores located in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota. The company is No. 77 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. PG also named the grocer a 2023 Top Regional.