Man Trades Life On Wall Street For Distilled Dreams

PORT CHESTER, N.Y. (CBS 2) — Not every New Year’s resolution involves quitting your job and totally reinventing yourself, but that’s exactly what one man did in Port Chester.

Ed Tiedge, a married father of two, is now living the sweet life after leaving Wall Street behind. The one-time bond trader for Merrill Lynch has opened Westchester’s first distillery since prohibition, CBS 2’s Lou Young reports.

Tiedge now spends his days among aluminum and copper vats turning thick rich orange blossom honey into clear spirits of his own design. He learned the trade by studying overseas after the financial crash and applying his own passion for spirits, knowledge of physics and business to the task of making and selling local booze.

The state of New York also kicked in by dramatically reducing the licensing fee for small distillers two years ago.

Tiedge does everything himself, from sales to delivery, and said he prefers his new job to his old life two years ago, where he was chained to a computer and phone in the Financial District.

“You miss the paycheck and this is a little bit more uncertain. But you know what?  I sleep better now. I enjoy what I do. I never got that feeling on Wall Street,” Tiedge said.

The honey used by Tiedge leaves behind a hint of the orange blossom flowers in the spirits, which are now found in 50 stores, bars and restaurants.

Nancy Heinbockel of Post Wine and Spirits said she “immediately loved it.”

“We’ve had vodka distilled from everything. This was really something that I wanted to have in the store,” she said.

Tiedge said he would be happy if his business grew, but also added he would be fine with it even if it never got any bigger.

“If it becomes nothing more than just a small family business, where I’m making a high-quality product for just this area, I’m quite happy with that,” he said.

  • RealityCheck

    15 years trading mortgage securities with Federated, ABP, Merrill and Sailfish hedge fund till 2008. What do you think influenced his decision to bail out and what do you think financed it?

    • RealityCheck

      He must have had a good press agent.

  • Thomas

    Mostly I like this story because making liquor is something I’m interested in as well.
    It’s nice he had billions in the bank to get started etc, but I think I could start small and make a specialty liquor, then drink my way to success.

  • MARY

    I never asked for die versity

  • white one


  • Mike

    Comb vodka, it’s good stuff I have had it myself!

  • Jack Johnson

    I did not know having a family meant you could not still strive for your own dreams… the only moron here is you..

  • Chris

    Maybe he didn’t quit. There were massive layoffs on Wall Street in 2008-2009 and he was probably laid off. When you are faced with getting the max in NYS of $425 a week on unemployment, and you can develop a small family business and make a living, its a great story.

  • carl rove

    when you get 6 figure bonus for few years I guess getting away from it is alot easier

  • Tom

    Amazing, What a great and important NEWS STORY! I hope those same reporters follow everyone who moves (Is forced out!) of Wall Street and we will all anxiously await each and every human interest story! The good news is that when we see these types of itty bitty non-important non-interesting, non-stories we can be happy because it means that there were no big storms, earthquakes, tsunamis, or volcanoes erupting and that there were no stories from any of our war zones…all in all good news!

    • ProFromDover

      Well, Tommy, this is a FEATURE Story, not a Hard NEWS Story, and as such it’s a nice read. Sorry if you’re offended that a Feature appeared on “Page One” (assuming you know what a newspaper is…)

      • Tom

        Dear Pro from Dover…so you are trying to give me advice? Thanks you! What sort of Pro from Dover are you…a prostitute? Pro wrestler? You are lucky your Mom was not Pro-abortion! Happy New Year!

  • Adrian

    It only shows that “Having a good quality life” is more important than money.

  • Gale

    So what’s his drink called?

  • Leonard Wilson

    So never mind his family, it’s all about his dream. Moron.

    • ProFromDover

      Guess all you “greenhouse kids” raised by “helicopter parents” never learned to consider living outside the box. All the best in living your boring, predictable lives!

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