While Ashley Frey may not have grown up on a farm, today it’s where she feels most at home. Hailing from the small town of Gardnerville, Nevada, Ashley comes from a close-knit family who taught her from an early age that there are multiple routes to success. It was this foundation that inspired Ashley, alongside her husband Colby, to forge a career in the world of whiskey and in 2006 establish Frey Ranch Distillery in Fallon, Nevada.
Ashley enrolled at the University of Nevada, Reno in 2001 to pursue a degree in Public Relations and it was here that she met her husband, Colby Frey, a fifth-generation farmer whose agricultural ambitions could not have been more different from her own. Despite this, the two hit it off and the Freys welcomed Ashley into their family – and eventually, the family business – where she got her first taste of what was to come by lending a hand with bookkeeping for the ranch.
After spending several years working in casino marketing and legal services, Ashley took a leap of faith when she and Colby founded Frey Ranch Distillery on his family’s 1,500-acre farm in the spring of 2006. While the early days were often long and exhausting – with Ashley stepping in to help wherever she was needed, including on the bottling line – she takes pride in the hard work that made Frey Ranch Distillery what it is today, and has leveraged her PR and marketing background to help grow the company over the years.
In addition to having a hand in day-to-day business operations, Ashley is closely involved in the branding process and recently oversaw the redesign of Frey Ranch’s packaging, from the artful bottle design and distinct metal toppers down to the custom label color. Ashley also established and still
oversees the visitor experience at Frey Ranch, hosting anywhere from a dozen to 100 guests at the on-site tasting room each weekend. What she loves most about her job is that no two days are alike. On any given day she might be in the tasting room interacting with guests, in the office reviewing bottle and label designs, or on the road hosting a tasting event with Colby.
While she enjoys the occasional getaway to nearby Lake Tahoe, Ashley is just as content spending time on the farm with Colby, their two children, 7-year-old Alice and 4-year-old Charley, and their team of 12 full-time employees, who she has come to view as a second family. “We live where we work and we work where we live,” says Ashley. “And ultimately, our brand is an extension of our family.”
On this week's episode of Barrel Room Chronicles, I visit Frey Ranch in Fallen NV. So if you are watching this on www.BarrelRoomChronicles.com, YouTube or Spotify, you are in for a treat! After our in person interview, Colby ...