Local liquor stores pull Russian vodka from shelves

Published 1:28 pm Friday, March 4, 2022

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Opposing opinions from local ABC stores


TRYON––In response to NC Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order to terminate all agreements that might benefit Russia, local liquor stores have stopped selling Russian vodka. 
On Monday, Gov. Cooper signed Executive Order No. 251, which terminates any directly benefiting Russian operations.
General Manager at The Town of Tryon ABC Store General Manager says she received an email on Monday from the North Carolina ABC Commission that stated the suspension of the approval of Russian produced products.
However, The Town of Tryon ABC Store did not carry any of the vodkas that the NC ABC Commission suspended.

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The owner of Bird Mountain Market Wine and Spirits claims Gov. Cooper’s order was insignificant to begin with.
Because Bird Mountain Market Wine and Spirits is just over the NC border into SC, he was not forced to remove Russian Vodka from his store, though he says it never sold well anyway.
“Pulling it off shelves is a silly reaction that does no good.  By the time it gets to us, the actual consumer, it’s already been bought and paid for, so it does absolutely no good.  It’s an insignificant order,” the owner says.
He says he let his Russian Vodka sell itself out, and he never reordered it.  He has now replaced his Russian Vodka with Ukrainian Vodka, both for what it symbolizes and because he says it’s good vodka.  He says he has not had NC residents come to his store in SC seeking Russian vodka. 

Executive Order No. 251 states, “North Carolina response to and condemnation of Russian invasion of Ukraine
WHEREAS, the United States government has strongly condemned Russia’s actions and enacted significant economic sanctions against Russia and Russian-owned businesses in response to Russia’s actions; and
WHEREAS, North Carolina is a significant purchaser of goods and services. . . ”
The Order states in Section 2: Review of Existing Contracts and Operations, “Alcohol Sales: The North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission is directed to review its list of approved products for any produced by Russian Entities and to suspend the approval of such products as quickly as practicable.”
Section 6: Effective Date says, “This Executive Order is effective immediately and shall remain in effect until rescinded or superseded by another applicable Executive Order.”