Local company gets big boost: Technology company Terressentia receives $200,000

Charleston Post and Courier
Allyson Bird
August 3, 2010

An upstart company in a business park off Azalea Avenue applies technology to taste to make top-quality distilled liquors.

Monday Terressentia received $200,000 from an affiliate of the SC Research Authority called SC Launch and, more importantly, recognition of its business as something beyond booze.

As chief executive Earl Hewlette explains it, Terressentia takes bottom-shelf liquor and removes the impurities left behind in the standard distillation process.

It uses energy-driven oxidation and filtration to force bad-tasting incomplete chemical reactions to completion.

That process creates a smoother taste after about six hours in a machine the size of a dishwasher, Hewlette said.

Terressentia’s customers include the TBonz Restaurant Group, Pearlz Oyster Bar, Maverick Southern Kitchens and more than 30 other, out-of-state customers seeking a private labels for their spirits, according to Hewlette.

His company will use the “big check” investment from SC Launch, a program designed to boost knowledge-based entities, to expand its sales and marketing push. Hewlette said the company, which began operations in 2007, runs off a $4 million investment over the past decade and that this new funding will help generate more exposure.

“The most important part of SC Launch is the recognition that they’ve given us a stamp of approval that we are truly a technology company,” he said.

SC Launch began four years ago and, since then, has helped more than 230 knowledge-based companies across the state.

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