Spirits Industry ”Godfather” Jim Colosi Retires
Hearing him weave the tale of his four decades in the spirits world, it’s easy to see how Jim Colosi earned the nickname “godfather of the liquor industry.” Now he’s moving into retirement after taking part in every Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show since its inception and serving as a member of the Nightclub & Bar Advisory Board for the last 10 years.
Colosi began his career as a clerk at Hodge Wine & Liquor in Buffalo, N.Y. Ten years later, he took a job selling unsold accounts with liquor distributor Queen City Liquor in Buffalo. Eventually, Colosi became vice president of the company, staying there for 10 years until Queen City Liquor closed because of mergers happening in the industry.
Sky Cooper, chief executive officer of Charles Jacquin et Cie., immediately wanted Colosi.
“He hired me and tried me out for six months, and 24 years later, I’m retiring,” as the regional vice president of national sales, Colosi says.
George Borrello, vice president of Progressive Specialty Glass Co. and founder of Top-Shelf Marketing, both in Buffalo, has been friends with Colosi for 20 years.
“He is the godfather of the spirits industry,” Borrello reiterates. “He took me under his wing and taught me so much and treated me just like his son. It’s a debt I can never repay.”
Serving on the Nightclub & Bar Advisory Board together for the past decade also brought them closer together.
Colosi “tells it like it is but at the same time he’s so helpful and knowledgeable,” Borrello says. “He’s so instrumental in putting people together and helping all of us grow in the industry.”
Borrello describes Colosi as a straight shooter. He “was always the person to reach out to when you wanted the real story,” which means he’s ultimately leaving the industry that he helped build with a lasting and positive imprint.