Lyon Distilling Company
When she was living on Lamu Island in Kenya, Jaime Windon loved the freshness of the dishes there, with seafood and vegetables seasoned with a fresh spicy local lime or simple oil.
Windon, who spent a decade traveling the world as a photographer, journalist and bartender, brought that appreciation for fresh, whole ingredients back with her when she opened Lyon Distilling Company in St. Michael’s.
“We make everything from scratch,” Windon said, including carefully sourcing the sugar and molasses and never using extracts. “Everything is 100 percent natural, whole-food ingredients.”
Windon oversees production and operations at the distillery, which she co-founded in 2012. The small-batch distillery started with rum and produces a rye whiskey and single malt, along with tropical/botanical infused rum and liqueurs.
She is an elected commissioner and treasurer with the town of St. Michaels and the distillery’s tasting room is located in an old flour mill with a winery and brewery, just steps away to help welcome the town’s visitors.
“I truly love taking care of people, delivering a memorable experience and connecting on a deeper level than just making a transaction,” Windon said. “… the connection and delivering of an unique flavor experience and selling someone their new favorite bottle of rum, that is the goal.”
Windon works to promote and grow the craft spirits industry in Maryland. Lyon Distillery is a founding member of the Maryland Distillers Guild and she is serving her second term as its president as well as serving on the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s Friends Board.
In 2017, Lyon Distilling launched a limited edition, seasonal rum that has raised more than $5,000 for the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, which protects and preserves land in the region. Windon earned a liberal arts degree from Villa Julie College before becoming a world traveler.
“Learning is the thing I’m most passionate about,” she said.