armando toronto

Toronto tech worker starts up side hustle that sells out within days

A Toronto worker whose day job is in tech has started up a side hustle selling something that hasn't really been available in town before, and it's no surprise he's been selling out.

Armando is a local aperitivo company run by Sam Wilson with the goal of making natural Italian-style aperitivo, spirits and vermouth in Toronto.

He was inspired by the local apertivo making traditions of Italy when traveling there a few years back, noticing that every tiny town and region had their own locally made spirits. It was a huge contrast to the few big-name brands we usually choose from here here in Canada.

The passion project started in his tiny kitchen at the beginning of lockdowns, and a little over a year ago materialized into a very real business.

All products are made using real botanicals, wine and Canadian spirit without any artificial flavours or colours; surprising considering the bright juicy red colour of Armando aperitivo.

"I do have a day job in tech, previously worked in craft beer which was where the idea for this started," Wilson tells blogTO.

When Wilson launched sales of Armando in June 2022, both presales and his first batch sold out within a few days.

Their only product right now is a bitter aperitivo that sells for $36 a bottle, and is made with 12 botanicals, citrus, and organic cane blended with homemade wine, and it can be purchased online.

It's supposed to have citrus and floral notes with a bitter backbone, and can be used to make negronis, spritzes or other cocktails.

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