This past Monday, we celebrated Tanteo Founder’s Day - a day that commemorates the life of Jonathan Rojewski. Jonathan was a good friend, the creator of the Tanteo brand and my former boss here at Tanteo. In typical Tanteo fashion, we celebrated his life by imbibing some Tanteo Jalapeño Margaritas at Añejo Tribeca in New York City. Here are a number of photos from the event. Today I would like to reflect on Jonathan, share a couple of essential practices he taught me, and show how Tanteo is keeping his legacy alive.
Jonathan Rojewski is the handsome man from Maryland that you have probably seen in many Tanteo production photos, as well as right here.
Jonathan was a competitive soccer player in high school and college. He kept his competitive spirit alive after he finished school by moving up to New York and pursuing a career in finance. He started Tanteo with co-founder David Campbell in 2007 because of their shared passion for spicy margaritas and their desire to not wear suits to work every day. It was Jonathan’s aesthetic vision that grew Tanteo into the true brand it is today. From developing the bottle, creating the original formula, and building Casa Tanteo; Jonathan took every step with creative precision. Jonathan hired our EVP of sales Jacob Gordon and I to lead the company’s sales and operations team, build relationships across the United States, and continue the company’s growth.
While vacationing in August 2013, Jonathan was in a tragic accident that caused head trauma. He passed away a few days later in Glenwood Springs Colorado. The company suffered, but Jonathan’s desire to create an outstanding product allowed his legacy to live beyond his death with Tanteo. I still think about Jonathan often and the way he went about crafting Tanteo. The principles below still guide how we make each one of our uniquely infused spirits.
1. Attention to Detail: Jonathan sweat the small stuff and it made all the difference. In my early days with Tanteo, I would be terrified to make a presentation believing that my spacing or font selection could be off, but it was all for the betterment of the company.Tanteo is a company that makes beautiful things. He would apply this motto to everything associated with Tanteo Spirits. This is still the litmus test I use to judge what we create. From sales sheets, to new cocktails, everything has to be aesthetically beautiful and go through a proper vetting process.
2. Work With People You Enjoy Being Around: JR wanted to build a great corporate culture at Tanteo. He took any and every hire very seriously. He truly enjoyed and cared about the people he worked with. Jonathan wanted interesting people at Tanteo, both inside and outside of work. One spends a lot of time with the people they work with, and to this day we take great pride when we are able to welcome someone in the Tanteo Family.
3. Work Hard, Play Hard: Jonathan loved to work and as a team, we took pride in burning the midnight oil, competing on who could make it to the office first, and putting our heart and soul in the everyday challenges of building a brand. Simultaneously, he mastered how to turn it off and have a good time. He loved to enjoy quality meals, spend time with friends, and challenge himself in sports and physical endeavors. JR was an intense man, but his magnetic intensity traveled everywhere - from the New York City office to surfing on the beaches of Mexico.
We strive to live by JR’s standards and we reflect it in how we make, market, and sell Tanteo. The same goes with updates to the packaging, the design of new printed materials, and how the Tanteo team carries itself. We miss you, Jonathan.
Para La Buena Vida,