Ever wondered why Mike Fruge’ chose the brand name J.T. Meleck Distillers?
Great Great Uncle John Meleck was the family patriarch. He and his brothers and sisters settled right here in Branch in the late 1870s.
There were a lot of people who grew a style of rice called ‘Providence Rice’. You would hold the winter rains on high ground and then plant rice in the low ground. We’re not really sure how many people were doing that, but that’s how Mike’s family did it. Throughout his childhood, Mike would hear stories of Uncle John. Stories that stayed with him. So, when it came time to choose a name, it just seemed natural to name it after the man who started it all.
J.T. Meleck, also known as John Tristan Meleck. Funny story, he tried to name his first born, a daughter, Meleck, but thankfully lost that battle! But, his first born son’s name is Tristan John. Mike likes to pay tribute to his heritage, and never forget where he came from or what it took to get there.