Who's Who of Top Executives

Jackie Summers

Title: Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Company: JackFromBrooklyn Incorporated
Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Jackie Summers, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at JackFromBrooklyn Incorporated, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Executives for dedication, achievements, and leadership in liquor entrepreneurship.

Since 2012, Mr. Summers has found much success as president and chief executive officer of JackFromBrooklyn Incorporated, the distributor of the popular Caribbean-originated liquor sorrel, which he markets under the brand name Sorel. Hibiscus flowers were first imported to the New World from West Africa and hibiscus-based beverages became a Caribbean tradition. Mr. Summers blends Moroccan hibiscus with Brazilian clove, Indonesian cassia and Nigerian ginger to create his best-selling beverage. 

After excelling in finance for five years, marketing for ten years and director of new media and production for a leading fashion magazine for an additional ten years, Mr. Summers’ life changed when doctors found a cancerous tumor on his spine. Against the odds, he recovered and decided to pursue liquor distilling and subsequently perfected a beverage that his family, who originally hailed from the Caribbean, had served during the holidays. He bottled the first shelf-stable version of sorrel and became the first Black person in America with a license to make liquor.   

Mr. Summers’ numerous industry honors include recognition as one of the first-ever inaugural drink innovators by Food & Wine Magazine in 2022, as well as a listing in the 100 Most Influential People in the Bar World by Drinks International from 2019 through 2021. In addition, he received a Best Essay award from American Food Journalist in 2018 and earned a place in The 50 Most Influential People in Brooklyn Food from Brooklyn Magazine in 2014.

Mr. Summers attributes his success to the sacrifices of the people who came before him, such as his mother, a research scientist in the 1950s who conducted the first studies about the effects of cigarettes, and his father, who played in a band with Louis Armstrong in the 1940s but had to drive three to four hours out of town because he could not sleep in the hotels where he played. They fought battles that he did not have to fight, which made him successful because he did not have to experience the same injustices as they did.

In the coming years, Mr. Summers’ goal is to continue to spread the story of Sorel worldwide. His beverage has already launched in 10 states and he plans to expand it to 20 states by the end of 2022. He also wants to discover other beverages, figure out how to make them shelf-stable and introduce them to the world.

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