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Man Trades Life On Wall Street For Distilled Dreams

PORT CHESTER, N.Y. (CBS 2) -- Not every New Year's resolution involves quitting your job and totally reinventing yourself, but that's exactly what one man did in Port Chester.

Ed Tiedge, a married father of two, is now living the sweet life after leaving Wall Street behind. The one-time bond trader for Merrill Lynch has opened Westchester's first distillery since prohibition, CBS 2's Lou Young reports.

Tiedge now spends his days among aluminum and copper vats turning thick rich orange blossom honey into clear spirits of his own design. He learned the trade by studying overseas after the financial crash and applying his own passion for spirits, knowledge of physics and business to the task of making and selling local booze.

The state of New York also kicked in by dramatically reducing the licensing fee for small distillers two years ago.

Tiedge does everything himself, from sales to delivery, and said he prefers his new job to his old life two years ago, where he was chained to a computer and phone in the Financial District.

"You miss the paycheck and this is a little bit more uncertain. But you know what?  I sleep better now. I enjoy what I do. I never got that feeling on Wall Street," Tiedge said.

The honey used by Tiedge leaves behind a hint of the orange blossom flowers in the spirits, which are now found in 50 stores, bars and restaurants.

Nancy Heinbockel of Post Wine and Spirits said she "immediately loved it."

"We've had vodka distilled from everything. This was really something that I wanted to have in the store," she said.

Tiedge said he would be happy if his business grew, but also added he would be fine with it even if it never got any bigger.

"If it becomes nothing more than just a small family business, where I'm making a high-quality product for just this area, I'm quite happy with that," he said.

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