Veterans Voices

Veterans Voices: Veteran Todd McCoy making the most of retirement with business Whiskey 45

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There are about 19 million veterans living in the United States this year, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

According to the nonprofit SCORE, veterans own 9.1% of businesses in the country. We spoke with a local veteran who is one of those business owners.

Todd McCoy was in the Air Force for 20 years and was stationed in South Carolina, Japan and North Dakota.

He says he joined the Air Force as an aircraft hydraulic specialist to try something different and enjoyed moving around.

“I’m just kind of like a gypsy that way. Every few years you pull up, and go somewhere else, and experience new things which is kinda nice,” said McCoy.

He started his business, Whiskey 45, a few years before he retired in Minot in 2019.

“I pretty much did it because I wanted to get quality stuff and I can’t find what I want so I decided to start making my own,” said McCoy.

His company makes custom leather products including gun holsters, magnetic pucks and belts.

“Everything is made to order and you usually have a little bit of a wait, but everything’s handmade so it takes a little bit,” said McCoy.

McCoy also donates some of his items to charity.

“Local motorcycle clubs usually ask me to donate an item for their silent auctions or whatever like that,” said McCoy, “which is good, gets your name out there and provide some money for whatever charity that they’re trying to raise money for.”

He has a degree in graphic design and he taught himself how to make leather products.

“I was always interested in doing it and then I said, ‘Well it’s getting close to retirement’ so here I am doing it now for probably bout four years, five years,” said McCoy.

As for his other retirement plans?

“This is pretty much it,” said McCoy. “Maybe ride my motorcycle a little more, but that’s about it.”

And for those wondering about his unique company name?

“I wasn’t sure which direction this was gonna take me, so I just kinda picked some things that I like,” said McCoy. “And I like drinking whiskey and I carry a .45 usually.”

If you would like to view the products that Whiskey 45 offers, click here.

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