The Patron Way may have been the only book we reviewed at Tequila Aficionado last year, but it was worthy of nomination in the Tequila Aficionado 2013 Brands of Promise awards and definitely worthy of a gold medal. As I mentioned in my original review,
“The Patron Way is the tragic story of a thirteen-year love affair between Martin Crowley and Ilana Edelstein that ended when ego, greed, and lawyers got in the way.”
While some were touting it as a marketing guide, I disagree. Ilana was the brilliance behind the original tequila girls and they cranked tequila marketing up several notches when it was just a fledgling industry in the United States. She deserves the credit for that and much more. Martin Crowley was a cutthroat businessman. It is no secret that he was not widely liked, but Ilana softened his edges and J.P. Dejoria’s bank account and Hollywood connections made it possible for Patron to make as big a splash as it did.
The Patron Way is a cautionary tale of how not to go into business with a lover and proves that love and lawyers simply don’t mix. Ilana’s story isn’t a manual on how to run your tequila business today. In fact, running your tequila business with a 1989 business model will have you sucking hot wind in no time. Using tequila girls to market tequila, while still done, is going the way of the dinosaur. Women do most of the buying now and women want substance in the bottle. That being said, there is most definitely substance in this book. It is more than a business memoir, more than an autobiography, and an absolute must read! The Patron Way is a fascinating story and I look forward to seeing it on screen someday soon.
Well done and best of luck to you, Ilana!