This story is part of a series featuring each of the fourteen startups in the CYstarters 2021 summer cohort. Each team has the opportunity to focus on their startup or business idea while receiving $6,500 or up to $13,000, along with mentorship, accountability, and educational sessions on how to build a business.
By Samantha Dilocker, ISU Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship
Co-founded by Iowa State University student Brian Psculkowski and his brother, Michael Lerman. Two Brothers Liqueurs aims to bring fine, high-quality liqueurs to the palates of drinkers everywhere. Two Brothers Liqueurs’ flagship products are Limoncello and Crema di Limoncello, both lemon-flavored Italian liqueurs created from a traditional family recipe.
Get to know: Brian Psculkowski
Education: Associates in Liberal Arts and current undergrad in Supply Chain at Iowa State University
Passionate about: Cooking, camping, construction, and landscaping.
Most recently I: Started our garden!
Currently working on: Two Brothers Liqueurs
When did you start working on Two Brothers Liqueurs?
I started working on a gourmet sauce company with my brother in late summer 2020. We transitioned from gourmet sauces into Two Brothers Liqueurs in the fall.
Have you always seen yourself starting something?
Yes! My dad owned a gas station and a landscaping business when I was growing up, and small business and entrepreneurship has always been instilled in me. My brother and I have always discussed different business ideas. I’ve always seen myself starting my own business.
Our story begins in southern Italy at my brother’s wedding. My sister-in-law’s family served us limoncello, and it was fantastic. After making limoncello for myself and my family, I decided I wanted to share it with others. We chose liqueurs in addition to just limoncello to broaden our possibilities and expand our interest.
How have you grown since you started?
I’ve grown by working with my brother from a business standpoint as opposed to just being brothers. We’ve begun a professional relationship in addition to our personal relationship by collaborating on this project.
What future milestones would you like to hit?
I want to start production by August 1st on our flagship products, Limoncello and Crema di Limoncello. I want strangers to have heard about my business by the end of the CYstarters program.
What is the biggest challenge you face each day?
Balancing my obligations between family, social life, and wanting to grow my business.
How has entrepreneurship at Iowa State impacted you?
Entrepreneurship at Iowa State has impacted me by giving me a drive and excitement to pursue this CYstarters opportunity and my business and turn it into a reality.
What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student?
I would give them the advice to set their goals and break them up as much as possible to accomplish pieces of bigger tasks, to make the overall goals more achievable.
Where are you headed? And how would you invite others to join you?
I’m headed into small business, and I would invite others to join me by pursuing their own ideas, keep working towards them, and don’t be afraid to change and adapt to be successful.