Michael Buffa is the President of the Orlando Whiskey Society and Founder of The Buffa Bittering Company. A graduate of Georgia Tech, he moved to Orlando with his wife and found purpose and authentic connection through the enjoyment and education of whiskey.
Meet Michael Buffa
Born in Westfield, NJ, Michael Buffa bounced around quite a bit as a kid, living in New Jersey, Florida, Michigan, Rhode Island, West Virginia, Belgium and eventually back to Florida.
The entrepreneurial lifestyle of his father was the reason for the frequent moves, but their move to Orlando in 1993 paved the way to what we now know as the UCF Incubator.
Father Helps Start UCF Incubator
Buffa graduated from Winter Park High School in 1999 and left Florida to attend Georgia Tech where he would graduate with a degree in Business Management.
Upon graduating, his first job was in Telecommunication sales. He was baptized into a high pressure sales environment that had him pounding the phone and beating the streets. Buffa realized pretty quickly that he had his own style and approach to selling, and their methods just didn’t fit his mentality. After 3 months of taking the job, he quit.
My Philosophy to Sales
Moving to Orlando
After leaving the sales position, real estate peaked his interest so he decided to get his license. Planning on building his career in Atlanta, he and his wife were hunting for a house when they ended up moving to Orlando. When I asked what brought them here, he laughed, and said,
“To this day, my wife and I can’t figure out why we moved here, but we’re glad we did.”
With a driven mindset, Buffa launched a commercial real estate business in Orlando along with a side business providing video production for the wake boarding Industry. Both companies were doing well but both ended up suffering the effects of a bad economy. He ended up making the decision to get out of real estate and video production, at least on the wake boarding side….
The Hot Dog Stand Analogy
Over the next few years, Buffa enrolled at Rollins College and obtained his Masters in Business Administration and Entrepreneurship. His video production company continues to this day but his involvement is less on the production side due to some back and shoulder issues.
Starting up the Orlando Whiskey Society
Being taken out of the production side of videography, Buffa began to look for other opportunities that he could sink his teeth into. With a strong interest, in whiskey he launched the Orlando Whiskey Society in 2015 which led to finding opportunities in the liquor industry.
The Orlando Whiskey Society
Learning about Whiskey
As someone who enjoys good whiskey, I felt this was a perfect opportunity to pick Buffa’s brain, and at the same time, share this knowledge with my readers. With the interview taking place at The Woods in Orlando, we had easy access to a great selection of whiskeys to use as illustrations.
What are the Ingredients in Whiskey?
In this video Buffa explains the differences between bourbon and scotch and the ingredients in both:
What Impacts the Taste of Whiskey?
If the ingredients of whiskey are (for the most part) the same, what actually impacts the taste? Buffa explains in the video below:
How Does Color Impact the Taste of Whiskey?
Special thanks to Aaron and Alex over at The Woods for opening their doors early for us to do this interview. To connect with more people who are shaping the culture of The Orlando Life with their gifts, talents and passions, visit our People section on the site.