Meet Ron Raimonde.
Q: Please tell us about yourself and how did you end up in Sedona?
A: I was born and raised in Phoenix. We used to come up to Sedona all the time in the early 70s and picnic on the creek. I always knew that I wanted to settle down here eventually. When my wife got out of school, I convinced her that we should buy a house here. I’ve been a mountaineering and rock climbing guide, and I always liked to climb here. Sedona is such a unique place.
Q: You have a new endeavor – what’s happening with that?
A: I do. I’ve been distilling for a long time. My dad is a chemist, and I always knew how stills worked. I’m getting too old to be a mountain climbing guide for the rest of my life. Four years ago, my partner, Dr. Pador, and I decided to do the distillery. It’s been a slow road, but it’s been a ton of fun! We now have two-year-old whiskey. Hopefully, we’ll be opening sometime this year. We focused on whiskey, whiskey, and more whiskey! We’re planning to do gin and vodka as well, but those are easy and quick. We don’t have to age it.
Q: How long have you lived or worked in Sedona?
A: We bought a house here 21 years ago, but I’ve been working here longer than that.
Q: What’s one thing that keeps you motivated?
A: The prospect of a wide-open future and not getting stuck in something.
Q: Who is one of the most interesting people that you’ve met here in Sedona?
A: Rick Taylor and his wife, Karen. Rick is low-key and someone that I can talk to for hours.
Q: What, is something on your bucket list?
A: My wife and I recently bought a 51-foot sailboat which is in Canada right now. We’re planning to sail around the world. I spent the first half of my life in the mountains and the second half in the ocean.
Q: What is your favorite restaurant in Sedona?
A: I like Dahl & Di Luca, the Pump House, Butterfly Burger, Elote, and the restaurants in Old Town Cottonwood.
Q: What is your favorite music?
A: I’m completely all over the map, from the Sex Pistols to classical music. It depends on what kind of mood I’m in.
Q: Choosing anyone with whom would you have lunch and why?
A: Leonardo Da Vinci probably. He’s one of the most interesting people who ever lived.
Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about Sedona?
A: The accessibility of getting to remote areas very quickly.
Q: Where do you see yourself in five or ten years?
A: Hopefully, six months out of the year on a boat. We’ll keep our house here in Sedona.
Q: What three words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
A: I think ‘home’ is a place you come to, and you’re happy to be where you are.
Q: When friends or family come to visit, where do you take them?
A: That’s a great thing about Sedona – you can take them to climb a spire, or you can have drinks on the patio at the Mariposa. There is so much to do here, so it’s easy to take people to do something spectacular.
From the interview with Jonelle Klein