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Carrollton-Based BuzzBallz Sold To Largest U.S. Spirits Producer Sazerac

Merrilee Kick will remain as CEO

Sazerac recently announced an agreement to acquire BuzzBallz, renowned for its award-winning ready-to-drink beverages.

According to CEO and Founder Merrilee Kick, a former high school teacher at Plano West, the deal will close sometime this spring. However, Kick will remain as CEO and the company facilities will continue to be located in Carrollton, which has grown to 750,000 square feet of manufacturing space. 

“We are super excited because this will help us have explosive growth worldwide,” Kick told Local Profile. “I love what I do, and I love our innovative culture!”

BuzzBallz originated in 2009 from Kick's master's degree thesis project. Kick was certified to teach marketing, business and computer science and took the opportunity offered by Plano ISD's teacher enrichment program, which sponsored her pursuit of an MBA.

Kick was grading papers by the pool, enjoying a cocktail, when she noticed a round votive candle beside her that she had purchased while living in Sweden. “I thought wouldn’t it be fun to have a round party ball for a cocktail?” Kick previously told Local Profile

“No one else was doing it,” Kick said. “I wanted to mix and match colors. I wanted to sell different flavors in a six pack, not just six strawberry daiquiris. I wanted them to be fun and cute and to fit in the hand.”

The distinctive spherical design and innovative ready-to-drink flavors of BuzzBallz quickly gained attention. As a woman-owned and family-operated business, BuzzBallz saw remarkable expansion and garnered widespread acclaim, earning hundreds of awards worldwide.

"Merrilee and the team at BuzzBallz have created incredible brands and we are both honored and excited to partner together to take them to the next level," Sazerac CEO and President, Jake Wenz said in a statement. "Merrilee's creativity, commitment to quality and drive is inspiring. BuzzBallz is truly one-of-a-kind and we can't wait to help spread the products to more consumers all over the world."

Sazerac oversees several esteemed distilleries worldwide, such as Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky; Domaine Sazerac de Segonzac in Cognac, France; Paul John Distillery in Goa, India; and Lough Gill Distillery in County Sligo, Ireland. 

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