How we started

In November 2006, Lance Gildner and the rest of Team Buckeye Tuna were fishing in the Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot – the largest Tuna tournament in the world.  On the first day of the tournament, after an epic 4 1/2 hour fight on 50-pound test tackle, they landed a 318 pound Yellow Fin Tuna – shattering the tournament record.

When word hit the docks that a 300 pound-plus Tuna was coming to the Tournament scale, the scene at the Los Cabos Marina turned to pure chaos.  Competing teams, tourists, Tournament officials, press, and curious onlookers all amassed at the scales waiting to catch a glimpse of this monster fish.  The Team’s boat finally reached the scales with only a few minutes remaining before the scales officially closed.  As they approached the scales, and the crowd got their first glance at the fish, excitement overtook the crowd.  The fish was so large it actually broke the scales.  The scales were quickly repaired and the fish was weighed.  Then came the official announcement – the fish weighed 318 pounds!  There the Team was, standing next to their fish, in the flashes of hundreds of cameras, and smack dab in the middle of what must have turned into one of the largest parties in the world that night.

After what seemed like hours, Team Buckeye Tuna decided that they wanted to sneak away and sit down together, away from all of the chaos, to quietly celebrate their victory and reflect on their good fortune – they had just won the largest Tuna Tournament in the World.  They tucked into a small local bar off the beaten path and asked the bar owner to serve them a glass of his finest Tequila.  The bar owner took some glasses over to an unmarked wooden barrel and slowly poured their drinks.  No one knew it at the time, but, like the fish they had just caught, this drink was about to alter the course of Lance’s life.

After taking the first sip, Lance told the bar owner that the drink was truly incredible, but that he thought he had ordered Tequila.  The bar owner responded that it was Tequila.  Yet it was so smooth and so good, Lance did not recognize it as Tequila.  He simply couldn’t believe that a Tequila could be so good that he’d rather sip it to enjoy it than mix it.

Before leaving Cabo, Lance returned to the bar and asked the bar owner what brand the Tequila was so he could buy it when he returned to the US.  The bar owner told Lance that it was a secret and refused to disclose the distiller’s identity.  But the bar owner did agree to fill a couple of empty bar bottles with the Tequila and sell it to Lance so he could take some home with him.  So, Lance took home a gin bottle and a vodka bottle full of this newly discovered Tequila.

Upon returning to home, Lance invited some friends over to socialize and to taste this new Tequila.  Every person there had the same reaction as Lance – this was the best Tequila they ever tasted.  They too wanted to know what it was called so they could buy some for themselves.  After explaining that he didn’t know, Lance agreed that he would bring home more of the Tequila after the tournament the next year and that he would try again to find out who makes it.  The Tequila was gone in one weekend.

The next year, Lance had the same experience with the bar owner.  He refused to divulge the distillers’ identity but again sent Lance home with two empty bar bottles filled with the Tequila.  Lance brought it home and again it was gone the following weekend – and everybody wanted more. Lance repeated this story for many years.

Desperately trying to find the name of the distiller, Lance reached out to a friend who was a native of Cabo San Lucas for help.  His friend received the same response that Lance received from the bar owner – “I can’t tell you, its a secret.”  Then one morning in October 2015, after years of failing to learn the identity of the distiller, Lance walked into his office in Dayton, Ohio and checked his emails.  There was an email from his friend in Cabo.  He opened it and there it was!  His friend had learned the identity of the distiller and had emailed Lance the distiller’s website.

Lance immediately navigated to the distiller’s website and was stunned to see that the name of the distiller’s Silver, Reposado, and Anejo Tequilas was “El Secreto” – which means The Secret in Spanish.  After working so hard to learn the identity of the Tequila for years, how unbelievable was it that its true name is “The Secret.”  You just can’t make this stuff up.  Sometimes life is stranger than fiction.  This family-owned and operated distillery also produced a truly unbelievable Extra Anejo, which was sold under the name of Cantera Negra.

Lance immediately reached out to the distillery and asked if he could bring these products to the US.  Less than a week later, Lance was in Mexico meeting the wonderful family that owned and operated the distillery that made the Tequila.  He left with an exclusive license to import the products to the US.  And now, after two more years of preparation, its finally here, all under the name Cantera Negra – waiting for you to be the next person to discover it.

Join us in celebrating this discovery!  Discover for yourself a Tequila so clean, so smooth and so tasty that it defies your imagination.  Enjoy Tequila in its finest expression – discover Cantera Negra.

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