Momentum was created in the Fall of 2000. An evening out with friends led to late-night grub and a nasty burn on Hunter Ford’s palm from the burner of an electric stove. After a few hours of restless sleep, Hunter woke up, sat at his desk, and sketched what would become the Momentum “burn.” The original artwork is framed in the Ford’s Wilmington home as a reminder of how simple things can be.
Coming up with a logo and name for a company is difficult. If you have the financial resources, there are hundreds of marketing firms out there ready to create a brand and image for you. Hunter was confident that he had found the right path on his own.
Momentum became a surf, skate, and lifestyle brand without a home. After selling t-shirts to family, friends, and soccer buddies, Hunter started spending summer vacation from college working in restaurants in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Over a couple of years, Hunter teamed up with Adam Price, a surfboard shaper living and working in the Outer Banks from Virginia Beach. The original Momentum surfboards featured custom artwork that was new to the East Coast surf scene. Hunter relocated Momentum to Wilmington with his soon-to-be wife Misti in 2006. Hunter and Misti met working together in the fast pace OBX restaurant scene the previous year, and their love for the beach lifestyle gave them the confidence to open Momentum Surf and Skate in downtown Wilmington, NC. The focus was on unique products, private label Momentum apparel, and friendly service. After being open for a few years, in a brand brainstorming session with loyal employees, the idea for a custom North Carolina-shaped bottle emerged. The Ford’s took the steps to create the shape of the bottle with a glass manufacturer, patent the idea, and ultimately sit on the idea for several years. During those wasted years, the Ford’s opened Burnt Mill Creek Billiards and Wine Bar. The bar was a success and attracted national recording artists and local musicians regularly. Benny Hill’s Sunday Jazz Jam was a staple and the likes of Winton and Delfeau Marsallis sat in with the house band while filming the movie Bolden. In 2019, the Ford’s closed Momentum Surf and Skate after damages from Hurricane Florence and had a successful run of large concerts and events at Burnt Mill Creek. The notable musicians at Burnt Mill Creek in 2019 were Hirie, Stephen Marley, Matisyahu, Long Beach Dub Allstars, Mike Pinto, and Iya Terra. The shows offered the opportunity to sell Burnt Mill Creek and the Ford’s sold January 2020 to focus on opening their long-awaited Momentum Distillery. A global pandemic slowed plans for 2 additional years but the long-awaited return of Momentum will happen in February 2022! We have learned a lot about ourselves, business, and being parents since this journey began. Time has been on our side and there is no better time than now to launch this idea that arose in that brainstorming session with our surf shop employees! Without our great employees over the last decade, we wouldn’t be where we are today! Thanks for the support - come have a chat and try some amazing spirits!