Specialty Food Magazine

Summer 2019

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://www.e-digitaleditions.com/i/1119718

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Page 77 of 155

"There was a mystery about the ingre- dients and why you'd use them," Genevieve, 43, says of the bitters movement she was observing. Back then, she was a bar manager in San Francisco and saw that they were being "made by male bartenders talking to their friends and cocktail geeks. It felt exclusive and not appealing to me. I'm a foodie woman who understands cocktails and wanted to make something accessible and fun that felt inclusive. Everyone is wel- come; it's not intimidating." Confident in the kitchen, she put her palate to work. "Some would call me a super-taster," she says. After playing around with six or eight bitters recipes, she landed on one she thought was impeccable, saying, "I was very pleasantly surprised that they were better than Angostura." Angostura has been a go-to staple for professional and home bartenders for cen- turies, essential for old-fashioneds, manhat- tans, and mai tais. Genevieve explains that she didn't know she didn't like the brand until she tasted the bitters she'd made, a revealing comparison. "Suddenly I could tell that it tasted very chemical, very sharp, and I started to question the color, that bright red," she says. "My bitters weren't red at all. I was using real ingredients similar to the Angostura recipe—cinnamon, cloves, dried cherries, and nuts—and they were a rich brown color." She solely built the bitters for f lavor, then noticed her version also blended bet- ter. Traditionally, more than two or three dashes of commercial bitters can ruin a drink, she says, but that wasn't the case with what she made from scratch. Still, she didn't pursue it as a way to make a living until one night she and her husband, Dan, 50, were TIMELINE — 2012 Registers The Bitter Housewife as the business name and sells a few bottles of Aromatic Bitters to friends. — 2013 Moves to Portland, Ore. and starts working on The Bitter Housewife in earnest. — 2014 Son Dylan is born; first wholesale order of 13 cases of Aromatic Bitters is delivered to New Seasons Market in Portland; The Bitter Housewife Grapefruit and Cardamom Bitters appears on store shelves. — 2015 Launches The Bitter Housewife Barrel Aged Bitters. — 2016 Purchases Raft and takes over production of its syrups (Hibiscus Lavender, Lemon Ginger, Smoked Tea Vanilla). Extends the line with Citrus Rosemary and bar syrups like Simple (made with organic cane sugar), Grenadine, and Lime. Incorporates Improper Goods, LLC, the umbrella company for The Bitter Housewife and Raft. — 2017 Raft Citrus Rosemary Syrup and Raft Vanilla Syrup win Good Food Awards; The Bitter Housewife Cardamom Bitters is a Good Food Finalist. Launches first seasonal Raft flavor, Cranberry Five Spice. — 2018 The Bitter Housewife Cardamom Bitters wins a Good Food Award, a sofi Gold, and is named Product of the Year. PHOTO: IMPROPER GOODS, LLC SUMMER 2019 75

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