Meet the Vendor: The Bitter Housewife + Giveaway
Who are you and what do you do?
The Bitter Housewife is a wife and husband team making small-batch craft cocktail bitters in Portland, OR. We have three flavors currently, Aromatic, Cardamom, and Grapefruit.
What do you love most about craft show vending?
Bitters are not something that everyone is familiar with. Both my husband and I love the opportunity to educate people not only on what bitters are, but how they can be used. They’re not just for making Old Fashioneds and Manhattans and they certainly should be gather dust on a bar or the back of your booze shelf.
Seeing someone’s reaction when they taste something they like for the first time is pretty awesome and then having them walk away excited to make drinks for themselves and their friends is why we do this.
What’s something you’ve learned through running your business in the past 12 months?
Starting The Bitter Housewife came with a steep learning curve that neither of us expected. We’d both run businesses before so we felt quite confident that we could handle this, but neither one of us has ever run a product business.
Our first attempt at scaling the recipe for Aromatic bitters failed. Not only did we loose valuable product and get set back a whole month on production, we had to go back to the really small batches we started this all with. We were making a liter at a time for a few months. It was kind of absurd.
We’ve also learned a lot about package design and printing. What looks great in prototype form on your kitchen table doesn’t always translate to retail shelves. And then there’s the logistics of those “great ideas”. We still love our hang tags, but they are so much more work than we ever expected.
What’s your favorite item that you sell?
Right now I have to say the Cardamom bitters is my favorite flavor. Not only is it extremely versatile going with everything from Tequila to Scotch, it makes some for some tasty summer cocktails perfect for backyard sipping. I’ve been mixing it with gin, citrus-rosemary simple syrup, and soda water for a drink I call the Backyard Collins, but it also adds an interesting depth to your classic margarita and mixes very well with all sorts of rum based cocktails.
What do your customers love most about your product(s)?
People who aren’t familiar with bitters love how accessible and easy to use they are. It’s hard to use too much and ruin your cocktail. People who are familiar love how clean and bright the flavors are. We’re totally happy with both responses.
Win a set of three bitters: Aromatic, Cardamom, and Grapefruit by The Bitter Housewife!
To enter to win a set of three bitters by The Bitter Housewife, leave a comment below. Entries open until Sunday, June 7th. Be sure to leave your name and email so we can let the winner know where they can pick up their prize at the UCU summer show.