Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Five Questions With A Food Founder: Alvira Dickson of Simply Luscious Cocktails

This week's Five Questions With A Food Founder is Alvira Dickson. She is the founder of Simply Luscious Cocktails and was one of the sponsors of TECHmunch Atlanta.

What was your inspiration for starting Simply Luscious Cocktails?
My inspiration for Simply Luscious cocktails started years ago...growing up I dreamed of working in the food and beverage world. When I finished my college degree in Food Science I was not lucky enough to get my dream job with a food company – but that did not deter me. However luck struck when after graduating from my MBA, I worked in management at beverage companies including Heineken, Diageo and Nestle providing me with unique experiences in the beverage world. Recently as a busy mom I was frustrated when there were no premixed cocktails on the market that combined great taste and low calories for home entertaining. Drawing inspiration from my recipes and career travel to Netherlands, South America and the Caribbean – I began putting together my recipes and ideas for launching Simply Luscious cocktails.

How did you come up with the name and logo of your business?
The name Simply Luscious is a celebration of a balanced indulgent lifestyle. My team and I wanted to create a premium ‘’ready to drink’’ cocktails where consumers could ‘’have it all’’- great taste and low calories to fit their entertaining needs. We also wanted to bring something new and innovative to consumers. Since our brand supports a healthy portion controlled lifestyle we added our trademark portion control feature. We choose the butterfly as the logo symbol to bring a luscious life into existence. A Butterfly means ‘life’ in many cultures, its elegant versatile and can be used several ways from edgy to soft feminine chic. We wanted to create a logo that would fit on a simple clean bottle with bursts of color to create this fun and energetic vibe.

What websites or apps that you use that are essential for your business?
 Being in the spirits industry we always have to be up to date with trends, figures and the underlying drivers in industry. Even though the industry is stable it requires a deep knowledge of the consumers. Here are a few and apps:
• Instagram is very helpful for social media point of brand building for a small business like ours
• WSWA and Bevforce are great for industry news and trends and are tailored to emerging brands like ours. • Blogger Networks since we are so small we believe partnering with bloggers with influence will make our voice heard in the market.
• Pinterest is a great place to share recipes. We usually take inspirations and develop them into calorie conscious yet indulgent cocktail treats
• Cocktails apps are a great way to see the new, fun concoctions that are coming out in the mixology world.

What's the best thing about having your own liquor business?
It gives me the flexibility of controlling my own time and being able to combine business with other commitments in the family. • It feels great to have the ability to make my own business decisions and be accountable for them. • It’s very rewarding to take knowledge from past industry knowledge and find cost effective and creative ways to do them. • It highly excites me to think that one day kids will draw inspiration from Simply Luscious and look to do whatever they set their minds to no matter who they are or where they come from!

What food or drink trend do you think will be big in 2015?
We are in the mixology era where different concoctions and creative recipes are in are on the rise.
  • There will be an increase in consumption of more premixed cocktails to more casual venues like stadiums and arenas. 
  • In the 2015 the spirits world will shift away from Vodkas to flavored Whiskeys where flavors and season ingredients will play a key role in cocktails.
  • More savvy and demanding consumers will drive innovation – as a result there will be more healthy balanced offerings not just drinks for example portion control. 
Note: We at Simply Luscious feel everyone should care deeply about their local communities - women and children in need. We make a donation for every bottle of Simply Luscious Cocktails sold to the Atlanta Women's Foundation. We encourage everyone to support their own local Women's Foundation because everyone deserves a Luscious Life!

Halloween Cupcakes: Witch's Cauldron Cupcakes

I love these Halloween cupcakes made by Juli Jacklin. Chocolate cupcakes have vanilla and chocolate buttercream frosting. The witch's cauldrons are bubbling over with candy eyes, bones and gummy worms.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Halloween Cupcakes By Peter Dutton

What a great photo of Halloween cupcakes! Are you baking Halloween cupcakes this week?

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Kickstarter: Hot Bread Scholarships

Support this Kickstarter. Hot Bread Kitchen's Women Bake Bread scholarship allows immigrant women access to education of a year of artisanal bakery training.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Confetti Funfetti Vanilla Cupcakes

There are so many colorful cupcakes, but it is great to see a vanilla cupcake. This is actually a funfetti vanilla cupcake which is a lovely way to celebrate a birthday. Cakes by Chichi has the recipe.
Confetti Funfetti Vanilla Cupcakes  Get Recipe---->

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Batter Up: Bake Chocolate And Local Beer Cupcakes For The World Series

Native Kansas Citians and friends of the blog Emily and her husband Kyle baked chocolate cupcakes made with beer to celebrate the World Series. It's a simple chocolate recipe with a twist. These cupcakes may be the only cupcakes that your significant other may actually want to help you bake, so take note.

For Kansas City Royals fans, you may want to use a local brew from Boulevard Brewing Company. They have an Oatmeal Stout which has a "roasty/chocolate/coffee flavors with a slightly sweet finish". By the way, did you know that Paul Rudd is from Kansas City? He's a super fan of the Royals. For the San Francisco Giants, then you may want get Anchor Steam.  If not in either city, then you can use Guinness or local favorite stout of your choosing.
BTW, Emily and Kyle's recipe calls for Christopher Elbow's Drinking Chocolate instead of cocoa powder.
Go over to Made Man for the recipe, and play ball.

Five Questions With A Food Founder: Chitra of Brooklyn Delhi

Photo by Brooklyn Delhi

What was your inspiration for starting Brooklyn Delhi? 
 I have been specializing in developing, teaching and serving Indian recipes using local and seasonal ingredients available to me in Brooklyn, NY since 2009 at The ABCD’s of Cooking.  I’m currently also writing a cookbook for Ten Speed Press (June, 2016) on that same topic focused on South Indian home cooking using local ingredients. It was a natural progression for me to offer achaars that supported local farmers and growers at Brooklyn Delhi.  Growing up I ate A LOT of achaar.  I would always bring back copious amounts of achaars from my family in India. 

I realized though that the achaars sold in stores near me in the US were laden with salt and bad oils and lacked that homemade flavor, which led me to make my own.  Achaar-making in India has always centered around using seasonal fruits or vegetables so taking a page from that tradition, my achaar recipes were inspired by the vegetables and fruits, like rhubarb, gooseberries, etc., I received in my weekly farm share.  I started serving these achaars at my pop-up dinners and cooking classes and got such a good response that my husband (fiancé at the time) encouraged me to bottle them.

How did you come up with the name and logo of your business? 
Brooklyn Delhi is a fun play on words that reflects the recipes I make - founded in Indian cooking traditions but inspired by what is grown around me in Brooklyn, NY.  My father is from Delhi and actually writes the Hindi translation that appears on all of our bottles.  My husband, Ben is a food packaging designer with over a decade of experience so I was lucky in the logo and branding department.  Taking cues from hand-painted Indian street and truck art and the look of classic Brooklyn deli awnings, Ben designed the Brooklyn Delhi logo and packaging that reflected a combination of the two.

What websites or apps that you use that are essential for your business?
Our site is built on Shopify and our email campaigns come from Mailchimp.  To get the word out, I use a lot of social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. It's been a really effective and free way to promote the business.

What's the best thing about having your own food business?
It would definitely be inventing my own flavors, I have the most fun coming up with new recipes in the kitchen. Of course, being your own boss isn't half bad either:)

What food or drink trend do you think will be big in 2015?
I'm hoping Indian flavors.... I do think that the general public is getting hungry for more complex flavors, not just spicy but sour, sweet, savory and spicy all at once and I think that definitely will be evident not only in new food products, but also drink flavors coming out.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

KC Royals Cupcakes

The World Series starts today and the KC Royals have quickly become America's favorite baseball team and are the heavy favorites to win, so in honor of their historic run, here are a few Royal cupcakes I found online:

Gigis Overland Park

Lisa Sagi Custom Cakes

Cupcake A La Mode KC

Birthday Direct

Lisa Sagi Custom Cakes

Diamond Club celebration

3 Girls Cupcakes KC

Sweet Tooth Blue Springs


And a few from the other guys ;) :

Just the Frosting

Kristina Marisse

The Flour Girls