In our ‘Inspiring small businesses’ series we share and celebrate great stories from fellow small business owners who took their idea to the next level and built their own business. Starting your own business is a huge step, no matter how small your business is, so by bringing you closer to the great minds behind these inspiring businesses, we hope that you will find motivation and survival tips for building yours.
Today, we bring you the story behind hand made alcoholic spread brand Joyful And Mellow shared by its founder Carmen Beese. Enjoy!
What is it that you do?
Joyful And Mellow is a brand of luxury alcoholic spreads hand made to bring joy to your taste buds. Our alcoholic spreads are made using the best wines, spirits and liqueurs. We follow a detailed process to ensure the richness of flavours are retained and concentrated to maximise the taste experience. You won’t find a ‘jam’ with a higher alcohol content anywhere else. Versatile in the way you can eat them and simply delightful with either sweet or savoury food. You can have them with toast or you can kick it up a notch and explore a whole new world of gustatory pleasure.
What’s the story behind your business?
One of my earlier businesses selling alcoholic cupcakes was the seed to my current business of selling alcoholic spreads. I love to experiment cooking with alcohol and did not want to bake an ordinary cupcake like everyone else was doing. Therefore, the centre was cored out and filled with an alcoholic jam-like mixture made from Merlot wine. It was a family member who tried one and mentioned that the filling was extremely tasty and I should think about selling that by itself, if the cupcakes did not take off. Although the cupcakes did sell well at local markets, they could not be delivered nationally and therefore the scalability was limited.
The Merlot spread was bottled and given to a few friends and family to try. The feedback received was overwhelmingly positive, so I experimented with a few other wines and spirits such as Prosecco, Gin and Port until six flavours had been perfected. An online platform was created to sell them to the public and Joyful And Mellow was born. Today we have 18 flavours and are launching 5 new ones with less alcohol therefore, more affordable.
What inspired you to start your own business?
I have always wanted to do creative things and working on a 9 to 5 job wasn’t for me! That was my main inspiration to create my business plus I love experimenting with food and use ingredients that is not the most conventional. Cooking with alcohol is alluring almost magical. I can compare it a bit, with salt, that accentuates food flavours and it goes one notch up as the alcohol evaporation helps the food smell gets into our nostrils quicker. As a matter of fact the aromas are responsible for the great flavours rather than the taste. The proof is when we have a blocked nose we can’t taste much!
What is the most difficult aspect of running your own business?
Numbers! They are not my friend. Accounts and dealing with paper work is my worst nightmare. You have two options in business – get really good with numbers or find someone who is good with numbers. They can be quite overwhelming and you need to know where you are financially at all times! I am very lucky that my husband is good with numbers, so he takes care of this bit.
What is the best thing about running your own business?
The best part is to create new flavours, read the lovely reviews and have personal contact with my customers! It’s so rewarding when they get back to me to say how much they loved my products. Although social media makes me a bit nervous, I met fabulous people that helped me beyond any expectation.
I hear sometimes people say it’s business… it’s not personal. I think it’s so not true! I love making my business personal after all, without my lovely customers I don’t have a business.