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Martial arts fighter takes Bloody course to biz success


A year ago, Emily Griffen was still a Muay Thai personal trainer. Now, she’s making Bloody Mary mix.Griffen was heavily associated with the martial art for six years, consisting of combating and training in Thailand for all 2012 up until she saw a niche in the Bloody Mary company.She began the health-conscious Brewt s Bloody Mary last fall after experimenting with dishes in the summertime.


This is not anywhere I ever saw my life going, Griffen stated. I m a passionate Bloody Mary drinker and have been for several years, and I saw there was something missing.Observing the trend of Bloody Marys on menus across the country turning into meals rather than mixed drinks, Griffen wanted a healthier version that wouldn’t pack on the pounds. She and partner Luke Alan invested an estimated 40 to 50 hours crafting a variation they boasted of. They eventually named it after their Chihuahua, Brewtus.


The resulting mix is made in Lawrence, Michigan, of locally sourced farming items, contains no additional sugar and is among the lowest-sodium mixes on the market, according to Griffen. Just recently, the company secured distribution to more than 100 retailers across Michigan through Kalamazoo-based distributor Imperial Beverage.


Griffen spends half her time in Los Angeles and stated the mix is offered at some sellers in California, however concentration is currently on Michigan.We’re in your area made here, and Michigan is a very responsive market, and people are just so excited about Michigan-made items, she said. As we broaden, we have to find more partners who seek what we’re looking for and do exactly what we’re currently doing.


The state’s developing, coffee and distilling industries have been useful in constructing awareness of Griffen’s Bloody Mary mix, she stated.It’s a good time to be in the beverage industry. Many people are starting these companies and truly working to promote each other, she stated. People are so going to meet and talk about what works and what doesn’t. It’s such a huge movement, and it has made this entire experience a lot more enjoyable.


Brewt’s Bloody Mary saw the state’s excitement for locally made items early, starting with a representative from the Grand Rapids Wine, Beer and Food Festival learning about the product.


The company was invited to take part in the program in November, and Griffen said the response from consumers was extremely favorable, verifying the compliments she’d received from good friends.


She hand-filled 17 cases of the mix in one day and looked into four distribution channels as a bidding war erupted to bring the product, which ended up with Imperial Beverage becoming the distributor.


She was still working as personal trainer up until the second week of January this year, when she realized Brewt’s was becoming a full-time profession.Now the mix is manufactured and bottled in a factory in Lawrence, and Griffen has a storage facility in Grand Rapids. Presently, she’s the company’s just worker, however she understands that may need to change in the future. In the meantime, the freshness of running a company making Bloody Mary mix is enough to keep her running full time.


It appears actually natural to be working 12 hours a day today, she stated.Brewt’s has yet making it to any big-box sellers, and Griffen is uncertain of how hard she’ll push for that. She stated the price point for the product is a bit more than for a lot of Bloody Mary blends, largely because of the health aspect and for the specialized product feel.


The specialty, to her, is the product s natural and 100 percent Michigan active ingredients.My primary objective is for the customer to feel like they can have more than among them, she stated.


With Michigan circulation underway, Griffen said she considers to continue growing and be nationwide in 5 years.She also said other line of product might come out of Brewt’s.I have a couple of things in the back of mind, Griffen stated. Now, I’m simply attempting to capitalize on Bloody Marys.