Owl's Brew, New York, NY, USA

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2012, Click to Enter The 2014 American Business Awards

Company: Owl's Brew, New York, NY, USA
Company Description: Owl's Brew was founded in 2013 by Jennie Ripps and Maria Littlefield and is the first ever tea crafted for cocktails. The brand's four flavors, which give the at home entertainer an effortless way to make drinks, are meant to be paired with a wide range of liquor, craft beer or wine. Drink wise!
Nomination Category: Company/Organization Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Company of the Year – Consumer Products – 10 or Less Employees

Nomination Title: Owl's Brew

Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated organization since the beginning of July last year (up to 525 words):

Owl’s Brew, the first tea crafted for cocktails, was founded in 2013 by Jennie Ripps and Maria Littlefield as a way to effortlessly elevate cocktails by marrying the complex flavor profiles of tea with those found in liquor, craft beer and wine.

Our second birthday is coming up in October and it’s thrilling to see how much we have accomplished. We’ve seen tremendous growth and enthusiasm for our brand, and that really helps drive the momentum forward. Our success can be attributed to new sales channels, increase in overall sales numbers, new flavor releases and expanding the Owl’s Brew team.

Throughout the past year, Owl’s Brew has launched at new accounts nationally and internationally. FreshDirect and Wegmans, along with H-E-B, have brought Owl’s Brew into their inventory. We have also expanded our foot print at Whole Foods to six regions. The owl has landed at all locations of the popular superstore Total Wine & More, while Southern Wine and Spirits has picked up Owl’s Brew to distribute in California and Nevada.

Across the pond, Owl’s Brew is now sold at Marks & Spencer stores throughout the United Kingdom. Owl’s Brew is poured at nightclubs in Singapore including the Canvas Club and Zouk Club and the Ritz-Carlton.

On-premise, we’ve been focusing on hotel bars and positioning Owl’s Brew as the perfect tool for creating consistent craft cocktails that can be easily replicated across multiple properties. Owl’s Brew has been mandated behind the bar at 21 out of the 23 Loews locations nationwide and is an amenities program staple at Thompson Hotels.

The addition of these new accounts are keeping us on track to reach our projected sales goal for 2015 - a number that we expect to quadruple from 2014.

We are also expanding our flavor line and signing on to do special projects and collaborations ranging from custom flavors to authoring books.

Earlier this summer, we released our fourth flavor, White and Vine, to critical acclaim. Our new flavor won “best cold beverage” at this year’s esteemed sofi Awards (part of the Specialty Food Association). We have partnered with retailers including Williams-Sonoma and West Elm to create custom flavors for the upcoming holiday season. We are also partnering with The Famous Grouse Scotch Whisky to develop custom flavors for both The Famous Grouse and The Black Grouse, out this fall.

Jennie and Maria have co-authored a forthcoming book, Wise Cocktails, which serves as a how-to guide on creating and brewing tea-based beverages, with a focus on tea cocktails, along with tea mocktails and even tea smoothies. The book will be released October 20 via Rodale.

The Owl’s Brew team has grown from just Jennie and Maria and a couple of employees to a team totaling seven - encompassing sales, marketing, operations and PR. Under the guidance of Jennie and Maria, the Owl’s Brew team has been able to aid in the successes of the past year.

Provide a brief biography of the person or persons who lead the nominated company (up to 125 words):

Jennie Ripps is the Founder and CEO of Owls' Brew. In 2014, Jennie was selected by the Specialty Food Association as “35 under 35”, among food and beverage entrepreneurs. Jennie is a graduate of Cohort Seven of Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses program, and is a blogger for the Huffington Post’s “Healthy Living” and “Taste” sections. Jennie is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania

Maria Littlefied is a partner and President at Owl's Brew. In 2014, Maria was selected by the Specialty Food Association as “35 under 35” among food and beverage entrepreneurs. Previously, Maria directed the Integrated Marketing Division at a boutique NYC-based marketing firm, where she ran programming surrounding lifestyle events. Maria is a graduate of Skidmore College.

Choose one (even if both apply):

The CEO (or other principal manager) of this company is a woman, and at least 40% of the management team is comprised of women.