EMERGING 07030What’s Wrong With This Pitcher?

Desperate, a Hoboken couple is forced to create their own Bloody Mary mix

He’s from New Orleans, in the wine and spirits business. She’s from Jersey, in the advertising business. It was a match made in heaven, except they just couldn’t find a Bloody Mary mix they could live with. Christine Dodd and Ryan Grace are an engaged couple who have spent the better part of two years in the kitchen.
“Christine loves to mingle, have brunch, lunch, and dinner,” Ryan says. “She’s the perfect date.” Translation: She loves Bloody Marys.
After experimenting with “this and that,” Ryan decided the key was in his New Orleans roots and came up with the tagline, “Made in the North, inspired by the South.”
The ingredients are no secret—they’re on the label—except the creators do not reveal what brand of Louisiana hot sauce or how much of each ingredient goes into the recipe.
One thing you can count on is a healthier mix than the standard brands. “They are so full of sodium they make you feel full and boated,” Ryan says. “We started using low-sodium products.” The mix is also gluten free, fat free, and low calorie.
The positive response from friends got the two thinking about getting the mix out of the pantry and into the marketplace. “People were floored,” Ryan says. “They loved the mix, they loved the taste. A couple of people said, ‘gosh I wish something like this was on the market.’ The wheels started spinning, and we really started to look at recipes and all the ingredients.”
Visit thehobokenmary.com and find Bloody Mary recipes that include beer, clam juice, tequila, gin, and raw oysters.
With the help of an industry pro who had done product development for biggies like Snapple, Crystal Light, and Pepsi, they were able to secure a bottling operation in the Catskills and are looking to open another one in Irvington, N.J.
Christine’s background in advertising came in handy with the brand—it’s called The Hoboken Mary—and the label, which features a sketch of her in silhouette. “We made her a person and gave her a personality,” Ryan says.
Another marketing strategy was to sell the mix in a Mason jar, which customers can reuse for drinks or whatever else they want to put in it.
You can find The Hoboken Mary at both Sparrow locations, the Cork, Yash, Shop Rite, and at Super Buy Rite in Jersey City. It’s also available all over New Jersey, and plans call for national distribution.
Though Ryan is a transplanted southerner, he’s a Hoboken fan. “It’s like a mini Manhattan,” he says. “It’s very convenient to walk through, with nice restaurants and local pubs. It has a safe, family feel. It’s a very special place—special to us—an unbelievable little town.”—Kate Rounds


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