This week we had the chance to speak with liquor entrepreneur Chris Guiher, President and CEO of Kingfish Spirits. Eight years ago, while walking through the grocery store, Chris was struck with the idea of combining two great products: alcohol and whipped cream. He pursued this idea modestly at first, making alcoholic whipped cream for friends at his parties in college. However, when this creation proved to be a huge hit, and after a chance encounter with some alcohol entrepreneurs, he decided he really had something with this idea.
Chris, a business major with a background in graphic design, credits his success to his commitment to the product idea and to developing the right connections in the business. After eight years, and multiple formulation adjustments, his product CREAM, was finally brought to fruition and is now distributed in 30 states as well as internationally.
The challenges facing the production of this niche product began with finding a shelf-stable formula which would not have to be refrigerated during the storage and shipping process. Chris met with specialists in chemistry, dairy, aerosol and food, and went through many options for recipe and packaging before arriving at a final product that fulfilled all the requirements.
How does Chris like CREAM? Straight from the can, on a root beer float or on a jello shot. He remarks that a great feature of CREAM is its versatility; people enjoy it alone, as well as a complement to Bailys, Kahlua, or even on top of coffee or desserts.
CREAM’s growing popularity is largely thanks to word of mouth and grassroots marketing. “While we are looking to get into more marketing,” Chris explains, “Generally, people buy it, enjoy it and tell their friends!” In order to increase CREAM’s visibility, the company has already sponsored events at nightclubs and bars, hosted tastings, and developed liquor displays. Recently CREAM was featured in the gift lounge of a Golden Globes party where several celebrities tried the product and posed for pictures (see below).
CREAM is currently available in five unique flavors: Chocolate, Vanilla, Raspberry, Cherry, and Caramel, and will be coming out with two new flavors – Orange and Strawberry – in the Spring 2011. Keep an eye on this expanding and creative entrepreneurial enterprise!