Throughout the month of July, Happy Raptor Distilling will partner with our friends at Angel's Place to collect gift cards and school supplies for members of our community in need. Angel's Place provides ongoing support services to children with life threatening illnesses and their families. Every individual (21 years or older) making a donation in the Happy Raptor tasting room gets one free freeze pop.
Preferred locations include Wal-Mart, Target, Amazon, and Visa/Mastercard. Preferred amounts include $25 and $50, but any amount is appreciated.
Here's the list of needed supplies:
Spiral Notebooks: 3 subject, 5 subject. College ruled
Binders - 1/2", 1", 2"
T-84 graphing calculators
EXPO markers - black (most needed)
RED ink pens
Plastic folders with pockets - all colors
Plastic folders with pockets & prong fasteners - all colors
Binder dividers - tabbed, 5,8,12 packs
Construction paper - small packs
Markers - washable - in packs of 8 or 10
Highlighters - yellow (most needed)
Erasers - pink rectangles, individual pencil tops
Tape - rolls of Scotch tape in plastic dispenser
Scissors - pointy for older students
USB thumb drives
Headphones or earbuds
Index cards - Lined, white
Ruled handwriting tablet for K, 1st gr.
Watercolor paints - Crayola 6 or 8 set
Loose leaf - wide ruled, college ruled
Wipes - sanitizing
Plastic Ziplock bags - Gallon, Quart sizes
On June 14th, Happy Raptor will officially have been open four months. Our company is brand new and we've already seen unprecedented challenges knock at our door. The killing of George Floyd and repeated violence against the black community and people of color has impacted our country and each of us as individuals. Lately, our team has been doing a lot more listening than talking.
When it comes to rum - no matter how much we love it - the elephant in the room is the painful history of rum production and its origins, as well as the limitations and exclusivity around the craft alcohol industry towards minorities in general.
Racism and prejudice hurt everyone. It restricts wealth and holds back entire communities until there's not enough common prosperity to support small businesses, leaving us all unable to reach our full potential. Happy Raptor's mission is to create premium infused rum inspired by our culture, our community, and the things that bring us joy. That cannot mean only the culture of our owners, and it cannot mean only the community that can afford premium rum.
We are having hard internal conversations and asking ourselves: "What do we want this company to mean to people?" As we grow, we are going to get things wrong and make mistakes. We hope that with communication, education, and action, our friends and neighbors will find trust in our team to (1) make amazing rum and (2) provide a safe and happy space for our community.
Since the beginning (four whole months ago), we have strictly enforced equal work for equal pay. We've dug in deep to help local nonprofits through donations, free access to our event space, and discounts everyday (not just during Covid). We are continuing our program to provide free 4oz. hand sanitizer to whomever needs it. We're laying down the building blocks to launch our first distilling internship, and basically doing our best to start off on the right foot and weave equity through the DNA fabric of our company.
If we make a mistake, tell us. If you need something, ask us. Our customer base at Happy Raptor is beautifully diverse, and we want to keep it that way.
I developed a gluten intolerance after a difficult illness and hospitalization in 2013 and haven't eaten a regular pizza crust since. Here are the top five things I miss that today will make me feel ill and testy with my husband for no reason:
1) Tortellini noodles
2) Focaccia bread
3) Craft beer
4) Filo dough
5) Really good wood fire pizza crust
Most days, I eat healthier in general and I don't miss much. Even Disney World has my back now, and most gluten free goodies like bread and pasta can be pretty great on this side of things. Most importantly, I don't have to give up one big important item - my favorite thing, my livelihood, my true love - delicious alcoholic beverages. With a few adjustments, knowing my own (in)tolerance, and asking a few questions when needed, I can still explore the big wide world of craft alcohol.
If you're #glutenfreelikeme, help me send a big shout out to Gluten Free New Orleans for partnering on this cheat sheet. We noticed our community needed a basic guide to navigate the options with a little expert insight, and we hope it's helpful. Craft alcohol is a fantastic way to support local and drink local (despite our allergies), and we're glad you're here. For more information on Happy Raptor's 100% gluten free product line, click here.
DOWNLOAD A PDF VERSION HERE:
2 ounces 504Hibiscus
1 ounce raw sugar simple syrup
1 ounce lime juice
Pour into a cocktail shaker. Add ice. Shake vigorously. Serves 1.
In 2015, Mark and I landed with about 25 family members on the island of Martinique in the French West Indies to get married. Realizing that we were on a French-speaking island with only four fluent French speakers in our party and the full cast of characters that is our family and friends, we looked at each other and said, "This will be interesting." In the following week, we discovered that the stress-free wedding we naively planned on is actually an impossible dream that could only have been imagined by lunatics (that's us). However, the stunning beachside Caribbean ceremony we dreamed of was 100% achieved. After the ceremony, we hiked a volcano, walked the beaches, toured historic sugar mills, sampled some of the best rum in the world, ate so many fritters, and strolled through markets filled with colorful discoveries.
Most notably, we brought back two really important things from that trip: a packet filled with hibiscus and spices that we were instructed by the shop owner to infuse in a bottle of our favorite white rum, and a new sense that our lives are what we make of them. When we got home, we infused our first-ever bottle of rum and made a traditional daiquiri with it. Then we made a few more. Then Mark got obsessed with daiquiris and interrogated every poor bartender we met about their different rum lists in the process. (If you're one such bartender and you're reading this, we're sorry.)
Eventually, that little infusion became the first inspiration for Happy Raptor Distilling. By the time we really talked about opening a distillery, the wrapper that listed the ingredients were long gone and we have about 6 ounces left of the original bottle. Mark spent almost two years recreating and perfecting the recipe that would become 504Hibiscus, and the three of us (Mark, Peter, and I) tested every new batch with a hibiscus daiquiri. We tasted, corrected, and tasted again. The 504Hibiscus Daiquiri is a labor of love in its truest form. Years of complexities and thought have created a beautiful drink that is otherwise so simple, and it's definitely the closest to my heart. I hope you'll love it, too! And if you don't, you're probably more of a Rum Old-Fashioned person. More on that cocktail later. -- Meagen