If you're an entrepreneur, then you know the special hell that is trying to name and trademark your new brand. It's one of those "should-be-fun-but-is-actually-pretty-hard" traps of getting started. When we were in that phase circa 2017, our son was still an infant. A loud, sort of screechy, but very sweet infant that didn't sleep. We often said he sounded like a velociraptor from Jurassic Park. After weeks or more of brainstorming and trademark database verifying, we had nothin' but a bunch of weird words smushed together. One evening, Peter made a comment that our son sounded like a velociraptor, but a happy one. (Not the door-opening, escape from the paddock, life finds a way raptor.) A Happy Raptor. Lightbulb. Perfect.
Today, our son is almost four and the name still embodies his bright energy and our mission to create premium infused rum inspired by our culture, our community, and the things that bring us joy. The best surprise has been relating to other parents who come into the tasting room. On many an occasion, we've seen a mom or dad's face light up when we tell the story and exclaim, "My daughter sounded like a pterodactyl!" or "My kid was a T-Rex!". It's a reassuring connection that unexpectedly brings out the same nostalgia and joy in our guests as it does for us. As for our son, he only knows the company as "my raptor".
Through Sat, September 19th, we're assisting University of Holy Cross to collect donations for members of our Louisiana community impacted by Hurricane Laura. Happy Raptor is happy to say thank you with a free 16oz. Hibiscus Hurricane every time you donate!
Reports from Lake Charles have stated that first responders are
in great need of wash clothes and bath towels.
· Cases of Bottled Water, Powerade, Gatorade [VERY IMPORTANT - They have no running water right now]
· Contractor Trash Bags
· Work Gloves
· Latex Gloves
· Hand Sanitizer
· Cases of Bleach, Lysol, Clorox Wipes, etc.
· Rakes, Mops, Brooms, Buckets, Shovels, etc.
· Utility Knives (for removing sheetrock)
· Cases of Paper Towels, Toilet Paper, Kleenex, etc.
· Flashlights & Batteries
· Non-perishable dry goods and canned goods
· Easily prepared non-perishable food (remember - no electricity and no tap water)
· Baby Items (Diapers, Wipes, Formula, Food, Bottles, Powder, etc.)
· Plastic storage bins
· Soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, razors, floss, feminine products, deodorant, etc.
· Boxes & Packing Tape
· Duct Tape
· Dog and Cat Food
· Giftcards (Target, Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, etc.)
NOTE: We are NOT ACCEPTING clothes
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.
Pick-up appointments strongly encouraged.
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Credit/Debit is preferred in the tasting room. We do not keep cash on the premises and cannot give change for cash transactions. If necessary, special arrangements can be made in advance of your visit.
1512 Carondelet Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
Corner of Martin Luther King, Jr Blvd & Carondelet Street
One block off Saint Charles Ave @ Melpomene streetcar stop