My husband, Mark, and I just bought a home in Algiers. At the end of our block is the levee where we often walk with our kids, enjoying the soundtrack of Edna Karr's marching band practice against the backdrop of the Mississippi River. Right on the other side of the river is the town of Arabi and the Lower 9th Ward.
When I was (very) pregnant with our son in August 2016, I was working in a high-rise on Poydras St. when a huge funnel cloud formed outside my building, ultimately substantially damaging parts of the Treme. I had never seen a tornado before and was absolutely terrified, in part because I watched the movie Twister at a way-too-young age. When Mark was working as a first responder in 2017, he told me the story of a young women he met in the wake of a catastrophic tornado in New Orleans East. She was pregnant, and had hidden herself in her bathtub to protect herself while the roof was ripped from her home in the path of the tornado.
This past Wednesday night, Mark and I sat on the porch of our new house and held our breath. The clouds changed shape quickly and the color of the sky turned bright green. We couldn't tell what was happening, but we knew it was bad. While we debated if we should wake the baby, where to locate the cat, and which closet to hide in, our five-year-old danced around to the Encanto soundtrack - blissfully unbothered.
After the weather and the commotion calmed down, we discovered that our home had very much been at risk, but we were okay. Instead of hitting us, the tornado hit the other side of our little view of the river - a community that keeps getting hit, where rebuilding is much, much harder. New Orleans is not an easy city to live in, but we do know how to rally for our own in a disaster.
Over the next two Sundays (and then some!), Happy Raptor will be raising funds and giving out free food to all in the tasting room, in the hopes of supporting those impacted by the tornado. We know from experience that we can count on our neighbors to show up and do the work right by our side, supporting those who need it the most. All I can say is that we are blessed to have a space to do this, and there by the grace of God goes I.
Meagen Moreland-Taliancich is the co-founder, majority owner, and Chief Brand Officer of Happy Raptor Distilling. She can be reached at email@example.com.
If you are interested in getting involved in our tornado relief efforts, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TASTING ROOM HOURS
Mon-Wed | 12pm-7pm
Thurs-Sat | 12pm-8pm
Sun | 12pm-6pm
TOURS AND TASTINGS
Everyday By Appointment
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
Free street parking is available
Bicyclists receive 10% off
*The address may also appear on your GPS as 1512 Robert C. Blakes Sr. Drive. Never fear - you're in the right place! We are located on a renamed, two-block stretch of Carondelet Street.
Happy Raptor Distilling, LLC is a woman-owned business and a member of the Certified Louisiana network.
According to law, we never sell or promote the sale of alcohol to anyone under the age of 21.
Please drink responsibly.