1) What inspires you?
Chalice Premium: I am inspired by the idea of reconnection. Covid showed me that humans need other humans. Not metaphorically. Not in the abstract. We need to share space. We need quality time. We need physical touch. Learning the importance of having interpersonal relationships, IRL was paramount in my launching Chalice Premium. We need a catalyst for connection.
2) What was your business’ first best seller?
CP: Our first and remaining best seller is called THE RED DRINK. It’s a watermelon lemon pepper thyme cocktail. It was initially a limited edition run for Juneteenth. People loved it; so I decided to keep it around for a bit.
3) What was your first setback?
CP: I started this business with a totally different idea that was in the gourmet snack category. Sourcing became increasingly difficult and I have to pivot quickly after realizing it just wasn’t going to work.
4) How did you overcome it?
CP: When I realized the snacks weren’t going to work; I decided to shift beverages. I could hold on to the framework and ethos with a slight shift. I am so happy I made that move.
5) Do you have a favorite thing to make?
CP: I enjoy the process of creating new experiences that can be shared over food and beverage. Any more than that is like asking me to pick a favorite child.
6) What’s a recent business success?
CP: We’ve been commissioned to create a full signature menu of infused cocktails/mocktails for an anticipated lounge opening in NYC.
7) Are you an online business?
CP: We are currently fully online and launching in-person experiences soon.
8) Are you an in-person business?
CP: We provide bespoke pop-up experiences for consumers.
9) Does your business host events?
CP: We do virtual craft cocktail mixology instruction for date nights, team building events, all of the many types of showers and so much more. These can also be curated for in-person experiences as well.
10) What is the most interesting thing about your products?
CP: Our craft cocktail experiences are created and curated by BIPOC and LGBTQIA mixologists. Our goal is to feature a new mixologist monthly.
11) What is the most interesting thing about your business itself?
CP: Chalice is the first cocktail/mocktail brand to create consumable luxury that is exclusively inclusive. This is part of our DNA.
12) What are your long-term plans for Chalice Premium?
CP: We are currently a mixer. We are looking forward to launching spirits to own the entire Chalice Premium experience. Watch out for that!
13) Do you have any plans for next year?
CP: We are really focused on getting really good at what we do. Really just want to zone in on our primary market fit to foster quick, high growth.
14) How do you take care of your mental health while operating a business?
CP: I have weekly dates with my therapist. I do a lot of affirmation and breathing work. I have great and nurturing relationships and the cutest dog in the existence of dogs, Luna.
15) Do you have any advice for someone starting a business?
CP: Be OK with the ugly start.
16) Where do you see your business in 5 years?
CP: In 5 years I see us as the standard in consumable luxury.
17) Where do you see your business in 10 years?
CP: In 10 years we want to be the brand that redefined “luxury” across various verticals.
18) What would you do with Chalice Premium if you won a million dollars?
CP: We would definitely get create more of a turkey supply chain and invest in the best talent in the industry.
19) How can customers help you best during the pandemic?
CP: Keep connecting over Chalice Premium experiences.
20) Was there an unexpected silver lining to the pandemic?
CP: I was finally confident in my ability to put my all into being a founder without worrying about spending 8+ hours of my day building another’s dream.
21) Will you expand your business more?
CP: Absolutely. There are so many plans on the roadmap in just the next 6 to 18 months.
22) Do you have a business thesis or specific mission?
CP: Created for tastemakers and trendsetters who want to enjoy consumable luxury ethically, Chalice provides luxury cocktail/mocktail experiences while being committed to social responsibility. The Chalice experience is an ecosystem of joy, entertainment, and engagement for the sake of collective good.
23) What do you attribute your success to?
CP: My ancestors and my discernment.
24) What makes what you do unique?
CP: We work within our core values of quality, collective joy, transparency, ethical pay and supply chain, representation, and revolution. We have created an environment where socializing and social responsibility live in the same space.
25) What keeps you motivated?
CP: Legacy. Before I do anything, I check in with myself to make sure it aligns with the legacy I want to leave behind. I never saw anyone like me in the media as anything besides the punchline. With every success I have, there is a queer, chunky, black girl that sees evidence that she can do what she wants without compromising who she is for the sake of assimilation. She will not shrink herself to be accepted. She will not assimilate to thrive. I think about this every morning when I wake up and every night while falling asleep.
26) What about your craft are you most passionate about?
CP: We are addressing the gap in representation that pervades the luxury space.
27) Is this your first business?
CP: This is not my first business. I have been starting businesses since I was 15. Some were more successful than others. Some were more fulfilling than others.
28) Do you have a favorite quote?
CP: “Remind yourself. Nobody’s built like you. You design yourself.”
29) Who is your favorite business person?
CP: Jay- Z
30) Who is your favorite artist?
CP: Rick Ross
31) Who is your favorite historical figure?
CP: Zora Neale Hurston
32) What’s your favorite movie?
CP: This is a toss-up between The Wiz and anything Samuel Jackson even sneezes at.
33) How does Chalice Premium work?
CP: We make home mixology convenient by delivering quality farm-to-table ingredients and supplies to your doorstep, along with step-by-step video tutorials from BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ instructors. Our at-home kits have everything you need - simply select an experience & create your masterpiece! Engage in the perfect activity for individuals, date night, family and friend gatherings, virtual parties, and corporate events. If you desire a delicious cocktail just add the mixologist's suggested spirits. If a mouthwatering mocktail is what you want, just consume it without liquor for a zero-alcohol experience. Either way, you are in for a captivating delight. You can choose to purchase one time or sign up for our monthly subscription, THE SPEAKEASY for VIP perks.
34) Can people subscribe to your business?
Yes! We offer a monthly subscription where our club members get new craft cocktail experiences monthly.
35) Do you vend at farmer’s markets?
CP: We work specifically with BIPOC and LGBTQIA-owned and operated farms.
36) Do have any advice on running a business?
CP: Just start. There is no good time. You will end up in the same spot thinking about your dreams while someone else has already executed, optimized, and had a glow-up.
37) How fast did you start to get customers?
CP: We were blessed to have customers as soon as we soft launched.
38) How would you make the world a better place?
CP: Open up as much access as possible. It’s amazing what people can do when you just crack the door. Once you’re in the room, you can dazzle and shine.
39) Do you have a favorite store?
CP: As long as a store has an ADD TO CART, it's in the running.