23 1 / 2013
"Retail is such a weird animal. Sometimes people will stock the syrups because they love the labels, and they never taste them," he says, "Restaurant people don’t care what it looks like, just what it tastes like." There’s a full list on their site, but Nocito confesses to a favorite: "The Modern is just killing it with a hibiscus cocktail they have." The company has been working with a distributor for its northeast retail business, which requires producing large volumes of product and adjusting to a tighter margin, since they’re now selling to someone who has to make their own profit on the product. And if the distributor goes out of business, you can lose a lot. When this happened to P&H, they lost some product; friends who used the same distributor lost more than $40,000. Nocito is still doing all of the production himself, despite the increased volume. "Once you go to a co-packer, the quality really goes down," he explains. Plus, soda syrup is pretty easy to scale up as recipes go. "If you were using three pounds of hibiscus, you’ll be using 30 pounds," he says, "And a bigger kettle."