Wild Moon, Hartford’s New Product Line Of Flavored Liqueurs
By IRIS VAN RYNBACH
Dining and Drinking
Lelaneia and Tom Dubay knew they were on to something when their Christmas gift one year proved so popular that recipients begged for more. Lelaneia had made it herself. “I have been making elixirs using herbs from my garden for years. The idea for our first product line, Wild Moon, came to us at our Christmas party in 2013. We made them for friends and family and everyone loved them.” Mind you, both halves of this West End of Hartford couple know something about food, creativity, botanicals, and business, so in many ways, it’s a natural fit.
“I have an art school background and I have been a landscape designer for 20 years. I love herbs, cooking, and making liquors,” says Lelaneia, who has taken the title of creatrix of Wild Moon at the Hartford Flavor Company while Tom, her husband and the CEO of Hartford Flavor, has an MBA and experience starting new operations for Fortune 500 companies. However, Wild Moon, their new product line of flavored liqueurs, is something very nearly unique. Lelaneia takes special care in sourcing ingredients: “the cranberry flavor is seasonal, while lavender and our botanicals will be offered in the spring, other flavors are, cucumber, chai spice, and birch. Each one captures the essence of the plant. I source all our products locally if possible, and our alcohol base is gluten-free and GMO free. The line will be 40 percent proof vodka based alcohol.”
Tom says: “Our line of handmade botanical Wild Moon will be made in our facility at 30 Arbor St. We want to be part of the Hartford renaissance, and celebrate our city.”
To that end, their mission is to provide a locally made product for mixologists, retailers, and consumers that enhances the cocktail culture. Local restaurants are taking notice. Hartford’s Firebox Restaurant is interested in serving the Wild Moon line in its cocktails, and the restaurant’s bakery is talking about using Lavender in its ice cream.
Initially, the Hartford Flavor Company will self-distribute its product to liquor stores, banquet facilities, and restaurants, and the Dubays hope the line will take off with sales in Hartford, New Haven, Fairfield County, and Massachusetts.
The most rewarding part? (Besides drinking it, of course.) Lelaneia: “I completely love the smiles on people’s faces when they try out our liqueurs at tastings; we’ve heard some call it magic in a bottle!”