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SPECIALTY FOOD COMPANY SHAKES UP NEW ALL-NATURAL COCKTAIL MIX
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Kick the Chemical Cocktail with Prickly Pear Margarita Mix
A chance meeting with a local man who harvests cactus prickly pears sparked the entrepreneurial imagination of the owner of an Albuquerque-based company that produces a line of all-natural cocktail mixes. APPLE CANYON GOURMET, INC, which serves up the popular Santa Fe Mixes and a host of other unique Southwestern food and beverage products, announces the launch of their new, hand-crafted Prickly Pear Margarita Mix.
Apple Canyon’s owner and flavor creator, Anna Shawver, met the harvester and juice producer at the 2010 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta where he was selling his product, espousing the high-antioxidant health benefits of the pure juice.
“His family had been harvesting the pears locally on private, permitted land along the Rio Grande Valley,” says Shawver. So she took some of the deep raspberry-colored prickly pear juice into the company’s commercial kitchen and started experimenting with recipes. She came up with one that has a unique, earthy flavor that customers are drinking with or without alcohol. Santa Fe Mixes’ Prickly Pear Margarita Mix is all-natural and contains no preservatives or artificial flavors and will make its debut at the 2012 Fiery Foods and Barbecue Show which is held at Sandia Resort & Casino, March 1-3.
“I can’t believe how quickly we pulled this together,” says Shawver. “I liked the juice and was fond of the reported health benefits. But it was the color that hooked me.”
Production timing for the new mix became a crucial focal point for Apple Canyon. Prickly Pear harvest season is short…from September to the end of November.
“We managed to get enough to produce the mix until the next harvest,” Shawver says. “After that we plan to have ample storage to have enough juice to make jams and sell the juice itself.”
The entire Santa Fe Mixes cocktail mix line: Bloody Mary, Fresh Lime Margarita, Mojito, Sunset Margarita, and Prickly Pear Margarita, is distributed by National Distributing Co. of New Mexico.
Due to continued customer demand for high quality food and beverage products, the company secured SBA financing last year with the help of a locally-owned bank. Apple Canyon then built a state-of-the-art food processing facility which allows them to bottle all of their hand-crafted products.
“Quality and consistency is vital to customer retention,” says Shawver. “We exist to meet our customers’ needs and many of them are not shy about offering honest feedback.” Apple Canyon uses Whole Foods’ list of clean ingredients as its guide. “If it’s not on that list, we don’t use it,” says Shawver.
Apple Canyon Gourmet also does contract manufacturing for a select handful of local gourmet food and beverage companies. The company is a boutique, controlled-batch manufacturer, whose products have been featured in local and national publications. For two years in a row, their Santa Fe Seasons Tomatillo Salsa was selected by Rachel Ray Magazine as the Best Green Salsa in the US.
Shawver started Apple Canyon Gourmet in Albuquerque, NM in 2001. Her company now manufactures products under brand names: Comida Loca Soup Mixes, Holy Chipotle, Santa Fe Mixes and Santa Fe Seasons. Products include salsas, hot sauces, spice blends and condiments. Apple Canyon’s products are found in fine food stores, resorts and restaurants in New Mexico, and a host of other states and in Canada.
For more information about Apple Canyon’s brands and services contact Anna Shawver at 505-332-2000 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or visit www.applecanyon.com.
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Last modified: 02/27/2012