Make Mother’s Day Special With New Orleans Based {And Female Owned!} El Guapo Bitters

Disclosure :: El Guapo Bitters is a valued partner of New Orleans Mom. We absolutely love what they are doing for Mother’s Day and are honored to share a special discount code. Plus, a portion of every purchase will ALSO come back to New Orleans Mom which helps us keep our lights on, too! Win, win, win!

El Guapo Bitters

Have you heard of El Guapo Bitters yet? If not, you’re in for a real treat. Based right here in New Orleans, El Guapo is a cocktail bitters, syrups and mixers company that is owned and operated by Christa Cotton, a local mom of one 20 month old little girl. The company is a WBENC certified Woman Owned business, and the entire product line is Non-GMO, Gluten Free, High Fructose Corn Syrup Free, and Vegetarian. The bitters are even No Sugar Added.

{Enter to WIN your own Mother’s Day Box}

The NOLA Mom Behind El Guapo Bitters

Katrina hit during Christa’s Freshman year of college, so instead of going to Tulane like she’d always imagined, she ended up at Auburn University instead. Christa’s family had owned and operated a commercial real estate company for a quarter century, and during that time her father decided he wanted to start a distillery to diversify from real estate amidst the backdrop of the 2007 financial crisis. Like most things in life, timing is everything.

The distillery idea was conceptualized about 5 years before the huge resurgence in craft brewing and distilling in America, so of course everyone thought Christa’s father was nuts. She forged on, spending the last few years of college helping him open. 13 years later, the family still owns Georgia’s first distillery which has become quite popular in the Southeast. Naturally, this is a source of great pride for Christa, but she still had her eyes and heart set on New Orleans.

She left 13th Colony Distilleries after college and landed at Trumpet, a local advertising agency and worked for several years on hospitality and tourism clients like the Louisiana Office of Tourism. Some of her clients were in the food and beverage industry, which made her realize that she sincerely missed being a “maker” as being creative and artistic was part of her family’s identity. The original owner of El Guapo was looking to sell, so Christa founded New Orleans Beverage Group and acquired the trademark in 2017, and the rest is history!

As the daughter of a successful entrepreneur Christa literally grew up around businesses in various stages of development and growth. In a lot of ways she feels like she was born to do this, even amidst a pandemic that has pallets of product stuck in various stages of logistics. She thrives under pressure and every day as an entrepreneur is different, so she’s rarely bored and always challenged by some complex issue the business is trying to solve.

Of course, as we all know, being a mom has changed literally everything for Christa, too. Her first big national partnership deal happened in 2017 with Neiman Marcus. In fact, El Guapo Bitters was the only Louisiana company featured in the Christmas Book that year, and her domestic life partner, Brian, was literally shipping pallets of product to Dallas for Christa when she went into labor. Life hasn’t slowed down since that fiasco; being a mom and small business owner has been a real master class on multitasking.

Christa travels frequently to visit distributors and clients across the country and abroad. It was important to her as a new mom to integrate Flora into her travel schedule so that she wouldn’t be away from her during the first year. She’s been all over the place, and Brian has been such a good sport. The duo took Flora to Europe for three weeks last April and had the most amazing time. She recalls, “I’ll never forget flying hawks with her at Ashford Castle in Ireland or traipsing through vineyards and cellars in Champagne with her strapped to Brian’s chest.” Since the family started at Little Gate, a preschool in the heart of uptown associated with McGehee, she’s had to become more organized and consolidate trips so that she is gone less often but for more time on each trip. Like many of us, the family’s lives are always a big game of tetris to fit it all in with Christa at the helm and Brian having left his CPA position to become El Guapo’s full time CPA/CFO. As she says, the brand would be lost without him on board … it’s a true full family effort!

Make Mother’s Day Sweet With El Guapo Bitters

This year, Christa had the brilliant idea to collaborate with some other women-owned New Orleans businesses {including New Orleans Mom!} to create a one-of-a-kind Mother’s Day (or Teacher Appreciation) gift. Check out these creative boxes featuring El Guapo Bitters, with special add ons like a handwritten Lionhearts Print card or Tiny Nest Botanicals plant, that can be delivered right to any doorstep. You CAN ship these to friends and loved ones out of state, if you prefer, but local delivery right here in the New Orleans area is possible. We love that these gifts support LOCAL women during difficult times, include high quality products and help sustain the local economy while honoring the special women and moms in your life. Christa even though of a remembrance box for those who have lost their mother. If the special mom in your life is nursing or pregnant, don’t worry because this is a gift for her, too! El Guapo products are zero proof and thus perfect for mocktails and non-alcoholic beverages as well. Search the blog for recipe inspiration.

Many of us have tried and loved the product, and whether you want to treat yourself or another mom you love, we don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

New Orleans Mom readers receive 20% off using the code “LouisianaMom.” This discount code {which they rarely offer, as an aside!} applies to the Mother’s Day collection through May 10, 2020 at midnight. Orders placed after Wednesday, May 6 at midnight for shipping cannot be guaranteed for Mother’s Day delivery. Local Delivery cutoff is Thursday, May 7 at midnight.

Running a Business During a Panemic

In one word, trying to function against this backdrop for small businesses is … NUTS. While El Guapo’s wholesale distribution channels are essentially frozen in place, they’ve successfully pivoted to a nearly 100% e-comm fulfillment model. The team works in shifts to keep social distancing protocols in place, and they’re shipping and delivering literally hundreds of boxes a day, 6 days a week. They are grateful for being surrounded by the BEST team and thankful for the community support that has enabled El Guapo Bitters to stay in business during these strange and stressful times.

They’re also doing some really cool things, like the Mother’s Day promotion, as well as donating 100 cocktail gift boxes to front line workers across the country (because they could use a drink after this, don’t you think?). Additionally, they’ve donated hundreds of meals to local school children in need and are cooking up a new charitable endeavor with their friends at Dirty Coast that will be announced soon. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, support local and shop online! {“LouisianaMom” for 20% off}

Ashley Angelico
Ashley is the Co-Owner of New Orleans Mom, Red Stick Mom and Lafayette Mom, now the largest network of parenting websites in South Louisiana. Proud graduates of the University of Virginia, she and her husband Blaise spent time in Tampa and Scottsdale prior to settling down back home in New Orleans, something they both said "would never happen." An avid runner, she'll try any workout at least once and is always up for sweating with friends. When she’s not shuttling her 3 very active kids to school, gymnastics or baseball, you can find her cheering for the Saints, trying new restaurants or spending time with family and friends. She's also not afraid to return mediocre books to the library before finishing them because life is too short for bad books. A native New Orleanian, Ashley loves exploring and discovering the beauty of South Louisiana through her growing children's eyes.


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