Tanecia Spagnolia is an entrepreneur at heart. She broke out of corporate America and a sales and marketing job to attend culinary school, refining her love for food. She has created the Tree Line Bloody Mary Mix brand, an all-natural product line that’s become a local hit. She even recently opened Timberline Craft Kitchen & Cocktails in Silverthorne, a scratch kitchen where you can sample her award-winning, four-flavor Bloody Mary flight. We spoke with the Pittsburgh native on the trials and tribulations of being an owner in the ever-changing food and beverage scene.
Having worked in the restaurant industry, Spagnolia knew that she wanted to own a business like that one day. “I wanted something fun and unique, something I could sell at a farmer’s market. I was on a cruise with my husband and we were drinking Bloody Marys. I realized that there weren’t good flavors out there, just mild and spicy. When we got back, I came up with what I thought was a really great base recipe. It was flavorful, with no additives. Just real ingredients.” Little did Spagnolia know, Bloody Marys had quite the cult following. Her flavors, such as cucumber dill, Thai chili, and mango jalapeno, became a hit, and the product took off from there.
Spagnolia believes having an honest product is paramount. “We are all-natural, everything is sourced locally and made locally.” She knows that this means higher costs and lower profits, but she isn’t interested in compromising. “It’s so easy to throw in cheap flavoring or thickening agents. A lot of people sell out for money.”
Ebb and flow
“The beverage industry is a very saturated market,” Spagnolia says. “You see a lot of beverages come and go.” However, Spagnolia takes all of this in stride, and continues to focus on the positive. “It’s just been fun. It’s been a learning experience, which is exactly what I wanted out of it. It’s great to see people enjoy what you create.”
Spagnolia won’t stop at just her Tree Line Bloody Mary Mixes. Tree Line has been a stepping stone for her new restaurant, Timberline Craft Kitchen & Cocktails, which opened in November. Spagnolia hopes to grow the two brands together, using her restaurant as a testing ground for new flavors.
Tree Line Bloody Mary Mixes
Unique, all-natural flavors