Mardi Gras problems — we all have them.
With no glass bottles allowed on the parade route, the melting gallon of daiquiri predicament, frequent stops with your cooler every few blocks to replenish your drink, waiting in the horrid line at Superior Grill for a margarita, and no place to plug in a blender on the route, Mardi Gras can get complicated.
However, three entrepreneurs have found a way to solve all our Mardi Gras problems, or at least the aforementioned ones.
My three Mardi Gras knights in shining entrepreneurship are Craig Cordes, Sal LaMartina and Antonio LaMartina, for their contribution to the portable drink industry. Cordina’s blends include a range of frozen cocktails housed in a convenient Capri Sun-esque package for your convenience and a trip back to lower school (or the way we wish lower school had been, I suppose).
Currently, with flavors like Marg-GO-rita, Pina-GO-lada, and Strawberry Daq-GO-ri, the brand continues to grow to global success by spreading New Orleans’ “go-cup” culture. And, on a local level, the young entrepreneurs have created new jobs, and further put New Orleans on the map as a scene for local manufacturing and entrepreneurship.
After getting caught on the beach during Spring Break with glass bottles and subsequently conceptualizing Big Easy Blend’s Cordina frozen drink collection in 2009, the New Orleans-born founders have created 37 new jobs, and established relationships with several national outlets, such as Food Lion and Walgreens. Their newest agreement with the national chain convenience store will place the portable New Orleans-made frozen drinks in freezers across the country, essentially putting Cordes one step closer to his dream of turning every convenience store freezer into a daiquiri shop.
From a Mardi Gras standpoint, Cordina GO-drinks have innovatively changed and facilitated drinking while walking along the parade route, and thus expanded our selection of what we can carry that is safe, legal, and tasty. The pre-cycled, eco-friendly pouches stay frozen in your cooler, can be resealed when you feel the need to take a breather, and have a hole at the top to string a Mardi Gras bead or lanyard through for a hands-free experience.
So, with local manufacturing facilities, line extensions, big partnerships, and global shipping capabilities, what else do these gentlemen have to add to their repertoire?
Stay tuned for their two new frozen flavors, mudslide and watermelon margarita, due out in early April, just in time for Jazz Fest. My fingers remain crossed for the Louisiana debut of their wine infused whipped cream, Whipsy. Meanwhile, the pioneers are constantly thinking of new ways to expand their company, and continue to be innovators in both the alcohol and non-alcohol markets.
I’ll drink to that.