So, the bad news is this taste experience has to be presented. The good news is it’s a lot of fun to give your friends the unique experience of the first taste, watch their reaction and share the moment.
It becomes their little discovery. A Culinary Epiphany. The taste is exciting, and so is the fun of having the next person try it. That “Wow!” and the look on their face… It’s so fun; we are gaining Taste Ambassadors all the time. Literally, it’s word in mouth sales.
Picture the spouse arriving home. “Hi Honey! How was your day?”
“The craziest thing happened today. These people got me to eat vinegar... on ice cream... And I liked it!”
Taste it. Enjoy it! Share it. Have fun!
When we changed the name to Epiphany Caramelized Balsamic Vinegar, we also changed our labels to readily show its many uses.
Hello, We are Bill and Rosalie McDonough. In 2011 we opened Crate Expectations in a railcar, in Calistoga, in the Napa Valley, California. We provided packing and shipping for tourists to ship their wine home, and sold souvenirs to send along, too. On one bright, but agonizingly slow day a dark and mysterious woman walked in backwards. She spun around and held tiny sampling spoons right before our mouths. They held a mere few drops of dark brown liquid. She said, “Taste this.”
We did. We turned to each other as our eyes widened. We both simultaneously exclaimed, “We’re going to sell this!". Turning back to the woman, we spoke again at the very same time, "What is it?”
Just like that. Joy! Excitement!
Epiphany! Caramelized Balsamic Vinegar!
Until that moment, we would not have even considered selling any sort of packaged food in the Napa Valley. It’s a much too saturated market, with packaged food on the bottom. Not only is it “The World Renowned Wine Country”, it’s a foodie Mecca as well. Over 3,300,000 tourists a year come to the Napa Valley largely to taste from a gourmet cornucopia! Yet, among all that excitement of culinary choices, Caramelized Balsamic Vinegar became our best seller! It was not uncommon to offer a couple a taste and one say, “No thanks, I’m all tasted out.” while the other tried it. Boom! Another bottle or case out the door.
Our 1st test market bottle
The First Incarnation-
For our retail store we purchased it from the only importer, a very small operation who brought in only one barrel at a time, and lacked any marketing to speak of. It was terribly expensive and they quit the business. Similarly, our overall costs were too high and we closed the Crate Expectations store front. For a few years Caramelized Balsamic could not be bought anywhere within thousands of miles! Gasp!
To this day we know of no one other than Crate Expectations in the United States who imports, produces or sells Carmelized Balsamic Vinegar. Finally and fortunately, with the last known stateside bottle to compare to, and with help of Chef Extraordinaire Miguel Islas Cajero, we originated our own improved recipe. Carmelized Balsamic Vinegar returns to the United States. Thanks, Miguel!
Today we live in Salem, Oregon and make Epiphany Caramelized Balsamic Vinegar in small 40 gallon batches at our friends' commercial kitchen in Tacoma, Washington.
Our 2nd test market bottle
We need you!
If Carmelized Balsamic Vinegar is going to remain available anywhere other than our own home, we will need you to please spread the word! Very few people have had a taste of Caramelized Balsamic Vinegar yet. It’s a far cry from regular balsamic they may have had. They will have to be taught the difference, and only one sense can do that. Taste. You can’t use traditional media to do that. It’s a “you just have to be there” thing.
Grocers like they don't have to explain why they put vinegar
with the ice cream.
The bunny had to be let go. He was asking for too much money.