“Funny thing: the beverage business was never something we thought of getting into…”

Marlena: “Michele, Nina’s Mom had her own recipes that she created in her kitchen and everyone who ever tried them told her that she should produce them so that people everywhere could buy and enjoy them.”

Nina: “My Mom is a breast cancer survivor, and during her rehabilitation we would create our own dessert liqueurs in our kitchen as just something fun that we could do together, mainly to get her mind off of her tough recovery process.”

Marlena: “Michele came to Flavorman so that we could take her recipes and create commercially viable products that the world could enjoy.”

Nina: “The outpouring of positive feedback and support from friends and family was really the main reason we were so excited to get this project off the ground!”


“The first phone call with Flavorman was super-encouraging and informative.”

Marlena: “The challenges were two-fold: getting the taste just right and also working with the cream-based liqueur. In alcoholic products, specific ingredients are limited by the TTB, the government bureau that regulates the production and marketing of alcoholic beverages. We had to work within those boundaries and still ensure the products were as close as possible in taste, mouth feel, sweetness, and color to Michele and Nina’s home recipe. Next, we had to make sure that the pH and order of ingredient addition was just right for the cream-based liqueur. If the products were not at the correct pH or the ingredients were added in the incorrect order, the protein in the cream base would denature and become chunky. This could be a nightmare during production, so we had to be very precise in setting the blending instructions and specifications.”

Nina: “Everything went so smoothly. We were so pleased! The tasting/revision process was so exciting to us! We loved getting our packages in the mail and comparing them to our homemade batch.”

“The moment we tasted the right one it was like the heavens opened up and we just knew THAT WAS IT!”

Nina: “That day I will always remember, we had so much fun at Flavorman. Everyone made us feel so welcome. It was an experience that I can’t wait to re-live when we create new liqueur flavors! We currently have a great distributor and we are selling in our home state of New Jersey. We are getting such great feedback from the consumers, and our goal is to be nationwide in the near future!”

Marlena: “My favorite part of the project was working with Michele and Nina. They are like family to me. They were a pleasure every step of the way. I feel like I have known them my entire life. We still catch up from time to time and update each other on our families and pets and of course how the Mama Micha samples are doing!”


“Nothing has made me more proud than to see our homemade creations being sold in stores!”

Nina: “The best advice I can give to someone starting out in the beverage industry is first and foremost…BE PATIENT! Nothing happens overnight, especially in the alcohol business! Everything needs to be government approved, which certainly takes time! Also, just have faith. Faith in your creation is really what gets you through the tough periods. Don’t give up, you will get there, and when you do, I assure you that you will be happy you didn’t give up.”

Written on October 10, 2014.