Husband and wife duo Eva Maria Janerus and Kevin Mowers started their own brand of alcoholic beverages in 2016 after Mowers developed a new rum drink with chocolate, coffee and coconut flavors while the two were dating.
Janerus described it as “a play on a Mounds bar” and she liked it so much that Mowers found himself making it over and over again for get-togethers with their friends.
This led to the launch of Bom Bom Brands with their inaugural drink, Coco Mochanut (gluten-free). In 2017 they debuted their second flavor, Nilli Vanilli (gluten-free and vegan), and have rounded out the trio with Fully Baked (gluten-free, vegan and nut-free) in June 2018.
Smoking the competition
Their latest drink is “a creamy and delicious blend of chocolate chip cookie and brownie flavors” with Caribbean rum and hemp dairy beverage. And while there may be other existing drinks that are hemp-flavored, Bom Bom has verified that theirs is the first alcoholic beverage derived from actual hemp seeds converted to a hemp dairy alternative.
According to Mowers, it’s not any more difficult to use hemp dairy substitute in a beverage than to use almond, as done with Nilli Vanilli. Hemp does not contain the chemical THC that is found in marijuana.
“The biggest challenge is sourcing and getting it. It’s very expensive because it is pretty highly sought out for its health benefits,” he said.
No dairy necessary
And though they didn’t set out to create a ‘health-conscious’ brand two years ago, they acknowledge the evolution of their flavors and healthy market appeal.
“One of the things we’ve seen with our friends, families and ourselves when we’re out there doing tastings and promotions in the market, there is a significant shift toward health and wellness,” Janerus said.
Consumers are responding increasingly positively to ‘clean label’ brands, low-calorie drinks and sustainably-sourced ingredients, and Bom Bom saw an obvious opportunity to make their cream liqueurs accessible to all diets.
“It’s one thing if you have to sacrifice on taste and say you’re only getting 85% of the way there. But if you can get 100% of the way there... there’s really no reason to have to [include dairy],” Janerus said.
A ‘bom bom’ for your ‘bom bom’
According to the pair, Fully Baked starts out with a brownie flavor, fades into the chocolate chip cookie and then finishes with a taste of oats from the hemp beverage.
The name ‘Bom Bom’ is the name of a sweet Spanish drink and is also slang for ‘my sweetheart’. Janerus and Mowers came across the term while in Spain and felt it was the perfect fit for their joint venture.
Their drinks don’t need to be refrigerated after opening, making them versatile throughout the seasons and in recipes. Each one took about 18 months to develop, with more in the works for the future.
Bom Bom is already available in nine states with five more expected to launch in 2018, starting with Tennessee and Michigan in July.