From the hills of North Georgia, Belles Organics began as a small company with big ideas inspired by the creative genius of Jessica Flores, co-founder and CEO, and her husband, Daniel. As happenstance would have it, just as with so many other great ideas, Jessica and Daniel were attending a fourth of July party in 2011 when someone asked, “Where are the cocktails?” Instead of blending a store-bought drink mix added to vodka, Jessica insisted on fresh, organic ingredients: lemons, oranges, peaches, and, of course, wheat vodka. Crafting cocktails with her original recipes derived from years of having fun, the libations were an overwhelming success. While driving home that evening, Jessica decided to start a company constructing the best organic cocktails in a container: ready to serve just by adding ice. Into the early morning, Belles Organics was conceived, featuring five distinctive cocktails, each with a southern belle flair.
Let me introduce the cocktails: Miss Georgia Belle is a delightfully smooth cocktail of peaches, cream, and whole wheat vodka with a jazzy kick of vanilla. Miss Belle on the Beach is a refreshing blend of cranberries, peaches, and oranges combined with whole wheat vodka. Miss Banana Belle is a marriage of banana, coconut, white grapes, and sugar cane rum. Miss Beri Belle is a blissful blend of lemonade, blueberries, and wheat vodka. And finally, my personal favorite: Miss Southern Belle is a thirst-quenching balance of southern lemonade and whole wheat vodka. And yes, it is all 100% USDA organic, and winner of 21 awards for the best “Ready-to-Drink” cocktail on the market.
The five southern belle labels are much more than cocktail names. These ladies are actual employees of Belles Organics, all trained and very talented in dancing, singing, and acting. Just take a look at the music video “Bathtub Shimmy.” Whenever Belles Organics has a promotional event, the five beautiful belles perform song and dance routines and serve up their favorite cocktail, but during a “typical” work day, their jobs include sales, marketing, website design, and theatrical productions.
Ms. Flores fosters camaraderie, friendship, and a strong work ethic amongst her employees, who are like family members to her. When in working relationships with other businesses, which she calls “partners,” she fosters the company’s common goal of crafting the finest organic products without adding potentially hazardous additives to preserve taste and shelf life. That’s quite a task—so how does this Southern girl from Sumter, South Carolina, accomplish this mission?
“It is not easy,” she said, “but with planning, perseverance, and a commitment to excellence Belles Organics has succeeded.”
Yes, the upstart beverage company, only in business 2 or 3 years, is now distributed in several states following the roll out of their national marketing campaign with their network of committed “partners.” The keywords to keep in mind are fresh, truly organic (read the labels of other organics), no additives, no high temperature pasteurization, and proprietary packaging from Tetra Pak to seal in the freshness for more than a year.
Customarily worn by the five belles, the southern belle costumes with thigh-high slits and hosiery to match were designed and sewn at the dining room table by Jessica Flores, Pat Rosenberg, and Violet Davidson, together with the help of Jessica’s daughter, Cicily. Adding a few accessories like top hats with feathers and ribbons, bustier tops, corsets, and high heels, the belles are always ready to display their musical talents wearing their authentic designs. When not performing the “Bathtub Shimmy,” the belles, dressed in fashionable street clothes of the era, may be seen driving around town in a 1938 Buick convertible and having a little fun along the way.
Hats off to Jessica Flores for breaking through the glass ceiling for women and advocating investor and retiree rights as she worked with Wall Street banks. Instead of placing her career on cruise control and driving toward her golden parachute, she followed a different path to create a company, and quality products and jobs for Americans, all while setting an example of superb corporate governance focused on the betterment of employees and the community.
Looking beyond Belles Organics, Flores’ visionary perspective leans toward American crafted luggage with a timeless design, luxurious but affordable handbags where quality trumps logos, and 1930’s bedroom furniture and accessories to bring back romance and “pillow talk” in the bedroom. Stylish by day and by night, she explained, “The furniture line is about dressing for bed. This whole era of wearing yoga pants to bed should be illegal. Quite frankly, the minute you wear yoga pants to bed, you can go ahead and work on your divorce papers. You lose your femininity and then your chemistry [in the marriage].”
If Ms. Flores had a time machine, she would certainly travel back to the 1930’s after the market crash, when families came together, romance flourished, and fashions were elegant. Since she cannot travel backward in time, she has decided to bring the 1930’s into today with a jazz cabaret dinner theatre hosting outstanding fine dining, entertainment, and, of course, Belles Organics cocktails.
Learn more Jessica and the five belles at bellesorganics.com, and if you want to purchase the cocktails online, then log onto caskers.com.
For more articles by Terry Check, visit ClicheMag.com
Photography: Terry Check; Models: Danielle Roundtree, Lauren Jordan, Lindsay Orr, Josette Pimenta, and Gabriella Clemente; Fashion Designers: Jessica Flores, Pat Rosenberg, Violet Davidson, Cicily Flores; Makeup Artist: Michael McKeever; Hair Stylist: Analea Murray