March 2021 Menu Makers™

Menu Makers© – Luis Creamer

From dishwasher to Pisco marketer, Luis Creamer understands the restaurant biz and the spirit of his native Peru.

Luis Creamer 

Pisco Alegre

www.piscoalegreus.com

Growing up in Peru, Luis Creamer was inspired by a war with Ecuador and by his mother’s encouragement to join her in Boston. At the same time as he studied in community college and then university, Creamer was also graduating from dishwasher to server to manager, working at such famed venues as The Parker House. An avid sports fan, Creamer opened the first store in Boston dedicated to soccer and also worked as a soccer coach at area colleges, including Bunker Hill Community College, which he helped take to #11 in national rankings! Though he had plans to expand the soccer store empire, a robbery during a trip back to Peru caused Creamer to change plans and focus more on food service. After working for a time in the realm of Peruvian coffee, Creamer decided to try to sell another native drink – Pisco – which he eventually brought back to the United States in the form of Pisco Alegre. These days, he can be found barnstorming area restaurants and planning all sorts of events to promote the brand and the taste of his native land.

Maureen Ryan and Luis Creamer at a charity event to support animals

Santé: What makes your product different and what do you hope to bring to market?

Pisco has been around for over 500 years. None of the piscos are the same. It is like a wine that you make in a batch and it is unique, my Pisco Alegre Acholado is unique and no other pisco in the world can be compared. It is a versatile spirit you can [use to] make any drink and enjoy! You can mix your favorite drink with your friends and not have to have three or four different spirits.

Santé: When did you start working on your first product and what had you been doing previously?
I started in 2015 but officially my first two bottles that came to the USA in my suitcase were made in 2016. Prior to that, I was trying to sell the best coffee in the world made in Peru, but it was difficult. Many said to me to open my own coffee house. I had worked in the restaurant industry for 17 years on and off and I knew that is not what I wanted to do. I needed motivation and a pisco story compared to my story. I decided that Alegre– my mother’s last name that means ‘happy’ or ‘cheerful’ in English – would be a good name for the business, so I set my sights on producing this label. It was accomplished in one day!

Santé: To whom did you look for business advice?
I have opened many types of business –some went good, others failed –and I learned from those experiences. I also worked in retail for ‘big box’ companies as a manager and learned some good stuff.

Sante: What have been the biggest challenges you have faced and how have you dealt with them?
The biggest challenge for me is to decide when to create my events. Timing is everything in this competitive market. 

Santé: What do you most look forward to in the coming year in terms of your business?
2021 is going to be the best year! Everything that was on hold from last year, I will be able to do it. [There will be] Pisco events…plenty of tasting in liquor stores, a few private events with clothing designers and magazines, and the Kentucky Derby, if possible. In Boston, [I am planning] a new bottle presentation and a possibility to expand the brand with two other kinds of pisco – a  Mosto Verde and a Quebranta. I also have a project for this summer of pisco drinks pre-made in a can for the summer

Matt Robinson has been writing about food (and various other passions and interests) for nearly 20 years. His work has appeared in over 120 international publications, including AAA Horizons, Billboard, Boston Magazine, The Boston Red Sox, Business Traveler, The Dallas Observer, Entrepreneur, The Forward, JazzUSA, Luxury Web, Music Dish, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Rolling Stone, and Where. His restaurant reviews and “Chef Chat” interview columns have appeared all over the world.

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