Years ago, Ryan Timm managed a couple of golf courses outside the Twin Cities. One of the courses had a bartender with a secret recipe for the best Bloody Mary mix on the planet. When that guy left, so did the recipe. That sent Ryan on a quest to create his own delicious recipe - and he wanted it to have personality and be low sugar, gluten-free, and have NO major allergens, MSG, high-fructose corn syrup or artificial colors.
When he did, the crowd went wild. Trouble was, he was a tad busy during golf season. But when winter came along, he got to thinking. Did he really want to be in the golf business forever? (Contrary to popular belief, nobody plays LESS golf than someone who works at a golf course.)
All They Wanted Was Some Extra Money for Their Kids' College Fund
His wife, Tristina, had already stepped into the world of business ownership and comes from an entrepreneurial family - and so does Ryan. The Timms’ initial goal was to sell a hundred cases a month at $12 profit per case. They’d put that extra $1,200 per month into their kids’ college fund.
The Timms took Miss Mary’s Mix on the road, selling it at truck stops, bars, restaurants, and farmers markets. They produced everything in a very small facility where the bottles were hand-filled and labeled. Ryan looked at their first pallet of 44 cases and thought, “It’s going to take forever for me to sell it.” One pallet grew to three, then to five as their business took off. He started taking Wednesdays off to go sell Miss Mary’s to bars, restaurants, and liquor stores in the Twin Cities. He spent his weekends holding tastings. They used the feedback they got to improve their product over and over.
On the Shelves at Target
It took off like crazy in the brick and mortar world. Two years in, they caught the eye of a buyer at Target. Six months later, Target came a-knocking. Fast-forward a little, and Miss Mary’s was in 78 stores. Walmart, Albertsons, and some others wanted in on this, too. The Timms soon learned that wide distribution is super expensive - a good way to eat up your capital.
That’s when they realized they needed a new product line. The Timms took aim at margaritas and Palomas, tinkering in the kitchen until they got those recipes just right, too. They added more SKUs to Miss Mary’s - a little hesitantly, knowing that growing a wider product line meant tying up more capital and resources to support all those products. Plus, people are particular about their cocktails… Bloody Mary drinkers and margarita drinkers are typically different customers.
And that brings us to the missing piece of the puzzle.
Enter the Incubator
The Timms passed a million in sales before joining the Capitalism Incubator, where they discovered who their REAL avatar is. They’d figured it was people like them - sugar-conscious, exercise-lovers in their 20’s-30’s.
But nope. After surveying their customers, they discovered that their ideal customer is a woman in her 40’s who has lived an active life, goes on walks in the morning, loves having a happy hour with her friends and family, and loves coffee in the morning. It’s about creating celebration moments. She’s not a marathon runner or CrossFitter, but she’s the one walking the block every morning. And she loves that Miss Mary’s is low in sugar.
Ooooh. This discovery gave them the idea to create a clean-label coffee syrup. They launch that product line September 1st. (I cannot freaking wait!) They’re currently testing this product with their customers (rather than just themselves).
But here’s the thing… Ryan and Tristina got this far on their own. As in, he Googled his way through this learning curve. That’s some mad-level problem-solving skills, plus a little thing called the school of hard knocks.
The Timms knew they wanted to take this brand to Amazon. They’d gotten batted around a bit on their first attempt - thanks, pandemic. Also, they’re homeschooling two kiddos. But e-commerce is their path to 8-figures and a sweet, life-changing exit.
That’s why they joined the Incubator, where they especially love the way all the members collaborate and help one another. They’re working on building their audience while looking for the right influencer to partner with. They’re shifting to the Owner’s Model by looking for a strategic partner rather than doing all the things.
Ryan and Tristina Timm Mixed Up A Very Sweet 2022
So, the Timms created a killer Bloody Mary mix with the goal of adding an extra $1,200 per month to their kids’ college funds.
They passed $1 million in sales before they even knew they should understand who their ideal customer is? (That was Job #1 once they joined the Capitalism Incubator.)
Well, the Timms didn’t just settle for staking a claim on cocktail hour in 2022. They also made morning coffee a whole lot sweeter (and healthier!) for Miss Mary’s raving fans by launching a line of sugar-free Sinless Syrups.
They didn’t just launch a flavor or two… they launched seven tasty flavors (can confirm - super tasty!) you can use in coffee, tea, and smoothies, and on yogurt or oatmeal. They’re all-natural, plant-based, keto-friendly, and have zero carbs and zero sugar. You can even use them for baking. Product line expansion - check!
Ryan and Tristina also got busy building their audience by launching a Facebook group where superfans post recipes and help with future product development. UGC - check!
How’d the money flow in 2022? Well, they’ve already reached a whopping $1.5M run rate in just 6 weeks with these new products. But they didn’t do it alone. They’ve stayed firmly seated in the owner’s seat by hiring a marketing agency and working with influencers (bloggers, recipe developers, and content creators) to help round out the brand and add sales.
Way to go, Timms! Prediction: 2023 is even sweeter!
Timms, we raise a glass to you and to Miss Mary’s! This is one exciting journey to watch.
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