Meet Chris from Soak Extracts! Chris became interested in extracts due to his own love for baking; he loves creating unique baked goods for quality times spent with friends and family. He began to wonder what he could use other than vanilla and almond extracts, and Soak Extracts was born. He began with Rose, Lavender, Hibiscus, and Chai Extracts, and keeps adding more flavors!
1. Tell us a little about yourself and how you started Soak Extracts?
I’ve been making my extracts now for almost a year. I became interested in extracts due to my own love for baking; I love creating unique baked goods for quality times spent with friends and family. Previously, I used vanilla and almond extracts almost exclusively, but I began to wonder what else I could extract and then bake with…and that’s when Soak Extracts was born. One day, I realized a Chai cupcake would be delicious, only to find that Chai Extract, which would be an essential ingredient in such a cupcake, didn’t exist. This was my starting extract (and remains my best seller!); Rose, Hibiscus, and Lavender soon followed.
This began my journey to extract these ingredients at a sufficiently strong herb-to-solvent ratio. After many months of trials and taste tests (and I’m not really complaining about all the baked goods and frostings I’ve “had” to make!), I was able to make my extracts be as strong as a typical vanilla extract. This was important to me so that customers wouldn’t use upwards of half a bottle of extract with every recipe, dish or mixed drink, and so that the recipes wouldn’t be jeopardized by a higher-than-expected liquid content.
“I have received invaluable insight from other vendors, artists, and makers that have freely given their wisdom to me”
2. Name one resource that your label could not live without.
This business is under one year old, and business, entrepreneurship, and sales are all not a part of my past work history or studies. Like, not in any way! I have received invaluable insight from other vendors, artists, and makers that have freely given their wisdom to me. I am so grateful for their insights, ideas and recommendations, without which I wouldn’t have made half the progress I’ve achieved this year.
3. Who or what inspires you and your creative process?
I draw a lot of inspiration from other vendors, particularly those who create unique fragrances, such as candle makers and those who create natural lip balms, lotions, etc. Their product combinations help me brainstorm about what flavors could make an excellent extract.
“I’ve made lavender sugar cookies, lavender meringues, and lavender brownies; each one has delighted customers”
4. Tell us about your favorite product from your collection.
My current favorite is my Lavender Extract, not because it is my favorite flavor in general, but because it has yielded such fun and compelling responses from my customers. I always bring sample baked goods that feature my extracts to every show I participate in, and none brings more skepticism and, after a sample good is tasted, delight than my Lavender Extract. I’ve made lavender sugar cookies, lavender meringues, and lavender brownies; each one has delighted customers. Lavender Extract is my favorite product because it brings people a small moment of joy such as that.
5. Tell us something exciting that you have planned Soak Extracts in the next year.
I’m very happy with the variety of unique flavors I created in 2017, ranging from floral tones like Rose and Hibiscus to more spiced flavors like Chai, Mulled Cider and Gingerbread. In 2018, I’m looking forward to expanding to new flavors like Rosemary, Hazelnut, Almond, Lemongrass, and Honeysuckle. It’s these flavors, and their potential in baked goods, coffee lattes, teas, and mixed drinks that excites me as I think about what 2018 might bring for Soak Extracts.
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Purchase Soak Extracts at the January 6th Patchwork Market at Fullsteam Brewery or online at Soak Extracts on Etsy!