Owner of Happy Hour Foods
Sherwood, OR is where HAPPY HOUR Foods calls home, Lisa Bishoff the owner and creator of Happy Hour brand has put her life experiences in every bottle of Happy Hour Sauces. Lisa was born amidst the glow of neon lights in the entertainment capitol of the world, Las Vegas, Nevada. Perhaps it was growing up in a twenty-four hour town where excellent food, drink, and top notch entertainment influenced Lisa.
Maybe some of her inspirations came from the times spent with my family creating memorable meals and parties. But perhaps Lisa’s biggest inspiration comes from my desire to cook and entertain with flair and ease at home. As a wife, mother, career woman, foodie, and entrepreneur, she set out to create a fantastic line of savory sauces that tap into the lively, fun, and sexy cocktails: Happy hour Sauces.
The following is an interview we did with Lisa about being an entrepreneur and her line of sauces.
SHM:What inspired you to make sauces inspired by classic cocktails?
Lisa: I have since a young age loved baking and cooking. As I got older my love for all things cooking/baking included a voracious appetite for
cooking magazines, cooking shows, collecting cookbooks, loving wine, chocolate, and cocktails…..and cooking, cooking and cooking.
I think in FOOD, everyday and always.
Back to the inspiration…. When I was let go from my job as a Purchasing Manager and in my forties, I wanted to do something
that I was passionate about and what I knew and loved best; COOKING. I really got to thinking that cocktails are a set of ingredients. Why
couldn’t I take some of those ingredients and inspirations and combine them with other ingredients to create sauces. How wonderful
I thought to create a line of sauces and other products inspired by cocktails and Happy Hour in general. Happy Hour became the obvious
name for the product line, and Happy Hour Sauces are the first of many gourmet products that I would like to bring to the marketplace.
SHM: What would you say is the hardest thing about being an Entrepreneur?
Lisa: The hardest thing about being an entrepreneur is the many hats that one needs to wear. It’s not the multi-tasking that I’m talking
about. I’m a work-horse and hard work doesn’t bother me. It’s not having all of the tools I need in my toolbox. I am
a great visionary and marketing person. I constantly get asked if I was in marketing before I became and entrepreneur. No, I wasn’t in marketing
but have a gift or knack for field of marketing. When I do something-anything….I do it the BEST that I CAN, and I’m am all about the DETAILS.
My toolbox comes up short in the way of lacking the skills for numbers, accounting, deal making and the finance end of things.
However, not wanting to let those things bring me down, I surround myself with people and programs, like the SBDC (Small Business
Development Center) to get me over, around, and through some of these hurdles.
SHM: What is your favorite recipe to make using Happy Hour Sauces?
Lisa: I love each sauce differently because each sauce is so unique and they have a very different flavor profile from each other.
I love to slow cook a pork roast in Happy Hour Mojito Sauce and then shred the pork and use it the delicious Mojito shredded
pork on taco’s or Cuban pulled pork sandwiches (being certain to drizzle additional HH Mojito Sauce onto the taco’s and sandwiches).
My Happy Hour Cosmopolitan sauce with its blend of sweet cranberries and bite of jalapeno is so incredibly good on brie
and chicken quesadillas or a turkey panini sandwich.
The newest member is my Happy Hour Bloody Mary Sauce. This sauce is like the adult ketchup!! Happy Hour Bloody Mary
Sauce is awesome on steak bites and meatballs, with its tomato base and heat coming from freshly grated horseradish and cayenne
pepper. I love to serve my HH Bloody Mary sauce with shrimp too. I have been known to bring my HH Bloody Mary Sauce to
restaurants that serve fried calamari. The HH Bloody Mary sauce is SPOT ON with fried calamari.
SHM: What has been the biggest difficulty or obstacle in growing your Happy Hour Foods?
Lisa: I love that I have created a niche product. However, it really takes a lot to educate people on how to use the sauces and
be creative with them. Everyone knows what BBQ sauce is and basically what goes good with BBQ sauce. The beauty of
HAPPY HOUR SAUCES is that they are ready to use right out of the bottle. You can pour, marinate, grill, glaze, and have
FUN with HAPPY HOUR SAUCES. My line of sauces are brilliant on everything from meats, poultry, fish, veggies, and
so much more.
The other big obstacle is keeping the project funded.
SHM: Finish this sentence when I am not working I am_________
Lisa: ….always thinking of new products, marketing and business opportunities for HAPPY HOUR FOODS. My brain is non-stop and
constantly thinking of everything from a new recipe or product to how Happy Hour can help out with a charity or to better our local community
(and everything in between)
SHM: What do you see as the top priorities for your business in this year?
Lisa: Getting the business and financial side running like it should. I pointed out earlier that I can create and market ’till the cows come
home. It’s the business side of things that are at the top of the priority list.
SHM: How important do you feel a business plan is?
Lisa:I feel it is VERY IMPORTANT to have a business plan. It’s the piece of the puzzle that I currently don’t have in place.
Having said that, don’t let NOT having a business plan keep you from going forward. KEEP GOING!
SHM: Dogs or Cats?
Lisa: I’m a cat person for certain. However, I love my dog OTTO. He is the sweetest chocolate lab EVER.
SHM: Where do you see Happy Hour Foods in 5 years?
Lisa: In five years I see HAPPY HOUR becoming more prominent in the restaurant, bar, and catering industry.
Looking to turn a profit in five years. CHEERS to that!!
SHM: What marketing channel has been most effective for your business?
Lisa: Facebook has been the best tool for marketing. Instantly I can post recipes, ideas, events and
so much more and reach so many easily. ….and it is something that I can do!!!:D