Dominique Gonzales of Root Elixirs on constantly learning and growing in your passion
Describe your business in a few words:
Root Elixirs is a craft cocktail experience within the home. My company is a product of my frustrations. Working within the craft cocktail industry, you don’t cut corners. Everything is fresh-squeezed daily, house-made syrups, bitters, and fresh botanicals. So when hosting parties, I would naturally do the bar prep but realized most people didn’t know how to mix cocktails with the ingredients. I would then spend the evening bartending and wouldn’t get to mingle. I always want my guests to have the best, and that’s the essence of hospitality, something I will never be able to shake. This problem led me to create Root Elixirs so everyone could be the bartender and create craft cocktails. Root Elixirs take the anxiety out of the aspiration of crafting something special and unique.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
I’ve been in the food and beverage industry since I was 16 and started bartending at 21. My bar manager at the time challenged me to be better at my craft by pushing me to compete in cocktail competitions. After placing 1st or 2nd place in most bartending competitions, I was confident to create my business. I started mixing at home and developing flavors that eventually resulted in my company, Root Elixirs. I still consult for bar programs to help my dreams come true. I’m passionate about constantly learning and growing by surrounding myself with more intelligent advisors to help grow my company.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
Yes. I can remember from a young age always trying to sell and create something, whether that be tickets to a talent show I made up or handmade art. I was always hustling to make money. Having a business was something I always wanted but didn’t know where to start, so I was always looking for the opportunity and waiting for the right time.
Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?
I started my business about six years ago, and in the beginning stages, Instagram and Facebook Business weren’t as big as it is now. My strategy was to get in front as many people as possible, pitch my product, sell to bars and restaurants, get picked up by distribution, and live the dream 🙂 Despite the quality, it did not go as I envisioned and was much more of a struggle competing with low pricing from all the big brands.
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
I’m proud that my team has worked for me for five years. They’ve gone through the ups and downs worked side jobs to make the vision come to life. If I didn’t have their dedication to the vision, this would have been even harder to execute.
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
Yes. I think if you have a balance, you show up for your company, and it helps burnout. I’d say it’s an ongoing practice because I love what I do, and there’s a lot of pressure to make sales. For now, I try to only work during the week, meditate, work out and make time for friends and family. I try to plan a massage or situation where I can disconnect from my phone for a bit and relax.
What have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community?
We’ve now gone National with the company and are in our most desired territories in NYC, MIAMI & LA. I have two full-time employees, and we are looking to move into a larger location to provide our customers a place to drink Root Elixirs.
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
Next is to move into a location where we can serve the community, build the brand and become a staple in your home bar. We’d like to be global in the new year and hope to bring a new experience to drinking cocktails at home.
What excites you about being an Entreprenista League member?
The access to webinars, collaborations, and a community of other women!