Two University of Richmond graduates want to serve Bloody Spiders with brunch.
Sarah and Grady Hébert launched Spider Specialty Foods over the summer and last month began selling their main product, a high-end Bloody Mary mix called The Bloody Spider in two Midlothian shops.
Self-employed accountant Sarah Hébert said her husband, a vice president at Union First Market Bank, has developed the recipe for the Bloody Spider over 20 years.
“A lot of the mixes you can buy off the shelf for a low price and then add a bunch of stuff to make it spicy,” she said. “We feel the mix in our bottle really is stand-alone – you put vodka in and you have a great drink.”
In September the Héberts filled 270 bottles at Prince Edward Cannery in Farmville, which they pay to use on an hourly basis. As of Tuesday, they had just six bottles left from that first batch and on Oct. 30 plan to fill 400 more bottles.
The Bloody Spider retails for $12.50 and can be bought online at the company’s website or at the Sassy Bee and Vino Market in Midlothian.
“We’re starting slow and want to make sure we have supply to meet demand,” Sarah Hébert said. “It’s been a passion of ours to be self-employed.”
Grady Hébert said getting laid off from his former employer – a large local firm – got him thinking about launching a new venture.
“After having been there for 20 years and being, in my opinion, a solid employee, being told my role was eliminated was a hard thing for me,” he said. “I did a lot of soul searching about what I wanted to with my career.”
He eventually decided to draw on his experiences at bartending school while he was attending UR. He said the Bloody Mary was one of his favorite drinks to make and one he and his wife had been tinkering with over the years.
“Over 20 years I’ve played around with it and got to a point where people were asking for it,” Hébert said.
Sarah Hébert said she and her husband have invested $8,000 in their venture, and they hope to get the product on the shelves of more specialty shops.
“It makes a great gift,” she said. “No one is going to go to Kroger to buy a bottle of Zing Zang to give it as a gift.”
Hébert said eventually she and her husband would like to expand Spider Specialty Food’s offerings.
“We hope to expand to other products like marinades or sauces,” she said.