Cráz Story

The Background

In November of 2018, Jason & Christie Verbrugghe visited Napa for a long weekend and while enjoying some fantastic wines of the region, Jason decided to look into a new product venture, that originated with a lemon wine.

After several recipe attempts and testing with an old college friend, Dominic Savone, we pivoted from wine and began playing with Dominic’s 50-year old family LímonCello recipe from Frosinone, Italy and Cráz was born.

We didn’t stop there. We wanted something a little healthier and with a lower glycemic index from most other cello liquors, so the final batches have half the normal sugar content from the original recipe.

In addition to the new spin of the Cráz LímonCello, we had the brilliant idea to expand our product line to offer lime and orange flavored cellos.

The Cráz LīmCello is the first in this market and the Cráz OrángCello is an invigorating competitor to only a few other orange manufacturers worldwide. These 2 flavors are our top sellers.

The Brand

We worked with a creative Italian designer to create the Cráz brand and to make our bottle labels stand out and pop at shelf!  They are completely different from the normal picture of Italy and lemons, and this follows our whole brand strategy to make the Cráz brand more fun, lively and exciting.

We recently ran a social media contest to ‘name our lady’ on the bottle. The winning name….Ginger!

Part of how we differentiate Cráz is thru reinvigorating the overall use of Cellos in the U.S. to exploit these awesome fruit flavors and elevate cocktails to another level.

The Product

Cráz Cello is made right here in Detroit. It is handcrafted with no additives, no preservatives and no coloring with half the sugar and carb count.  Our calories per serving come out to be between 20-40% less than other LímonCello brands. It is also made with organic and gluten-free ingredients.

The Launch

After 20 months of laborious administrative work to get federal licenses and permits and then obtaining 3 state liquor licenses: MI, IL & NC, Cráz was launched in August 2020.

We launched in a pandemic lockdown!  Despite the COVID crisis, we were able to sell out the first batch in 1 day

With creative marketing tactics from Dmedia5, through all Christie’s marketing & advertising experience in the last 20 years and feet on the street with the founders!

In the past few months since launch, we are in almost all downtown Rochester restaurants and bars, a total of  >60 restaurants & stores in over 38 cities!!

Some liquor stores are already on their 5th order of Cráz Cello .

We are working on other adding additional state ventures, online sales options, pre-made cocktails and other new innovations with this fun brand!