Finding out you have a terminal cancer diagnosis is devastating. When told she had only one year to live, Missy Koefod decided to make the best of the time she had left by moving to California, selling all of her property and checking things off her bucket list—until she was told by her doctors that she was fully recovered. In chatting with Rebecca Glatzer in this episode of Bouncing Back: Resilience for Lawyers, Missy talks about re-evaluating her life and legal career after a terminal cancer diagnosis and how she decided to start 18.21 Bitters, a highly successful cocktail mixer and bitters company.
Missy (and her wife Kristin) Koefod founded 18.21 Bitters during Atlanta’s Snowpocalypse in 2014. After Missy’s bout with cancer a few years earlier, she decided to give up the practice of law and do something she was passionate about. During that “snowstorm” they played with all the ingredients they could get their hands on and started making bitters at home. Next came syrups and shrubs. They started a Kickstarter campaign to gage interest in the market and after exceeding their goal, were ready to hit the market with their unusual bitters flavors. After getting label approval and finding a commercial kitchen, they flew out West and started visiting bars and restaurants pedaling mixers from a vintage suitcase. Within 6 months, they had accounts in 15 states and 3 countries. Fast forward 5 years and 18.21 Bitters is now carried in 48 states and 6 countries and operates out of their retail store in Atlanta’s Ponce City Market, where you can sample every product they make.
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