SECOND SHOT SITDOWN — Have you noticed the surprisingly low amount of canned cocktails available in stores? One Texas woman certainly had noticed this and decided to fill the void herself.

After years of hard work Amelia Lettieri has founded, fostered and grown RANCH20, a company that ‘exists to provide a real cocktail experience in a convenient package without any question marks.’

Her business model is simple: no hidden agenda, just good canned cocktails.

She sat down with Inside DFW host Jenny Anchondo to talk more about her cocktail business. Here is their discussion:

This is quite the concept. It’s kind of like one of those words like, why didn’t somebody do this before?

My husband and I used to walk around [the store] saying, ‘What is a common problem? Let’s find a simple solution.’ [When I would want a cocktail] I would go to the fridge and there’d be no Topo Chico, or I’d never have limes. One day, my husband just said, ‘Oh, you think somebody would have a premade ranch water, so we don’t have this issue?'”

As I understand that you had been in the beverage industry for about a decade. I’m guessing you were kind of like seeing everything behind the scenes thinking, ‘Hmm, I wonder if I could do this?’ Or how did that all go down?

“I started on the copacking side of beverages. I really got to find out how they put beverages in cans, and I just thought it was so fun. Everyone was having a blast. I was in finance, and it was not as fun as people in alcohol. Then I [started working] at 7-Eleven, and so I really learned at 7-Eleven. You know, they’re the world’s leader of convenience. How do you create that atmosphere? You give consumers what they want. After getting to work with 7-Eleven and seeing their focus on giving consumers convenience, I put both of those experiences together and thought, ‘What are some conveniences I need in my life? And how can we bring it to the market?'”

It’s one thing to think, Okay, I want to do this, it’s another thing to actually make it happen. Where did you start?

“Google. I say that, jokingly, I have just a lot of industry contacts from being in the industry for so long; a lot of really great mentors. I knew the direction I wanted to head and so I started calling my mentors, and [asking them], ‘This is what I want to do. Do you know somebody that I can connect with?’ From there, really, we just started getting those expert opinions and advice from the mentors that I’ve made all my career.”

Do you go to a laboratory? Do you [tell them], ‘I have my own expert mixture, this is the lime.’ How does all of that work?

“That’s the fun part. We formulated all of the drink recipes in our [home] kitchen. Then we sent our kitchen recipes, which were my family’s recipes from growing up as a child, off to a beverage formulator because I’m not a scientist, and I don’t want to kill people. We wanted to make sure that the products were shelf stable, and that we could scale them for large production. We spent 10 months going back and forth with a beverage formulator making sure that the drinks we were creating actually tasted good. We played with everything from the actual amount of tequila to the amount of carbonation and they can.

Talk about what life looks like at this time. Because I think this is the confusing part for people who are maybe wanting to venture out on their own or they have a project and they’re like, ‘Is this a career? Is it a hobby?’

“I was working full-time for another oil and gas company and I was leading their growth strategy. I had a very stressful job and [I would] get home in the evenings and start working on formulations with my husband. We went on a lot of walks and we talked about the vision we had for the company. It was certainly not like I had a full amount of time to focus on it.”

This is part of a 30-minute conversation. To hear the full interview visit the Second Shot Podcast. For more information about RANCH20, click here.