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Have you ever had an afternoon cup of coffee that felt like a warm hug? That was my experience recently as I sat across the table from Emily Lawson, owner and founder of Pink House Alchemy. She was generous with the details and background story as she described how their company began, how they’ve experienced incredible growth, and her commitment to the mission and integrity of food in Arkansas beyond the walls of her store.
Pink House Alchemy is a hand-crafted, small-batch mixer company based in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Lawson started the company by mixing and cooking on her stove in a 115-year-old pink house. She was working on a pre-med degree and found a new use for scientific knowledge as she processed grief after losing her mother.
I just needed something that took me back to my roots and felt very natural. I remember spending time with my great-grandmother on the family farm and mixing and playing with flavors, and I knew that’s what I needed to heal.”
Lawson made her first concoction on her stovetop and served lavender lattes and lemonade at the farmers market on the weekend. It was 2012, long before it felt normal to put herbs in everyday beverages beyond a nightclub cocktail. As word spread about the flavor and taste, she saw her first success with 20 and 30 people standing in line on a Saturday morning at the farmer’s market.
As a mother and with other people depending on her, Emily set aside her college plans and used her Colorado culinary training and scientific knowledge to make something happen. With a robust entrepreneurial toolbelt, a Northwest Arkansas catalyst community for new ideas, and a desire in her heart to heal by doing things she knew, Pink House Alchemy expanded its flavor profile and offered more than just coffee syrup.
The easy, quick answer is people who love products made with excellence and desire an everyday elevated coffee experience. But it is much bigger than that.
In the cafe, it is pretty easy to spot students on dates and others giggling at their table watching reels, a younger group of teens exploring coffee for the first time and educators exploring new flavors to mix in an iced tea.
But women who host southern gatherings or like to provide an easy treat to their friends love PH products as well. They are accessible to anyone and an easy treat for brunch, showers or hosting friends.
PH made a pretty big stride in the mocktail scene over the last year with fruit-flavored syrups, bitters and shrubs that bring the suitable variety without all the spirits. Dye-free families love the option of keeping some of their family’s favorite treats like a blackberry or strawberry lemonade with only natural fruit colors included. Their male base is widening as gentlemen understand the value of ethically sourced products among local culinary creations.
Really great leaders usually run really great companies; not just people who know how to stand in front of others and make a company function, but people who create pathways to achieve their vision and are willing to share the stage with others who can elevate and expedite the experience.
Emily Lawson has played that role for Pink House Alchemy. Over the last ten years, she’s grown a company that started with her as the only employee but now employs 25 others through an in-house shipping department, culinary director, production and a retail café. Emily is fully committed to creating a work environment where people can come and be themselves, find ways to elevate their passions and still have access and flexibility to support their family.
But Emily is also committed to strengthening the food conversation in Arkansas with lawmakers, food preparers, farmers, and all types of culinary professionals. She believes that “it is not just enough to build relationships with local farmers. We must provide opportunity for people in every community to have access to food.”
Pink House Alchemy is a cornerstone business in Fayetteville. They were the largest resident at the University of Arkansas’ Innovation Center for many years. However, the move to College Avenue opened space for their business to be housed under one roof. And to open the door for other talented businesswomen to occupy the block, inviting niche customers to cross-pollinate the experience.
But Pink House Alchemy ships to all 50 states and has a growing international customer base. While specialty kitchen stores, gentlemen’s stores and boutique gift shops carry many PH supplies, coffee shop counters often have these supplies stacked like elixirs on a bar top.
During the fall season, their unique Pumpkin Butternut Squash syrup and Cardamom varieties add seasonal spices that change fall menus for cider, lattes and chai beverages. At other times of the year, Lavender, Mexican Chile, Blackberry Sage and Strawberry are flavors enjoyed by many followers. And their shrubs are a great way to expose new flavors in alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
Emily Lawson believes food comes from innate places in our hearts where childhood memories and travel experiences blend to create warmth and love. These products evoke memories, expose new flavor combinations and enable the taste buds to build new collective experiences.
And just for fun, the Pink House team shared a few recipes for us. But you can find cocktails, non-alcoholic drinks and baked treats recipes on their website anytime!
6 cups of your favorite popcorn
3 Tbsp melted butter
Pinch of salt
1 cup of white chocolate chips
1/2 cup pH Pumpkin Butternut Spice Syrup
Pop the popcorn, then stir in melted butter with a pinch of salt. Microwave white chocolate chips and pH Pumpkin Butternut Spice syrup on high for 2 mins, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Drizzle on popcorn and sprinkle with black sesame seeds for a spooky vibe for a Halloween treat!
9 blood oranges
3/4 cup PH Cardamom Syrup
Orange La Croix
Black licorice sticks
Juice blood oranges and mix in PH Cardamom Syrup. Serve on ice and top with orange La Croix. Use black licorice sticks as straws.
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