Blisspoint: How former TMHS Jeff Venuti turned his curiosity into a business | News

TEWKSBURY – Former Tewksbury resident and TMHS alumnus Jeff Venuti has opened the doors to his new mead, Blisspoint, at his home in Somerville, and aims to become a retail showcase, educating customers on the mead and helping customers find their sweet spot for drinks.

What sparked your passion for brewing?

A mead is different from a brewery. We are licensed as a winery, there are no grain or malt based ingredients in our product, I have been brewing for over 20 years and have a general interest in fermentation. What attracted me to mead was the complexity of the simplicity. Mead making involves fewer procedural steps, there is no need to boil the wort, it uses less energy, and the natural sugar source does not need to be converted, as we use of honey. We support responsible beekeeping and support pollinators.

There are an amazing number of different things you can do with mead, it can be carbonated or calmed, not always sweet, and you can do it low or high alcohol. There are so many different honeys you can use to make this, like orange blossoms, avocado blossoms, and blueberry blossoms.

Mead is more than one or two products, and showing only a few does it a disservice. I wanted to show clients all angles of diversity. Everyone has personal taste preferences and it’s all about finding a happy point with drinks. Yours today may be different tomorrow, depending on the circumstances of everyday events, and I want to accommodate all tastes.

What inspired the name Blisspoint?

My wife was listening to an NPR show on Happiness Points in the Food Industry, a man in the food industry coined the term. Companies were testing products with customers, testing different ingredients and quantities, and plotting on a curve to see where the optimal flavor was, and the peak is the point of happiness. This means that the taster cannot perceive the taste as better. We were talking about this concept and we found it fascinating and how many things you could apply it to. My wife wrote a song about happiness points in relationships, and the concept resonated in my ear as I wanted to help people find their happiness point for drinks.

What is your current goal for Blisspoint Meadery?

Raise awareness, because I offer a product that no one has heard of, from a company that no one has heard of. Part of my job is to educate people and make them aware of mead. I have a page on my website that educates people about mead and answers questions. We have only practically opened our doors for a month.

What do you think have been your biggest challenges so far?

Take out the products. I am a full time electrical engineer and mead is my second full time job. So I learned all the other aspects of marketing a product such as graphic design and website building.

People either don’t know what mead is or are misinformed and have misconceptions, like the idea that mead is the same as what the Vikings drank, and these misconceptions have shaped their opinions.

How has COVID impacted your business?

Honestly, COVID suspended the business for a year. Blisspoint has been a concept for four years. But the company needed parents to be at home while the kids were taking online classes, which has asked a lot of me as a parent. So time evaporated. On the business side, there are global supply chain issues, like a 40% increase in the price of bottles, and I’ve been waiting for bottle caps since July.

How has your education at Tewksbury impacted your life and career?

I graduated in 1992 from TMHS. I was a good student, I was in the track and field and cross country teams, and the training I received there was the starting point for higher education in engineering. TMHS fostered my analytical mind which led me to delve into curiosities like mead. I have always been attached to the surrounding communities and loved being connected to where I grew up.

How did you find your manufacturing process for our product?

Lots of experimentation. I would sometimes ferment 20 different things at once with variations of a single variable, seeing what that difference does. Symbee, one of our unique products, was an experiment of combining Jun tea with a kombucha-like base and testing it with fruit. Feedback from friends was better than the mead products I had shared with them for years, so I added it to the line. The name comes from my wife, when we looked at the symbiotic relationship in fermentation with yeasts and bacteria. Sym- more Bee.

What convinced you to switch from electrical engineering to that of a business leader?

I develop electronics for communication systems, and products can take years to get to market. I’m not connected to customers and wanted something that brings me closer to customers. Making and sharing mead gave me a creative outlet and allowed me to see customer satisfaction, and it inspired me to become a business owner.

Where do you and Blisspoint see yourself heading in the next five years?

It’s a home operation, I don’t have retail space, but rather 500 square feet of production space. We intend to become a tasting room or a retail store window. We offer product via curbside pickup, deliver to 38 states, and offer tasting appointments. But there is no place to try products with regular tasting hours. I hope to be in farmers’ markets to connect with communities, connect with chambers of commerce, and connect with local businesses and make collaborations.

What do you think was the most proud accomplishment with Blisspoint?

I’m quite proud of some of the products that I have offered so far and the variety that I have been able to offer. There are styles to suit the taste preferences of so many different people and palettes, and it has helped others find their drinking spot.

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