Born in: Johannesburg, South Africa. Lives in: Highland Park. Age: 33. Claim to fame: The mom of two recently founded Petal, a zero-calorie organic sparkling rosewater beverage. The roots: Entrepreneurship is in Crane’s DNA. Her father owned a packaging business, which brought them to Chicago from Johannesburg when Crane was a child. Travels back to South Africa got her thinking: “I had such good memories of having tea with my grandmother every afternoon when we would visit her,” she says. “She would infuse the tea with rose petals. It was a moment to take in our day. It made me want to develop a drink that sent a positive message.” A bed of roses: “Rosewater is trending in the beauty industry [because it] contains healthy antioxidants. Michelangelo is said to have drunk it; Cleopatra supposedly bathed in it,” Crane says. “The only other rosewater beverage I was seeing out there was full of high-fructose corn syrup. I knew I could use that beautiful ingredient [in a way that was] good for you.” She was on to something: The first retailer to pick up the product in Highland Park sold 1,000 units in three hours. Current flavors include rose, rose-mint and rose-lychee. Taste testers: Light, refreshing and not overly perfume-y, Petal has become a favorite of Crane’s daughters, ages 5 and 2 1/2. “It’s organic and clean, no sugar or caffeine, so I give it to them all the time. They like to pretend they are little chemists, mixing the different flavors together.” Just add vodka: For grownups, Petal has another use: mixed-drink ingredient. Crane recommends mixing the rose-mint flavor with vodka, Champagne and even rum for a new take on a mojito.
Find a full list of Petal retailers at Drinkpetal.com.
Photo by Lisa Hinsberger