Typically, nationwide businesses start out in a big city where there s a big market. As the brand grows and demand grows with it, the business gradually spreads across the country to ever smaller markets until eventually everybody s within a few miles of, say, a Walgreens. There are notable exceptions to this pattern. For example the largest retailer on Earth, WalMart, started out as a single store in Rogers, Arkansas. In New Orleans we ve gotten used to getting national brands long after they ve made it big in other places. Trader Joe s comes to mind. As does Target. And even WalMart itself is a relatively recent addition to Orleans parish. But with the entrepreneurial climate here in New Orleans about as hot as our summer, we re not a brand afterthought any more. Quite the opposite. We re a city where brands originate. New Orleanian Lauren Myerscough launched a brand here, called Cocktail and Sons. Cocktail and Sons makes all natural, handcrafted syrups designed for classic cocktails. They re used by professional bartenders across the country and home bartenders as well for making drinks like an Old Fashioned, Mojito, Tom Collins, Gimlet, and more. They re also used for making new fangled modern cocktails, and non alcoholic drinks. Photos at Commander s Palace by April Stolf.