The Edmond Sun

Business

February 15, 2014

Skimpy Mixers combines great taste with low calories

EDMOND — Skimpy Mixers are the newest thing in drink mixes and they have hit the store shelves in Edmond.

Walmart is stocking this low-calorie drink sensation in more than 1,300 stores across the nation, and the two Walmart Supercenters have them available in Edmond.

Skimpy Mixers created these mixes to give consumers a unique flavor and a healthier alternative when drinking alcoholic beverages by tying in with their motto, “Skimp on the Calories, Not on the Taste.”

During a bachelorette pool party, Megan Toole, now Toole-Hall, was introduced to a frozen drink tasting remarkably like a Dreamsicle. It was called what else, a Frozen Dreamsicle, and when the frozen drink ran out she was left wanting another.

“In 2010 my bachelorette weekend had a Frozen Dreamsicle drink on tap, and they ran out just when I wanted another one,” Toole said. “I left that party searching for a Frozen Dreamsicle.”

Finding drinks of the same name but that just didn’t taste the same, Toole said she and her friends started experimenting with flavors.

“We found out the original drink had about 800 calories so we got in our kitchen and started subbing down,” Toole said, “to try to mimic the original version by trying several different sweeteners and multiple ingredients. We would invite our neighbors over to taste test, and it took us a year and a half to finally get the flavor we wanted.”

Skimpy Mixers has three co-founders, President/CEO Megan Toole-Hall; Vice President Krista LaMothe and co-founder Summer Lamons.

Both Toole-Hall and Lamons graduated from Edmond North High School in 1995 and ran cross country together. Toole was a high jumper and won state three out of four years.

Their parents still live in Edmond. Megan’s parents are Jerry and Gloria Sunderland. Summer’s parents are Jan and John Lamons.

“We like to come home to Edmond,” Toole-Hall said, “and I am a Daddy’s girl so we come home a lot.”

Both of the women went to college on athletic scholarships. Toole went to the University of Oklahoma and then transferred to Oklahoma State University where she graduated with a degree in marketing.

Lamons graduated from University of Tulsa with a Bachelor of Science in biological sciences and master’s degree in dietetics with an emphasis in health promotion from the University of Oklahoma.

LaMothe is from Perry, Ill., and graduated from the University of North Texas with a degree in marketing.

The combination of Toole-Hall and LaMothe’s marketing degrees and Toole-Hall having the knowledge of starting and owning a successful business that was started from the ground up, made for a perfect combination to create and run the company Skimpy Mixers.

According to Toole-Hall, Lamons is the brains of the group. LaMothe worked for Toole in her insurance company.

“I knew I was going to have to have partners, and we all get along and work well together,” Toole-Hall said.

The girls use a real fruit concentrate and Splenda for sweetener to come up with flavors that have 45 calories or less for each drink mix.

Skimpy Mixers are sweetened with real fruit juice concentrate so they actually taste great and not like you are drinking something diet, Toole-Hall said.

“They are ‘lower in calorie’ but they aren’t so low that they lack flavor,” she said. “I drink regular soda and am not a diet cola drinker so I wanted to make sure that our flavors taste like the real deal.”  

Lamons created the nutritional profile and formulation for each flavor. “Our mixers are gluten-free, sweetened with Splenda and real fruit juice, and have no aspartame,” Lamons said.

After many taste tests with their family and neighbors they finally got far enough to pull in a food scientist to tweak and finish up the mix in 2012.  

The Skimpy Mixers line now has five flavors including Orange, Pineapple, Berry Lemonade, Skimpy Margarita and Sweet ‘N Sour with Cherry Limeade set to come out in the near future. Each flavor is under 45 calories and has 7 grams of sugar.

“Skimpy Mixers is a low calorie drink mixer that tastes great with your favorite rum, tequila, whiskey, champagne or vodka,” Toole-Hall said. “No matter what you have in the kitchen, you will be able to make an amazing drink.”

While the ladies had the mix in the lab they started brainstorming to try and figure out a name for the company, design a logo and determine the individual Mixers names.  

It took months to figure out a logo and Megan sketched up a design on paper late one night and used three squiggle lines in the letter “I” in Skimpy to represent the three original creators that had worked so hard in the kitchen for so many hours to get the mix to taste just right.  

“It is all about timing,” Megan said, and their timing has been flawless.

They needed a bottling company, packaging, distributor and they all fell in line.

“In October we decided, ‘Let’s go to Walmart,’” Megan said. “I walked into the corporate offices and walked out with 50 stores. Those grew to 250 stores, then 350, and now we are in more than 1,300 stores across the nation.”

“It has been quite a ride,” she added. “We knew we had a great product that everyone loves, even the guys, but we had no idea it would take off so fast. We hope this is the beginning of something big.”

Skimpy Mixers LLC headquarters are based in Carrollton, Texas, and the mixers are formulated there and bottled in Chicago. The founders have been collectively based in the Dallas area for 14 years.

Their distinctive zebra-print bottle sleeves make them easy to spot on store shelves. The mixers retail for about $4.98 per 32-ounce bottle. They also can be purchased by the case, online at www.SkimpyMixers.com.

FIND Skimpy Mixers on Facebook, Twitter @SkimpyMixers, Instagram, VINE and Pinterest.

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