Four Boston Food and Drink Brands You Can Invest in for $100

Have a C-note? From spicy tequila to a popover restaurant, these local brands offer an appetizing entry point for small investors.

Innovative food and beverage businesses are always popping up around Boston, and thanks to the new age of online crowdfunding, many of them are also opening up doors to small investors. You no longer need deep pockets to score a stake in a promising project, so here are four creative new concepts that are promising a payback (and then some) for as little as a $100 investment in their future.

Spicy margarita fans should check out Boston-based brand Ghost Tequila. / Photo provided

Ghost Tequila

This Boston-based company is inviting imbibers to invest in a hot (literally) category: spicy spirits. Ghost Tequila was founded by David Gordon, operator of the Gordons Fine Wines & Liquors chain, and Chris Moran, a hospitality vet who came up with the idea while working as a bartender at Tico, Back Bay’s Latin-American restaurant from star chef Michael Schlow. Tico has a robust tequila selection, but Moran still saw a need for an approachable, gateway variety that appeals to those otherwise averse to the agave-based spirit. The resulting recipe for Ghost Tequila, which is distilled in Mexico, uses an infusion of ghost pepper—formerly the world’s hottest chili pepper—to temper the after-bite of tequila. (Ironic! Don’tcha think?) It also makes it easier for mixologists to prepare spicy cocktails without extensive prep work and muddling. The brand has blown up since its 2017 launch, but they’re currently scaring up funds to expand geographically, scale up production, and get Ghost at every bar. Head here to learn more.

The Noodle Bar by Iterum Foods

Seeking a smart investment? Use your noodle (groan) and check out what chef Matt McPherson is planning for East Boston. McPherson, who previously worked under Barbara Lynch at Menton and Jody Adams at Porto, is currently hatching a casual, all-day noodle bar at 303 Sumner St. The idea is to offer healthy options, “taking influence from different cultural noodle cuisines across the world,” according to a description on MainVest, a Salem-based platform connecting entrepreneurs with small investors. The restaurant would also serve coffee and breakfast bites in the morning, plus grab-and-go options. You can check out an early menu here, which touts celery-based noodles with clams and pork sausage; udon noodles with mint chili pesto and candied walnuts; and nori ramen noodles with pork shoulder and black garlic. Besides offering “world-fusion” eats, McPherson is pursuing an environmentally-conscious, zero-waste model for the restaurant. Investors, meanwhile, are banking on a bigger number: The Noodle Bar by Iterum Foods is touting up to 40-percent return-on-investment for those who take the plunge.

The first Medford brewery is on its way. / Photo provided

Medford Brewing Company

Though neighboring Everett is home to a number of beer-makers—including the occupants of the so-dubbed “Fermentation District”—the city of Medford has yet to see a brewery set up shop. That will soon change. Co-founders Nick Bolitho and Max Heinegg, an award-winning brewer, are building a brick-and-mortar location for Medford Brewing Company, the brand they launched two years ago as contract brewers. When they finally open their own space, the company will continue to make its four main styles: an American Golden Ale, A.P.A., I.P.A., and Double I.P.A. (There’s also the new BUBS I.P.A., which supports the Glen Doherty Memorial Foundation, in honor of a local marine who was killed in Benghazi in 2012.) But they also plan to launch new products from the forthcoming facility, which would have a 10-15 barrel brewing system, small canning setup and 2,500-square-foot tap room. Beer fans who want to get on board can head to the Wefunder page; besides a 75-percent ROI, investors can earn perks like free beer.

Popover King

The humble New England popover is receiving its own restaurant. On Friday, March 15, Popover King will officially launch its reign over the West End at 74 Canal St. When doors open, fans of the fluffy, hollow pastry will find it in an array of forms, both savory (the Friar Truck is a cheese and chives popover with cream cheese filling, peso butter, and bacon seasoning) and sweet (like the Templar, which has lemon Bavarian filling with an orange blossom glaze). The riffs will be available from breakfast through dinner hours, and the spot is still seeking investors as doors open. Pop over to the MainVest page to check it out.