"Our number one job is to make people feel welcome,” says Willa Van Nostrand, owner and creator of Little Bitte Artisanal Cocktails. For nearly a decade, the Providence-based award-winning cocktail company has been catering special events, fundraisers, and weddings, but in response to the pandemic, Van Nostrand and her team pivoted to cocktail kits, virtual cocktail video series, and a personalized drink subscription.
Little Bitte provides more than just beautiful drinks, too – they are redefining cocktail culture by creating entire experiences.
“Having a drink at a bar is, in many ways, a performance,” says Van Nostrand, who was trained in acting, theater, and visual art. “Cocktails were the first artform I could create that allowed true and literal digestion: People could actually sip and experience, be able to partake of all of its components – color, texture, temperature, and beauty.”
Van Nostrand’s interest in herbs and flowers was sparked when she was young, having grown up in a farming community under the guidance of an herbalist mother. “Flowers are mystical and magical, bearing the essence of the moment,” which is why they’re an integral part of each cocktail. In fact, Little Bitte uses over 50 edible
flowers in their repertoire of local and seasonal ingredients.
“You can garnish a drink with Bachelor Buttons in such a way that it looks like a star shooting across the glass,” Van Nostrand explains. Each ingredient, edible blossom, fresh juice, foraged herb, and employee outfit – down to the vintage apron – is intentionally considered. “We want to inspire a light-heartedness, to make people feel special.”
The word bitte is German for “please” and “you’re welcome,” and it offers a deep, warm sense of hospitality. This is the bedrock of Little Bitte, and the essence behind