Our journey started at the Christmas dinner table. We were sitting around chatting and I cracked a can of Partake. And all eyes focused on the can. I took a sip and the discussion started. It was brought up how there was only two types of non alcoholic beers in the LCBO. Partake and Budweiser Zero.
I could get my hands on a few other brands but I had to make separate trips to three different grocery stores that we shop at and that was it.
We own an e-commerce brand and we are successful in that industry and there was obviously a niche market in non alcoholic beer world. I experienced the problem that morning that I was going to attempt to solve. It is difficult to get the stuff.
Sure, the big players have shelf space in large grocery stores. Budweiser Zero, Heineken, Partake, Molson Exel but what about the smaller guys?
One of my favourite non alcoholic brands, Sober Carpenter is only available at a few stores in London Ont.
We continued to chat about the possibility of starting an e-commerce business to help people who want to make good decisions by being able to enjoy all the wonderful non alcoholic craft breweries that Canada has to offer.
Dinner ended and we went home and put the kids to bed. (a difficult task on Christmas Eve) and I stayed up searching the internet and exploring websites of non alcoholic breweries.
I knew I was on to something but I wasn’t quite sure of where it would lead. A few weeks went by and I gathered information about the the business. The usual, who, what, where and how of starting another company.
Finally one night in February. I said to my wife Kris, What about “Designated Drinks”? I showed her the logo that I had designed.
Boom. She loved it. Designated Drinks was born.
The next morning I called around to several breweries and to my surprise some of them weren’t even set up to ship their product!!
That is how new this niche actually is. Fast forward to this morning and I am still finding new Canadian breweries popping up make non alcoholic beer.
We are operate in London Ontario and we started from a small corner in our garage and quickly grew into a warehouse with a growing team of people who recognize the exciting time in the industry.
Since we have launched our website we have had to shut it down three times because we have completely sold out and the breweries that supply us have ran out of beer. Imagine if Labatts announced that they had ran out of Bud Light!!
This has been an amazing startup. I have met some great people along the way. Our customers are kind, thankful and genuine. I will continue to tell my story. I will offer insight, hope and joy in this blog.
Designated Drinks is, and forever will be a company that will leave the world in a better place. If it doesn’t I will close it.