A group of Whitby friends have defied the odds. They quit their jobs, launched a new product, and have gained the attention of a TV star.
“We took the leap back in 2015 and we haven’t looked back since.”
Kevin Folk and his friend Dan Beach risked it all just a few years ago when they quit their jobs and devoted their time to creating the product.
It’s called Social Lite Vodka, it’s being marketed as a vodka soda beverage.
”We came up with a concept of something totally different a mix drink without sugar and sweetener because we knew it was something we wanted and we knew there was a need for a drink like that.”
The magic to make the drink started in a Whitby kitchen, whose kitchen it was though, that is still up for debate.
“There is always an argument between Dan and I whether it was his kitchen or my kitchen, at this point we are not really sure.”
Dan and Kevin have a third member of their team, Neetu. Neetu left a job with a major pop company to help the start-up company with marketing. The group has seen support from the Mayor of Whitby himself.
“A few weeks back at the Whitby Bluesfest I had the pleasure of meeting the Mayor Don Mitchell in person and he actually came behind the booth with me and once he tried the product, and what it was about, and a local startup, and a whole story he literally stood there with me for 15 minutes getting people to come over to try the drink.”
Whitby Mayor Don Mitchell isn’t the only one helping spread the word about social lite vodka, Arlene Dickenson of Dragon’s Den fame is one of their partners in the business.
“We actually just tweeted her our clip, it was 140 characters saying hey Arlene, heard you loved vodka we would like to talk and sent her it, and to our surprise we sent it at 11:30 and within 20 minutes we received a message back from her to talk and one week later we were in her boardroom.”
The product just launched in April and has been flying off shelves here in Ontario and Alberta, where it’s also available. They’re now in the process of expanding their product line.