LAF Life (Living Alcohol Free)

The Sobr Market, Jessie Halliburton Season 3, Ep. 9

November 27, 2023 Tracey Djordjevic Season 3 Episode 9
LAF Life (Living Alcohol Free)
The Sobr Market, Jessie Halliburton Season 3, Ep. 9
Show Notes Transcript

This episode is guaranteed to take your Holiday hosting ideas to the next level!
Our guest Jessie Halliburton, co-owner of The Sobr Market, just rocked the LAF Life podcast!  Join us to hear about her amazing alcohol-free journey. Learn how Jessie and her husband Shane are transforming the non-alcohol beverage market . This dynamic duo are proudly creating a truly unique alcohol free customer experience. Passionate about educating people, be sure to check out the tasting bar for cocktail inspiration and product information. Discover why serving up The Sobr Market's festive beverages is a game-changer this holiday season!

For our listeners in Winnipeg or Toronto, visit The Sobr Market in person at one of these 2 locations.

For holiday inspiration follow The Sobr Market on Insta: 
https://www.instagram.com/thesobrmarket/
or on FB @  https://www.facebook.com/thesobrmarket
Shop online  The Sobr Market - Your New Marketplace for Everything Non-Alcoholic


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Tracey:
https://www.instagram.com/tnd1274/
Kelly:
https://www.instagram.com/pamperedkel/
Lindsey:
https://www.instagram.com/hariklindsey/

**Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this episode are not professional or medical opinions. If you are struggling with an addiction please contact a medical professional for help.

Music provided by Premium Beats:
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Song: Rise and Thrive
Artist: Young Presidents

Resources:
Wellness Togethe...

Kelly:

Welcome to the LAF life podcast, a lifestyle podcast based on living alcohol free and a booze soaked world. My name is Kelly Evans and together with my friends, Tracey Djordjevic, and Lindsay Harik. We share uncensored. Unscripted real conversations about what our lives have been like since we ditched alcohol and how we got here by sharing our individual stories. We'll show you that there isn't just one way to do this, no matter where you are on your journey from sober, curious to years in recovery and everyone in between, you are welcome here, no judgment and a ton of support.

Lindsey:

Hey, everybody. Welcome back to the LAF Life podcast. Before we get started with today's episode, I'm just going to ask that you guys hit that follow button so that you don't miss any of our new content. And we always launch new episodes on Tuesday. Today we have a guest with us. Her name is Jessie Halliburton, and she is a co owner of Canada's premier non alcoholic bottle shop here in Winnipeg. And recently they just opened a new location in Toronto and it's called Sober Market. Hi, jessie.

Jessie:

Hello, everyone. How are you doing? Thank you.

Lindsey:

Thank you so much for joining us. We are so excited to chat with you and I went into the shop here in Winnipeg on August long weekend and I remember chatting with you and it came in with my boyfriend and we were just in awe of all of the things it is a full store if it's non alcoholic, you guys carry it.

Jessie:

As best we can, yes, absolutely. And it is, much, like your experience was, it can be very overwhelming first time someone walks in. And a lot of people are shocked to see that many options that fall into that category.

Lindsey:

Yeah, it's pretty amazing. So I have a question for you. Are you somebody that is living an alcohol free life? I am actually, yes. So I had been tapering down on my consumption, but I have been alcohol free since August of last year. So 2022. Yeah. That's amazing. We're in 2023 now, right? Yeah. Yeah. Congratulations on that. And what sparked that for you? Maybe talk to us about, your relationship with alcohol, early on, if you even had one or, your first memories of it and why you chose to go alcohol free. My early memories of alcohol are actually very comforting. Which it's very strange to say, however, the way I was raised, I was in a very open family around alcohol consumption and kids were like, I remember sitting and having itty bitty beer with this much tomato juice sitting with my grandparents and some of those memories are just. Very fond, at the lake, just enjoying being part of whatever it was we were celebrating or talking about and all of that. And so conversations around alcohol were always very open in our family. Around teaching about consumption and all of that. And so my early memories are definitely very fond in that aspect. And I know now thinking about it, how the world has changed. Life has changed. And maybe some of those things are not as acceptable anymore. And definitely not something that, as Shane and I have children, not something that we will do in that aspect, and then, I was definitely that teenager that liked to experiment and have fun and go out there and have some drinks. And I wasn't someone who waited until I was at 18 and have that big kind of hurrah moment. But alcohol has just always been a very mainstream part of my life. It's very social. So Shane's my husband and he owns the sober market along with me. And we've been together since we were 18 and it's just been a big part of our life. And my decision to stop actually came from him. So Shane removed alcohol from his life a year prior to me. So it was August of 2021. And I won't speak for him or anything like that, but he had re evaluated his relationship with alcohol, where he was in his life, and Ultimately, what he wanted for himself and ultimately for his family to at the time, our son would have been three and our daughter would have been three months and it wasn't something he wanted to continue to partake in and have them, see dad have too many or, just, be around that sort of environment. So when Shane started to talk about business and that, that was in January and it was interesting how I used to work in healthcare and I had returned from matleave from our son in January of 2020. And then we had it straight into COVID in March. And I remember. being at work all day, working, 10 hour days, long days, and then coming home and we all decided, okay, we're going to go home. And then we would jump on a conference call to discuss next day operations with a glass of wine in our hand. And I'd be sitting. Getting my son ready for bed or whatever. And that just became the norm and just start justifying needing that glass of wine as a result of having stress during the day and that. So in the end, when we had already started the business and I was still enjoying a glass of wine and in the end, I actually enjoyed what was in Shane's glass way more than mine and it made me feel way better. So I just quietly. And again, for me, it was a very personal choice, and it wasn't an announcement, it wasn't a, I'm going to try this, I remember having my last glass, and I knew it was going to be my last glass, and I didn't even talk to Shane about it. No way. It wasn't, it was a very silent decision for me, and eventually he picked up on the fact that I just wasn't, And I was more just asking him to make me drinks at night of whatever it was he was making and for me it was same thing. Number one, committing to a lifestyle to support him, committing to a lifestyle that supported being a working parent. It's hard. And also just be more present with the kids to be more patient, to be more present, to not have that distraction. To wake up and be ready to go with that really go with them. As, especially now, again, five year old and two year old now. It is busy and they want to go. And there is no time to feel down, really. No. Ever. And I feel like Christmas is such a big drinking holiday. It is. I said on one of our episodes, I think it's one of the best gifts that you can give your kids is having an alcohol free Christmas because you're so present with them and you can almost experience. The magic of the holiday through them, rather than being drunk. I remember Christmas Eve, ever since I was a kid, at our home, was a shit show. It was alcohol flowing, stereo cranked loud, my mom telling my dad, turn it down, the kids are trying to sleep and we can hear it all, right? And then just the next day Christmas morning of course dad wasn't downstairs, cause He had drank too much the night before and hung over and as a kid, I remember feeling that.

Jessie:

Yeah, and addictions run in both Shane's and my family and I've definitely had those moments to where you're aware of what's going on around you and what causes it. And it's interesting how, and I'm not gonna lie the one glass of wine can turn into two glasses of wine can turn into a bottle of wine very quickly. And again, there's always that little bit of a justification. Alongside it. And it's interesting, usually the first time it's, it is in it. It's that Christmas or it's you're out with girlfriends or you're, again, you find ways to justify it. And it's very interesting, at least for myself in some ways to just reflect back on seeing things that I didn't like observing. Whether it be as a child or even as a teen, a young adult just finding you slip into a cycle and again, it's just interesting because even now with the store and we talk and people come in, it's a comfortable environment and we talk and it's a place for people to share and how everyone's story is so unique and yet it continues to follow There are still so many similarities. No matter how unique everyone's story is, there are still certain points that are very similar or very reflective and I don't think it matters what addiction you talk about. I think that's part of any sort of substance for sure.

Lindsey:

Yeah, I 100 percent agree with that for sure.

Jessie:

Yeah.

Kelly:

So what do you do now at the end of the day? Because obviously, your business is growing, I'm sure there's maybe even more stress than you had before. So what do you do now instead of the glass of wine to wind down?

Jessie:

I'm not gonna lie, sometimes it is still a glass of wine, it's just doesn't contain alcohol in it. Love it. Yeah. And that's, to me that's great is to know that, sometimes we're reaching for that or sometimes it's as simple as like it was great cups last weekend. And I said, I'm like, yeah, let's make margaritas. And it is it's as simple as just having those familiar flavors and doing that. But a lot of time, snuggles on the couch with the kids and going for a walk with the dogs and, just those sorts of things. But the nice thing at least for both Shane and I, is we've still, I don't change that, is I still say sometimes, Man, I want my glass of wine. It's just now when I pour it, it just doesn't contain alcohol. And for me, that's enough. It's still the ritual. It's cracking that bottle. It's pouring it. It's enjoying, a similar flavor profile. And that to me is enough to, for my body to still enjoy some sort of relax for sure. Nice. Yeah.

Lindsey:

I find it is about that. It is like the ritual. It's like that habit. We've had chatted about this on the podcast too is some people can't consume products that are very similar to the alcoholic versions because it's so triggering for them, right? I'm somebody personally that I love drinking kombucha out of a wine glass or I love mixing. Different mocktails that contain non alcoholic gin or something like that, or I'll drink a 0 percent Corona, and I'm just like, this is awesome. I feel like it is a ritual we always associate, or for me I did anyways, I associated that glass of wine with relaxation. Except when you wake up the next day, you feel like crap. So it's like you're borrowing from tomorrow to relax today. So you're never, but you're not relaxing. It's very true. And it is the ritual and it's very interesting. You say sometimes it is just mixing the cocktail or putting it together. And we often do talk about As well, when individuals come in, because we do know that mimics aren't for everyone. And so we often talk about, finding things that help people. Because oftentimes we also do get asked because some people do say I still feel like I'm buzzed sometimes. And I equate it back to that nostalgic response that your body gets, and you still end up with a dopamine spike. And whether it be that your body's created a response, like a memory that in consuming something it, whether it be in that glass or after you've made it or in like flavors that you should be having a response to it. And so you still do get that dopamine spike, which is, still creating that gratitude or the, that the response that you get to relax and you get to have that feeling But it's also just whether it's your body remembering that, or you make it and you recognize that you should feel good as a result of essentially almost having a treat. That's something that's still you're still creating an adult beverage that you get to enjoy in a nice glass or with some garnish and you get to sit back and just enjoy.

Tracey:

It's like the placebo effect. Yeah. Yeah, hugely. Yeah, but a lot of people say to that they would relate that with the time to shut down or turn things off. That was their off switch, it's a good point to make that you can do that without it being alcohol, there can be a replacement that doesn't have to be alcohol and still trigger that sensation of it's time to shut down or it's time to relax.

Jessie:

Time to relax, but also not block whatever it is you've experienced that you're needing to relax from. And I think that's the best thing for enjoying some of those beverages where you do start to get that relaxing feeling and you get that response in the body. And yet I can still sit there and reflect on my day and consider tomorrow. But in a more peaceful way without having say that, that glass of wine or that drink that, brings you down and but then shuts you off like you don't reflect, you don't have that time to really work through, what happened and what's your plan and all of that. And I think that's the biggest thing is that your brain. It does get to relax, but you don't shut it off, you're not hiding from anything, you're not numbing,

Lindsey:

you're not blacking out,

Jessie:

yeah not blacking out, what are you working out if you're blocked out, you're nothing exactly,

Tracey:

Yeah, it goes back to that presence. piece, right? Being present. You're being present but at the same time, allowing yourself to unwind from the day.

Lindsey:

Yeah. So Jessie, do any of your products at the shop contain alcohol or are they all zero percent? Talk to us a bit about that.

Jessie:

So we do have many products that are true, what we consider zero proof. So 0. 0. However, we do have lots of products that are up to 0. 5%. And then we do have, I believe we only have one product currently that is up to 1%. So there's lots of questions often around this topic around what is a 0. 5? Is that still considered alcohol free? And all of those things. We do a lot of education in the store around what does this mean? So anything that is a true zero proof, we never contained alcohol, it was never a fermented product, it has not been de alkalized. We do have one brand of de alkalized wine, however, that they are confident to say that they de alkalized to 0. 0. And that is marked on their packaging. But in Canada anything under 1. 1 percent is considered alcohol free. I didn't know that. And it varies province to province because for the most part in Canada, it's the provincial governments that regulate like the in Manitoba. It's the amount of liquor and lotteries. I know in Ontario. It's the LCBO's. So I know in Ontario anything. Over 0. 5 is regulated. We have a 1 percent limoncello in the store right now. So we actually cannot send that to Toronto to sell. And if anyone tries it's not available to sell or sent to Ontario at all. But yeah, federally, it's 1. 1 percent in Manitoba here. It's also 1. 1%. And the reason being that there are things that people consume on a daily basis that do contain trace amounts of alcohol. And this again is not something I was aware of. It's something that Shane and I needed to learn about when we started the business. It's so true when you think about it, that fermentation comes from like for alcohol is the by product of fermentation. And so when you think about all the things on your counter that ferment and the jugs of say juice in your fridge that ferment or if you're baking bread or you have the yogurt or a kefir all of those things, there is a fermentation process that begins with it. So we jokingly talk to people about, the banana that's sitting on your counter that starts to smell really funky and you're about to make into banana bread. That funky smell is the off gas of ethanol, which is the same alcohol you will find in alcoholic beverages. Whoa. And lots of studies have been done. I believe that ripe banana sits around a 0. 7, anywhere from a 0. 4 to a 0. 7, I believe. And there's all those ranges. Yeah. Kombucha is one that contains trace amounts of alcohol. Yeah, so it's very interesting. Because also it does not need to be labeled as well in Canada. Unless it is 1. 1 percent or higher. A lot of people question. Then why is it even showing on packages? Why are we seeing the 0. 5? And the companies do it as a transparency aspect to it. but yeah, when you think about sourdough breads and pasta sauces, and when you go out for dinner to a really nice restaurant, and they've got those really yeasty dinner rolls on the table, and you can just smell that fresh bread smell. All of that is actually alcohol in the product, which is interesting. Yeah. It's not something I ever considered. No,

Lindsey:

I had no idea. Wow. Cause I don't get a buzz from eating bread from, a restaurant or even kombucha drinking kombucha. I don't feel any different. I don't feel buzzed, but there are people who won't consume that because of the alcohol content.

Jessie:

Yes, and that's very true. Depending on whoever it is we're talking to we have products available. And so the nice thing is we do have one de alkalized wine brand that we do carry that they do de alkalize to 0. 0 and many people are very familiar with it. They're comfortable with consuming that. We do actually have some beers now that are down to the 0. 0 and then the spirits. Spirits go either way. They're either like a reverse distilled where it did contain alcohol and they've had the alcohol removed or they're true zero proof. So they never contain alcohol. It's just essence as they've been put together to create a like flavored product. No matter what anyone's looking for, we have something that we've got sparkling teas, if someone's looking for something that, again, they don't want to go venture wine way, they would go tea way and do some education on those ones. But that's one thing that I've grown to love about all of this is really just the things that I've learned that have started to blow my mind that you don't think about and Lindsay, like you said, you don't get buzzed from drinking. Kombucha or eating dinner rolls or sourdough bread or kefir or anything like that. And it's because your body does metabolize it. Most people's bodies, I will say that there are some people out there who have said that their body struggles with metabolizing alcohol. So they will notice it more. But your body will metabolize. A point five beverage faster than the alcohol can build up in the blood it's not something that you will, like, you won't pull over on a breathalyzer and it won't accumulate in your blood.

Lindsey:

Because the glass of wine is like what percent of alcohol, like 17%, right? Something like that.

Jessie:

Good question. I don't even know. Is it 12?

Lindsey:

I think so. Let me see if I can find this.

Kelly:

I don't know. Yeah. I'm actually not even sure. What a glass of wine would be what I think is interesting is a lot of those products that you're talking about are known to be healthy for your gut like they promote fermented products. It must be a certain percentage of alcohol that's healthy for you versus not healthy, or it's in the processing, like you were saying, or how our body processes. That to make one side of it healthy and the other side not.

Jessie:

So we do carry a kombucha in store. And Michelle is the owner of Wolsey Kombucha. So her and I've talked a lot about kind of the gut. Health piece of it and the gut and mind connection. One thing I actually, I remembered from university years ago or high school, but I had forgotten. She's remember your gut produces alcohol itself. So that's where especially with kombucha being a, prebiotic support in order for your gut to digest and metabolize and do what it needs to do. And again, I'm not the person to. Talk about all those details, but it is just fascinating that yes, there are products out there. And I think the biggest thing is if it's not accumulating in the blood and it's not getting to that point where it's affecting the brain and the body function then yes, fermented products are always touted as being beneficial to the body. I think it's just mindful on like how much to consume and which ones are best for you?

Tracey:

I was going to say it might be. I'm no doctor either. I don't know. I'm just taking a guess or a stab at it. But it might be like the blood brain barrier type of situation. Yeah.

Lindsey:

I found it five ounces of wine typically is about 12 percent alcohol and 1. 5 ounces of distilled spirits is about 40%.

Jessie:

So yeah, when you think about consuming. A point five beverage. And I believe it was a study done in Germany. It's been a long time since I've read this study, but they had someone tried to consume enough point five beers and couldn't do it. They said you will, they had to stop him because his body was becoming so diluted of electrolytes that they were concerned for his health on consuming too much liquid versus what was actually like the alcohol content that he was consuming. Yeah. It is very interesting. And like I said, lots to still learn for me for sure and but it's just been very interesting to learn little bits about all of this along the way and yeah, not something I ever think about is even the jug of orange juice in the fridge that, it's been open for a few weeks, right? We all buy the Costco sized juice and it sits there for a while for a glass and it's a little tangy and you don't. He's Oh no, it's still good. Not thinking. Oh yeah. What's that tang? Yeah.

Lindsey:

That's fermentation. Yeah. That's fermentation. Yeah. So you guys have two locations in Winnipeg now, right? Just the one location.

Kelly:

Oh, I thought you had two. Okay. So you have two locations and you're busy and it sounds like you're having some really interesting conversations with your customers. We are. Why do you think this is so popular right now?

Jessie:

It's a very good question. Lots of different reasons. I feel that, I can speak from just those individuals that I've spoken to, and even just from personal experience, I feel like consumption really increased during a couple years when we were all closed up. At home and oftentimes I will hear people say what else was there to do? Yeah, that a lot of people, I was bored. Like what else was there to do? That sort of thing. And and then even people like started making their own wine and beer at home. I think like it just as far as a hobby went, it grew, and I can't remember who I was speaking to but they said any time that there was some sort of social aspect even through work and it was done through virtually they said it usually had to do with making cocktails, like on, I remember seeing a lot of that, doing wine tastings.

Lindsey:

Yes. The zoom meetings, the wine tasting, the virtual Brunches where it was all about champagne and wine. Wow.

Jessie:

Absolutely. And so I think a lot of people. Started to consume more. And I think a lot of people are also starting to feel maybe those effects. We didn't know this was gonna happen, but the Canadian Cancer Society's guidelines on what, and, Canadian Cancer Society guidelines are more lenient than the CDC, like the in the states where they have said absolutely zero tolerance for alcohol at all. If you have cancer or, if you want to lessen your risk of cancer, it's like a 0 percent tolerance and in Canada, when you think they were going from as a woman, you were allowed two drinks per day and now you're down to two drinks per week and for the most part. My understanding is a lot of oncologists are now saying, you get that cancer diagnosis or you get that, we're watching you and it's the recommendation is you stop but no matter what the reason is, the people are coming in, we try and meet them where they are. Some people are just looking to moderate. Some people it's about family, some people it's about trying to have a family, some people they've been put on a medication and they can't consume alcohol anymore as a result of the medication that they're consuming. A little bit of a controversial one and I completely stand by where we've stood on this is that we'll get 15, 16, 17. year olds coming in, and they're heading out to the party, and they want to fly into the radars, and they want to pick up something that looks the part, may taste the part, and they talked openly about, it being a harm reduction. I don't want to get drunk, but I don't want to deal with the peer pressure of Wow, I'm going to the party. Interesting. We've had parents actually come in with their kids. To help them in those choices and, yeah, we've had people driving even from rural Manitoba as well and they're having those conversations already with, they're going to a, hate to say it, like a bush party or a farm party or something and someone's driving, yeah, and someone like, and it's all ages that are going there. I don't want to drink, but I don't want to get picked on. I don't want, I don't want that peer pressure. I want to have something in my hand that no one's going to someone grabs it and swigs. They're not going to know either way. So it's very interesting to have those conversations. Like I said, there are some parents that are coming in with their kids to help them make these choices and to even talk to us about things and kudos on those kids. We've all been there. We've all felt that. For sure. There were no other options for us. There weren't. You just, and you just did, and that was. And, I applaud the younger generation that it seems like there are so many in their 20s that are not wanting to consume, which is great. But yeah it's sometimes, nice to have these conversations with these young adults that are wanting to make these choices because they want to be the one they're looking after their friends, or they want to be the one there that remains in control or could drive home at the end of the night safely we see a bit of everything and as to really why I think it's just the way that life is going now. And I think

Lindsey:

people are more aware, like people are more aware and things are being studied and there's no more a glass of wine a day keeps the doctor away and it's got resveratrol and it's so good for you and it's good for heart health. The studies now are so clear. It is no amount is safe. No amount is safe. It has been classified as a carcinogen itself, and I think that's a big thing is that where is this going? They've talked about doing similar labeling on alcohol bottles as they did on cigarette packaging. That's a big thing. Yeah, it is a big thing. They've talked about it. Is it going to happen? I don't know. I don't know why I don't get why they don't, and I hope so too. Money. It is money, yeah.

Jessie:

Money, yeah, for sure. And I remember when, I can't remember how old I was. Gosh, I must have been like 17, 16, 17. I was working at Shoppers Drug Mart when all that happened. And I remember those first packs of... Whatever coming in and having to stock and it's Oh, no,

Kelly:

well, Trace and I were smoking at that time.

Tracey:

Yeah. Oh, yeah. I remember looking at the first couple of packs of those Oh,

Kelly:

Yeah, but it did. It made you think and I neither of us smoke anymore. So yeah,

Jessie:

for you guys. Yeah. So it'll be very interesting to see if those Or even if the language changes, like of course there's always been language around pregnancy and all of that on alcohol bottles. Yeah. But it'd be very interesting to see if the government's changing what other regulations what needs to be written on there as a warning label. Just to, make it very clear.

Tracey:

We've often said that we think it's going the same direction as cigarettes. That's how we feel or see it swinging. But what is the real reason or what interests you guys personally, Jessie, with starting this business? How did you come up with the idea and what was the main driver for you guys?

Jessie:

The main driver, it really was Shane. So when Shane removed alcohol from his life, we went searching for great tasting options. Shane's always been comfortable with Mimics, and still very much enjoyed, making a cocktail, sitting down and enjoying it, and all of that. Crazy, but two, like almost two and a half years ago now, there were no options available. There were some like in the grocery store, there were some, but when you talk about spirits and you talk about, a nicer glass of wine or even craft beer, it didn't exist or it wasn't available to us locally here in Winnipeg. And so we started looking to import ourselves. And so we were bringing in bottles from the States and trying different things. In the end, Shane looked at me. So he had actually gone down to Arizona. With our son for a trip and while he was gone, I was here with our daughter. And it's almost like we had the same dream on the same night or something like that. It's just one of those weird things, but he came back and it'd be interesting. I haven't heard him tell the story in a long time. And so it'd be interesting to hear him tell the story a different time. But it's he came back and he was just chicken for weeks on wanting to talk to me about it. And finally he came out and he's Jess, I want to do this. I think this is what I want to do as a business. And he had the passion and I'm like, yeah, I know. And I'm like, this is the name of your business. And he loved it. I just told him like, it's going to be the Sobr market. I said, I knew this was coming. I've been thinking about it. Shane's has a brilliant mind and he gets bored like quickly. And so this was something that you could see it in his eyes at least for myself, he was passionate about it. He found a way to serve. People in a way that he could speak truth behind it. And I think that's. In my mind, it was a beautiful thing and so he just thought there's got to be other people out there like myself that are looking for these options and want them to be more accessible and paying, 100 for, two bottles it's hard. And granted, non alcoholic products are still very expensive and it's,

Lindsey:

why is that? Because I think a lot of people like when you go out to restaurants and stuff, I hear this a lot in a group you're getting a non alcoholic beverage or like sometimes I'm like, I'll take a Caesar, a virgin Caesar. And it's the same price as an alcoholic beverage. So why is that?

Jessie:

Caesars are, I can't speak specifically to the Caesar because it depends on whether or not they're using a non alcoholic spirit along with it. If they are, then I can justify it. In the end, non alcoholic products are way more expensive to make because when you think about the true zero proof spirits, the botanicals and the extracts and everything that has to go into this, and then the quality control and making sure that it doesn't ferment and all of that, it's very, it's much more expensive whereas when you think about a bottle of de alcoholized wine, it was fine, it's, there we go. It's gotten to the point where normally they would bottle it, cork it, ship it out to you. It now has to go through additional processing in order to remove it. And the centrifuging equipment is very expensive. Because many of the companies now what they do is they spin it. It goes through a centrifuging process in which the case they break out the essence and then they break out the alcohol and then they have to put everything back together. And two, it's just a lot of the products as well as with some of the companies, especially ones that have a big story behind them. They want these to be really high quality products. And so what's going into them are expensive and. What I find interesting is someone orders something off a menu at a restaurant and they feel like it should be worth more money than something that's not. And yet, anyone can create alcohol. We just talked about the jug of orange juice that's in your fridge. And so in society, we've put just such a high value on something that contains alcohol. Bingo. And in the end, it's these companies that are coming out with these. fantastic products that are still allowing people to have the experience like they're enjoying a cocktail but without the alcohol and in the end those are the ones that are again more challenging to make more expensive to make and until we see more of a mainstream I feel it becomes way more mainstream it's also just A lot of these are made in small batches. They're from smaller companies and that just ends up costing more. Yeah. That makes so much sense. Thanks for explaining that. Yeah.

Lindsey:

People justify blowing hundreds of dollars on booze for a party or, going out and buying shots and expensive bottles of wine at restaurants, but then when it comes to the non alcoholic. Beverages or, what's the word I'm looking for? Not beverage, but a mimic, people are like, what? It doesn't contain alcohol and it's still this much? It's the botanicals, it's the quality ingredients, it's the process of it. We're so like, I feel like we, the society is we're missing out or something if it doesn't contain alcohol. Yeah, and it's very true. And to a lot of the companies are also being very mindful of because often we see that correlation with when people remove alcohol, they want to be very mindful of their sugars. There's been also so many more studies done on chemical dyes and chemical colorants artificial anything. And so A lot of these companies are trying to create these superior products that match the alcohol free lifestyle that so many people are going for. Because oftentimes if someone is removing it, say for a health reason, then they do also need to stay away from, red dye 40 and, tartrazine and all of these other, questionable ingredients. So you can't just all of a sudden throw in kind of those cheap ingredients afterwards. And you do see a lot of them using, trying to use like non refined sugars and they try and keep them vegan. They try and keep them gluten free. And so that all comes at a, all comes at a cost for sure. Yeah. Yeah.

Tracey:

In a way you're paying for the experience too. You are so if you want to have that experience. And have it without the alcohol absolutely, and it's something that Shane and I often talk about. As individuals living an alcohol free life, we're happy to go to a restaurant and see a cocktail menu versus, and we'll call it cocktail versus non alcoholic cocktail. If they're using spirits and they're putting that effort in and everything else, we're like, yeah, okay, fine. 14 bucks for a cocktail, 16 bucks for cocktail. Yeah. We'll take it. And what we do also find is. The longer it has been since you've consumed alcohol and I jokingly say like a bottle of wine now for me last days because I'll pour myself a glass of wine and I can seriously sip on a glass of wine. and so that bottle of wine will last me, but, and then you're not actually craving to go back for more. And so very much to going out to a restaurant. I am very happy with a great cocktail in front of me and I can sit and enjoy that throughout my entire time. There might order a second one, but it's not often that you are looking. You finish it, or you drink it quickly, and then you're looking toward another one, and then you're looking toward another one, and there isn't that same urge to over consume as when you are drinking. Yeah, because you're not getting a buzz. Yeah. You're not chasing the buzz.

Jessie:

Yeah. Yeah.

Tracey:

Yeah. Yeah. That's so true. Because if I think about the times where I've had, alcohol free beverages, which I did a lot in the beginning, I don't so much anymore. But I still love if I'm out for dinner with friends or whatever, if there's a nice mocktail menu, then I definitely have it. And it does give you the sense of kind of participating or, that experience.

Kelly:

I'm finding that going out for dinner that the bartenders love we'll just ask for them to make up a cocktail for us without alcohol. And they love it because they get to use their creativity and we just say oh, we don't like anything too sweet. And we like, gingery or whatever you want to make. And then they come up with something and we've had some really fun drinks. Yeah.

Tracey:

You're right. If I have a non alcohol beverage, I'm having one, even if I had like non alcohol beer, which I had often at the beginning as well, I'm only having one or two maybe on a hot summer day.

Lindsey:

Even Pepsi or Coke. I'll have one of those once in a while, but in my drinking days at the bars, I would drink seven Ryan Cokes or something. I would never have seven glasses of pop. What? So it's now you've got this sugary beverage with alcohol. It's disgusting to think what you're putting in your body, because I would never sit there and binge drink pop.

Jessie:

It's not something that any of us can do. And it's funny too, that Shane and I both removed pop from our life a long time ago. But we used to drink diet and of course knowing aspartame and all of those goodies now definitely happy that we've removed that. But Like I just can't even and even like Tracey said about the beer and it's almost like my gut physically cannot consume that much liquid anymore when you think about it. And when I think about especially, whether it be Ryan Cokes or rum and cokes or whatever, like you say sugar number one on with alcohol, which is also sugar. I don't I really don't know how our bodies. Did it. No, really.

Kelly:

I know. Yeah, you guys were at VegFest. Yeah. And I bought, was it called Poppy? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Is there health benefits to that? It is.

Jessie:

It is. Okay. Yeah. Poppy is a fantastic. So many Canadians are so Poppy's really big in the States. So it was all, Ollie Pop's kind of the equivalent and competitor to it. So there's apple cider vinegar in it. And it's five grams or sugar or less for the entire can, like no artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners. They are yummy. And so yes, we had removed pop until I found Poppy. And now, they do have a cola flavor. They have a root beer. And so sometimes it's nice to sneak in something that is very reminiscent of what I used to enjoy.

Kelly:

It was super sweet. It was grape flavored. It was really, you had the great one. It was like childhood memories. It was Oh,

Jessie:

it was really fun. Yeah. Yeah. And those ones I love talking. So we actually have a few clients that do come in, like one recently shared to me, she has, a third of a can or half a can before bed at night because she has IBS. And she just said like it settles her stomach down and she has a really good night without having any, stomach issues. And interestingly, it's enough, like when our kids are sick, we will pull out the poppy. If they're having digestive issues or anything like that, because we know it's got the upside of vinegar and poppy was created by a mom, she wanted an alternative for her kids. And so it's funny that, yeah, it tastes good and it's low in sugar. And again,

Lindsey:

I have to come and pick that up. I've got, especially

Kelly:

if you love the, you said that you love the on Pepsi or whatever.

Lindsey:

I love the odd pepsi. Yeah. I love it. Yeah, come grab your cola and there's a Doc Pop there, like a Dr. Pepper. It's like one of those things where it's hard to believe that it's good for you. Like I was drinking it and I kept looking at the can and I'm like, really? Really?

Jessie:

Yeah, I know and when you really look and yeah, there's Stevia in it. That's some people's turn off is you're either pro Stevia or not so much on board with Stevia. So that's like the one thing that some people hesitate with. But. it's really good. We always just, same thing. We just especially if we're going out somewhere with the kids, we always just carry one around because I would rather. It's funny because even that might like, especially the sugars and things like it's already mindful. We think about those things for our kids already and to pour them a little bit of that while potentially other kids are cracking.

Lindsey:

Ginger ale. That's what my mom gave me when I had an upset stomach.

Tracey:

It sounds like a replacement or a healthy replacement for ginger ale. Cause yeah, that's what we used to get when we had an upset stomach. That's funny. But yeah, they are. They are awesome.

Lindsey:

Yeah. I think it's. I shouldn't be so judgy. Our last episode was talking about judgments, but it's like I find that the people who smoke cigarettes and drink are like, Oh, I'm not going to eat stevia. I'm like, Are you serious? Look at what you're putting in your body and you're gonna say you can't have a drink that has stevia in it.

Jessie:

Yeah. It's very true where, we in store, we meet people where they're at and doesn't matter what people are looking for or what people say, it's not for you. Cool. There's a reason why we carry so many different options.

Lindsey:

Even if sparkling water's in your store,

Jessie:

we do. Oh, no. Yeah. Yeah. We carry everything from bright water, which is local, to we bring in Ouroboros out of the States, which are like wild and wacky flavors, but yeah, we have everything from sparkling waters, which are like zeros across the board. To like I say a limoncello straight from Italy that is, does sit at 1 percent and, it's fantastic. But we know it's not for everyone and that's okay.

Kelly:

Yeah. We just did our last episode on judgment around living alcohol free. And I love that you said that it's, like you respect everybody's story and the reason why everybody's choosing to come in and explore. That's cool.

Tracey:

I love too that you're hearing everybody's story, like your customers, but you also know the story behind the products you're serving. So I think that's really neat and it must be really interesting for you guys from both sides to learn those things.

Jessie:

Some of them are amazingly happy stories. Some of them are harder to hear. Some of them hit closer to home, we definitely have noticed that especially here in Winnipeg and like Toronto still too new to say yet, but we have our regulars that come in and it's funny because, you get to know them and whether you see them every week or every other week. And you get to do that check in and be like, Hey how was this week? And you just get to see them and see where they're at. And I think a few of our regulars come to mind and I can only smile because we've had them walk in like just. swearing up a storm and just if I wasn't stopping here, I'd be stopping somewhere I didn't want to be stopping and kind of thing. And that just gave me chills. And it's just, it's nice. And we get to start creating, this safe place where people get to walk into And it's nice to see other places like we, people often say Oh, like I wish the liquor marts had more options or I wish the LCBOs had more options. And I said, yeah, for a lot of people, then it becomes a one stop shop, right? You're grabbing this and this for whether it's yourself or someone else. That could be a slippery slope though too, right? Yeah. It can be.

Kelly:

I haven't been inside. I won't go. I haven't been inside since I quit. No, I won't.

Jessie:

Good for you guys. And I think that's the biggest thing is someone walks through our door, and they know that, unless they have certain stipulations on what they are, preferences or whatever, for an individual who is open to exploring, whether it be to support moderating or sobriety or however you want to look at alcohol free life They can walk in and they have a team that is there specifically for that reason. whO is knowledgeable on the products, all of the products that they are actually looking for. Whereas again, if you walk into. An LCBO or a liquor mart, not to pick on those ones, but that's generally where people go, I don't know how much the staff are versed in the small little alcohol free section that are there but they can go grab anything off the shelf, they can try anything One of the fun things, and it'll be available in Toronto as well, but we have a tasting bar, and Lindsey got to experience that.

Lindsey:

I love that. I love that you, I know, everything you had us try was like, buy that, add to cart we need this. It was amazing, literally, if they have a bottle that's opened, you can try literally almost everything. It's great. Yeah. The nice thing is the spirits for the most part are self stable. So you treat them the exact same way as your alcohol bottles, right? Just don't store them on your windowsill and keep them in a cool dark place kind of thing. And a few of them need to be refrigerated, but for the most part you treat them the same way. And so for us, having those bottles available and for someone to walk in and be like, I really don't know what I want our, for someone to walk in and be like, you know what? I'm actually not sure if I'm comfortable with Mimics. And us to be like, okay, start with any amount, like just even smell it, and if they make a face when they smell and I'll be like, Hey, then how about let's move to something that, you would consume at a like time, but, doesn't have that flavor profile sort of thing. It's meeting people where they're at and trying to create an educational environment that's comfortable knowing that. You've walked into a place and you can't make a slip and grab, something, or you look and you don't like your options. So I'm gonna, I'm just going to go back to what I used to consume. Yeah. I love that about you guys. Where in Winnipeg, Jesse, can people find the silver market? Where are you guys at? We are on Academy at so Unit 2, 484 Academy, so we're at the corner of Boerbank and Academy. It's an old River Heights house where we've taken over, we've taken over the main floor. If anyone is from Winnipeg and you're familiar with where Missing Pieces used to be, or where the original Pine Ridge Hollow Furniture Store was, that's where we are. So our entrance is a little bit tucked back, but you will find us there. That's where we are in Winnipeg. And if you are in Toronto, we are at 511 Richmond West, so downtown, which is a lot of fun. And you will find us inside Beatrice Society Cafe, so right at the old water the Waterworks building there. So inside the cafe, we have The cafe is there, they do serve some of our stuff as well. But we have some displays set up, there's a ready to go fridge on the main floor there, and then upstairs on the second floor in the, there used to be seating up on the mezzanine, but that is the entire, the full bottle shop is upstairs now.

Kelly:

Very cool, and what about online? What about people who aren't in Vancouver, Toronto? Yeah,

Jessie:

yes, so online. it's the sober market s O B R. No Ian sober dot com and you will find lots of different products online. We try and keep it all up to date. I will say there are benefits to being right now in Winnipeg because we do bring in trial products, and they usually hit the shelves in the store first for us to test them out before they do end up hitting, say, the Canada wide U. S wide or even worldwide markets. So that is a perk to being in Winnipeg with us right now but yeah, online, and we are working on expanding parts of the website. Shane's been working hard on the newsletter. There's now going to be a blog section. We're going to be adding recipes. So we're more dedication is going to be going into starting to facilitate. And rewards I saw. And there's a rewards program. I was like, hey. Yes, there is a rewards program. So absolutely. And that's in store or online. And then we are finding ways to pair that also with Toronto. No matter where you purchase, you will definitely be able to gain rewards. And that's for percentages off dollars, off shipping options, all that.

Kelly:

That's amazing. And do you ship everywhere? We do. Okay. We ship all across the, that's important for everybody to hear that. Worldwide. Worldwide. Whoa. Yes. Where we're allowed to. We should. Worldwide. Yes. Absolutely. You also have an amazing social media presence. I love your Instagram account.

Lindsey:

Yep, I follow. Thank you. And you can definitely tell, if you go back in our social media, you can tell when I gave up being my own manager. I love it. I love doing that with companies, like scrolling back as far down as you can go to see the difference.

Jessie:

To see the difference. I love it. Yes. So it's funny because actually I was. I have an amazing social media manager. She is phenomenal. You will see her on because actually today, just with some things that it happened she's actually the one behind the bar. And Fernanda, I love you if you end up watching this. Her fiancéwas the one behind the camera, which normally it's flipped. I'm usually the one behind the bar. Yes. She's the one behind the camera. Yeah, it's social media. Gosh, I gotta tell you getting out of your comfort zone on that is, yeah, that. You're doing great. Thank you very much.

Tracey:

I was just going to say, I love how you're creating that experience and that education for people, because I think that in itself is probably really good marketing and makes people more open to trying something.

Jessie:

Yeah, and for us, it's really just again, trying to create a little bit more of a normalcy around all of this. We've seen a huge shift even in the last six months, but just opening up around conversations and, we're now doing these segments where. We're doing voiceovers of customer stories and we're keeping it completely anonymous, but just, people to recognize that, it's hearing those stories where everyone has their little unique pieces to it, but in some way, hopefully through the segment, someone will relate to almost everything that we end up doing. And and the educational piece, it's really just. Opening people's eyes to things that we didn't even know about. And I think that's the biggest thing as we became. Alcohol free through, the lifestyle decision. But ultimately in the end we were passionate consumers first and it was something that served us and something that supported us. And to now to be able to be like, yeah, Hey, I didn't know that either. And I'm the first person to admit this has been a learn as you go and. We just want to be able to share that and that a lot of people say, gosh, I didn't know that. And it's not a lot of people do when we talk about even the things you consume that contain alcohol, not a lot of people know it. It's just more people should just become aware of it. And that's why we try and do. A little bit more of those sorts of things on our social media.

Tracey:

Yeah, you're doing a great job like Kel said.

Jessie:

Thank you. Thank you.

Lindsey:

I love that. And then for your Instagram, where can people find you on Instagram? What is your handle?

Jessie:

The SoberMarket, so T H E S O B R Market yeah, that's it. Perfect. It's the same. We actually lucked out. Website, Instagram handle, Facebook handle, everything is the same. So we actually lucked out. Nothing is different. No added underscores or ones or anything, it's just the sobr market and that's it. Love it. Do we have any more questions for Jessie before we do a wrap up? Or Jessie, do you have anything that you want to talk about that we didn't ask you? Or maybe to close, what is something that you can tell the people listening about living alcohol free, something that maybe you were scared about before going alcohol free that now you've got a different perspective or a truth about living alcohol free. I think the biggest thing is someone needs to go first. I find depending on your life, someone needs to go first. Shane's and my life, our social lives, even some of our family life revolved around drinking, and It's interesting the conversations we've had with individuals in our close circle since making the decisions that I don't think anyone was shocked especially after we'd started the business, right? When people heard that I had made the decision to go alcohol free, I don't think anyone was really shocked, but I also find that number one, I'm way more confident. I had the business to back me on that. So I do have to say that was a little bit of a crutch for me to be saying I'm alcohol free or I'm sober and I'm proud of it. That's totally fine. And I'm totally comfortable saying no, I'm not just going to have just one but I feel like someone needs to go first I was having a conversation with customers around this, about how awkward it can make people feel. But at the same time, if it's especially a group or people that are in your inner circle, or people you see frequently, how it peaks curiosity, and then perhaps you get that, oh hey, I'll try that, or I'll have what you're having, or can we talk about this, and I just find that If you are one of those individuals who's been able to come out and share it's amazing how many people. Either maybe not follow, maybe they don't completely go alcohol free, but they look to moderate or they like to talk to you about it or they have questions or they want to give it a try with you for a month and they ask for support kind of all those things. So I think that was just a really cool thing is just to see what came from those who maybe, didn't know how to do it, because again, if you live in it. All the time. That is your social life and everything else. How do you be that person to step out and say, no, I'm going to be the one person that says no. Shane did it a year before I did. And I'm so proud of him because he led the way for me 100%. That would be a very interesting question for him too, because it's like being that first person, what around you and what follow after, is quite profound.

Kelly:

It's really cool.

Lindsey:

That was really good, Jessie. Wow.

Kelly:

I really hope you guys have a very busy holiday season. I think one of the It's already started. Good, these days, I think one of the worst things that people can show up at the door with is a gift of booze. Alcohol, because you never know what somebody's relationship is like with alcohol. If they're trying to quit, if they're struggling with an addiction. But I'm guessing you guys have some pretty amazing replacement gifts for... Alcohol,

Jessie:

we do gifts, advent calendars.

Tracey:

Yes, I love

Jessie:

them. We don't have any left though. I will warn you. Okay. But yes, and then that is something that probably come that first week of December. It's something that I'm very passionate about talking about and it really is about. Please keep in mind that, Kelly, it's exactly what you just said. You don't know who's walking through your door. And you don't know who's walking through your door today, and you don't know who's walking through your door tomorrow. And it could be your best friend, it could be a sibling, it could be a parent, you don't know. You don't know. Who's decided to make a change, who's struggling, no one's business, who just became pregnant, who's trying to get pregnant, who just got a diagnosis that they're not ready to talk about yet who just had a really hard day and is trying to avoid. That drink to hide or to, to blackout or whatever. So we will be talking about hosting tips and all of that.

Kelly:

Hosting too, yeah. Have some cool options for people.

Lindsey:

I love that. When you're hosting, be mindful of that. Being very mindful because someone walks through your door. What's the first question you either get asked walking through someone else's door. What's the first question you ask someone? What can I get you to drink? And the automatic assumption. Used to be, and we're trying to change this, is alcohol. What is it? And it's creating a zero pressure, equal offering. Sure, lay out your bar, your buffet, whatever. Clearly label what's alcohol free, what has alcohol. Leave it to them to decide. Just be like, drinks are over there. Because even asking that question becomes a challenge and if you just say drinks over there, it's a help yourself. Then that person gets to go and make that choice for themselves standing there. And it's not a face to face, needing to catch them in a moment. When they might not be ready to answer that question, right? And that's okay. Yeah, and so it's really just you do not know who's walking through your door today And it could change to tomorrow and just be very mindful and especially around the holidays it tends to be a very sensitive time of the year. So we just ask, please be mindful.

Kelly:

You're amazing, Jessie I love you, Jessie. Please check out Sobr Market if you're in Winnipeg or Toronto. Pick up some non alcoholic beverages. Please, for the love of God, have those available at holiday gatherings. Because I remember my first Christmas. I quit in December and I was brought a nice big bottle of red wine as my normal gift and I had to say that I wasn't drinking and that was hard.

Jessie:

But good for you for doing it. Yeah. Thank you. Congrats. That's huge. That's hard. Yeah, it is. All right. Thank you, Jesse, so much for coming on. I am just so excited about having you here. This is such an important topic and I love that your products can be shipped worldwide or you can go check them out in person in Winnipeg at 484 Academy Road or in Toronto and on their website. That's it for our episode today. You can head over, make sure you follow Sobr Market on social media. We'll link everything in the show notes and don't forget to follow our show as well so that you don't miss any new episodes. So we'll be back next Tuesday with a brand new episode and until then, you guys know what to do. Keep laughing.

Kelly:

Thank you for listening. Please give us a five star rating like and subscribe, share on social media and tell your friends. We love getting your feedback and ideas of what you'd like to hear on upcoming episodes of the LAF life podcast. If you yourself are living alcohol free and want to share your story here, please reach out.