Barbet was born out of a real need by sisters Andrea & Katie. When Barbet co-founder, Katie, who has epilepsy suffered from a seizure in March of 2020, she decided to go 0% ABV for a period of time. She didn't miss drinking, but she did miss the connection and feeling of inclusivity that came along with it. All the good times when friends came together to share a drink didn't have the same sparkle because the zero-alcohol options at the time lacked the same magic as their alcoholic counterparts. With a pop or a soda you would have at the kids table, the options out there weren't aimed at the modern human.
Barbet is a sparkling water brand that aims to put alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks on a level playing field. With a strong attention to flavour, design, brand values and charitable donations to local causes, Barbet is a big-time brand to watch in the non-abv drink space.
If chosen to receive the $10,000 fund, what would you use it for?
Grow our sales through sampling!
We are currently available in over 100 stores across Ontario, with a focus on cafes, mom + pop shops, bodegas, speciality grocers and community hubs (concert venues, shared office spaces, studios, etc). We don't currently have aspirations for the big grocery chains as we want to build community around our cans, and that can only be done by showing up in person, putting a face to the brand and getting people to try our full-flavoured approach to sparkling water. By taking on the strategy we did, that means our stores are few and far between. The $10,000 would go a long way in putting together a sampling program across Ontario. Allowing our completely female-empowered team to introduce Barbet to new friends, and hopefully meet some of our customers in person. The benefit in getting liquid to lips would be priceless for us!
What is one of your goals for 2023?
Our biggest goal for 2023 is to grow distribution, which is why we would spend that $10k on sampling. We want to go deeper with our current customers, but are ready to graduate into the next level of speciality grocery stores in Ontario, and have aspirations to move out West + East. We also want to hire for some key roles - Sales, Operations and Finance. We know where our strengths are as founders, and want to bring in key people to head up these departments to push us into the next small business echelon.
Why do you think you deserve to receive this fund?
We believe anyone who has started their own business probably deserves this funding - being a small business owner is HARD! For Barbet, we know we have the ability to see this business grow, but we just need a little bit of help! We conduct ourselves with kindness, compassion and empathy - traits that are sometimes forgotten about in a dog-eat-dog-world. We like to lift other businesses up with us, and learn from anyone who is willing to teach us. Our early traction in the GTA + Ontario has been steady, and the community we are growing is enthusiastic. This $10k would be absolutely incredible for us to break through the noise at store level.