How do you start a whole new category of beverage — without any experience in the beverage industry? This week, we dip back into the archives for my 2005 interview with Sharelle Klaus, founder and CEO of DRY Soda. A former dot-com entrepreneur with a passion for food and wine, Sharelle was fed up with the lack of sophisticated beverage options available to her when she went out to eat while pregnant with each of her four children. She channeled that frustration into the launch of a startup focused on crafting culinary sodas, an entirely new category that would fill the gap for a huge untapped market.
When we spoke in 2005, DRY Soda had only been in business about a year, but it had already taken the West Coast by storm and was in the process of expanding nationwide. Today, DRY Soda can be found in restaurants and stores across the U.S. as well as internationally and online. Building on the success of their “botanical bubbly” line of eight culinary sodas, Sharelle also recently released her mixology manual, “The Guide to Zero-Proof Cocktails.” This episode takes you back to those heady early days, as Sharelle describes coming up with the recipes for the first four flavors, making her first sales, raising funding and building her team.
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