Soberlicious launched in 2021. Currently online-based, the store plans to open a brick-and-mortar shopfront on Dominion Road in Fort Erie for the summer tourist season.
In 2016, the Canadian Cancer Society launched Dry Feb, a fundraiser that challenges Canadians to go alcohol-free during the month of February. The purpose of the 28-day dry-out is two-fold: to help participants kickstart healthy habits and raise money for people affected by cancer. To date, the annual campaign has raised over $10 million.
For a lot of people, however, going alcohol-free for four weeks is no easy task, especially when a hard week’s (or day’s) work is ritually ended with a couple of cold beers or shared bottle of pinot noir.
That’s where non-alcoholic alternatives can help.
Zero-alcohol beers, wines, spirits, and mocktails can provide consumers with the same taste and sensory experience as their favourite brew or bubbly, all without – albeit somewhat regrettably – that ethanol-induced buzz, and everything else that comes with it.
But a high-quality selection of non-alcoholic drinks is something that the local Sobeys just doesn’t have. Grocery store options are often generic, low-grade, and minimal, at best.
Speciality stores, both online and brick-and-mortar, are where one has to go to get choice and quality non-alcoholic alternatives, and fortunately for Niagara residents looking to try Dry Feb or cut back on the booze more generally, the region just landed itself one of the largest stores on the Canadian market.
Not yet officially open to the public for in-person perusal (but taking delivery orders online), Soberlicious recently moved from Hamilton to Dominion Road in Fort Erie, beside Langdon Hardware.
The store offers one the largest non-alcoholic beverage catalogues in Canada, with dozens of zero-alcohol beers, wines, spirits, and mixed drinks to choose from.
The store ships anywhere in Ontario and Quebec until springtime, when it will once again begin shipping countrywide. According to co-owner Nicky Hill, Fort Erie residents get free delivery.
“New to Fort Erie but we’ve moved our business here and would love to share it with you,” Hill wrote on a local community Facebook group page last week. “For our local customers – you guys – we are offering free delivery too.”
Nicky and her husband David Hill launched Soberlicious in 2021, during the height of the pandemic. David, originally from the UK, is a third-generation hotelier, restauranteur, and wine importer who previously worked for over 35 years in the hospitality industry.
As David told online publication ‘Some Good Clean Fun’ in June 2021, he saw “there was a massive gap in the Canadian market when it came to alcohol-free beer, wine and spirits.” So, after some prompting from his wife, he decided to take up the task of making non-alcoholic alternatives more accessible to Canadians.
“This does not mean preaching ‘non alcoholism’ or ‘abstinence’,” Hill wrote on LinkedIn last year, “but how there are many alternatives out there that taste as good as alcoholic originals and are as much fun, but healthier, safer, just as social.”
According to Nicky, Soberlicious intends to open its Fort Erie shopfront for the summer tourist season and “if it goes well” the store will remain open year-round.
Anyone interested can order online from Soberlicious here.