What happens when a group of longtime friends get together over drinks and — unexpectedly — come up with a business prospect? It’s a story that’s not all that unfamiliar, but how often do those ideas, stirred casually among pals, actually fully materialize?
In the case of Scott Miller, Jeff Wang, and Craig Rudder — co-founders of GoodTimesDrinks — an evening of gin and tonics spurred a full-blown business, filling a gap in the ready-to-drink market.
“Craig had just got a basil mint plant and proceeded to make Jeff and I a couple of G&Ts. We absolutely loved how he made them — one thing led to another and we decided we should make these for everyone. Just like that, the idea for GoodTimesDrinks was born,” Miller tells us.
Looking for alternatives to overly sweet tonics and the usual roster of flavours, the friends decided to create a lineup of ready-to-drink gin and tonics that would put a refreshing twist on a cocktail classic.
The trio, which have a long creative history together, credit music for bonding them together and allowing them to become the entrepreneurs they always aspired to be.
“We met in elementary and high school 20 years ago and through the local music scene got to know each other,” says Rudder. “We started a hard rock band that we played in for many years. To this day, we still get together and jam.”
While music may be the creative gel that allowed this trinity to form, it’s the notion of “good times” and creating a product that would allow others to connect and share their own moments — whether they be music, nature, or adventure related — that truly defines the brand.
Maintaining that connection to home was also crucial, which is why their lineup is 100% locally produced in BC using quality, all-natural flavours.
“We are capitalizing on being a flavourful, calorie-wise option. The less sweet, more refreshing approach is the focus of our brand,” Wang tells us.
At only five grams of cane sugar and 120 calories, GoodTimes is paving the way for a new category of beverage that straddles the line between no-sugar and high-sugar beverages. Infusing the ready-to-drink market with unique flavour profiles consumers wouldn’t find elsewhere was also paramount, leading to a starting line-up of flavours that includes Refreshing Lime, Pink Grapefruit, Raspberry Rose, and Cucumber Basil Mint.
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True to its name, the Refreshing Lime flavour delivers a crisp, refined take on the gin and tonic with its bright lime notes and hints of juniper and coriander. From its inception, Cucumber Basil Mint incorporated linchpin ingredients they knew would be foundational — with cucumber taking the starring role.
As for Pink Grapefruit, from the moment they infused gin and tonic with the citrusy, aromatic notes of grapefruit, they knew they had a winner that struck the perfect balance between sweet and bitter. Raspberry Rose, on the other hand, is where fruity meets floral with its subtle, fruity tartness and warm, rose undertones.
With the team busy at work creating new flavours, gin-and-tonic-lovers also have a potential new release of flavours to look forward to for Fall 2021.
For now, consumers can sample each delicious flavour with the new GoodTimes Refresher Pack, which includes the full thirst-quenching roster in the form of a versatile 12 can mix-pack.
While the young entrepreneurs started the brand with good times in mind, facing the usual challenges of a startup during a pandemic certainly wasn’t without its share of hard times. “A lot of curveballs have been thrown our way over the past year, and we’ve had to adapt and overcome them while still learning the ropes of the industry,” says Miller.
But by taking a “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” approach, the team is taking its lessons learned and applying them to growing their ever-expanding business. For them, it’s only the beginning.
“Our focus right now is solely on growing the brand in BC with our eyes on expansion east to the rest of Canada in the future,” Wang says.
As for what “good times” means to them? “Live life to the fullest and have a good time while you’re doing it,” says Rudder. We’ll cheers to that.
To learn more about GoodTimesDrinks and where to find them, you can visit goodtimesdrinks.com.