Redefining Balance & Inclusion: A Conversation with Barbet's Andrea Grand

Redefining Balance & Inclusion: A Conversation with Barbet's Andrea Grand

In this exclusive highlight, we're thrilled to introduce Andrea Grand, the dynamic force behind Barbet, a Toronto brand that's redefining the non-alcoholic beverage industry with a profound sense of purpose that we’re all about: inclusion and balance.

Today, we dive into the inspiring story of Barbet's inception, its significant milestones, and the bright vision that propels them forward.

Inspiration and Challenges

  What inspired you to start Barbet, and what has been the most significant challenge you've faced on your journey?

Andrea: Barbet was born out of a real need. Our co-founder, Katie, has epilepsy. After a lousy 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. So we came up with a wild idea - to put alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks on a level playing field. To create full-bodied blends that don't shy away from being bold. We realized it wasn't just about creating something better in the can. It was about enhancing the entire experience and inspiring a more intentional drinking culture built around people, places, and memories. We realized that what matters most isn't a liquid's alcoholic payload but its capacity to elevate a mood or moment.

That's how Barbet was born. And why we make elevated sparkling water that you can drink straight out of the can or mixed with your favourite spirit, so you don't have to water down life's moments.

Milestones and Achievements

  Can you share a pivotal moment or milestone for Barbet that you're particularly proud of?

Andrea:We've hit some pretty awesome financial and operational milestones, but the biggest achievement continues to be the messages and emails we get from our customers, thanking us for making a product like Barbet. Thanking us for contributing to the conversation around mindful drinking and creating a product that challenges people to stop asking the question “why aren't you drinking?” and providing them something interesting to hold so they can focus on what [you are] drinking.”

Future Vision

 Looking ahead, what's one major goal you're working towards as a founder, and how does that tie into your vision for Barbet?

Andrea:We're really on a mission to put alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks on a level playing field, creating inclusive experiences and events and just generally contributing to a world that has less judgement in it.”

Advice to Aspiring Female Entrepreneurs

 What piece of advice would you give to aspiring female entrepreneurs looking to start their own venture?

Andrea: “Break down the big tasks into small, achievable ones that seem less overwhelming. Thinking about how to create, sell, market, or fund a product is a giant undertaking. Figuring out how to get the sleeve on the can is manageable.”

The Role of Barbet in Empowering Women

  In what ways does Barbet seek to empower women, both within your organization and in your community or customer base?

Andrea: “People were extremely generous with their networks and time as we built Barbet, and for that, we're forever grateful and feel a sense of responsibility to open doors for female founders and women coming up behind us. We have an open email policy and are happy to be that help that so many people were to us. For every purchase of Love Bite, we make a donation to Good to be Good and support the work they do to empower women and gender-diverse individuals through entrepreneurial development opportunities and workshops. Beyond the dollars, we also volunteer our time and product whenever possible.”

In a world where many products are simply catching onto a trend, Barbet stands out as a brand that is actively pushing for the societal change we need. Their mission aligns with ours: to make non-alcoholic beverages an integral part of all our social and private spaces.

As the pioneer brand they are in the non-alcoholic beverage space, we’ll continue to partner on many initiatives that push for change. Especially considering we’re Toronto neighbours with a shared purpose and values.

This wave is about transforming drinking culture into something healthier and more inclusive, aligning with our evolving lifestyles where health and wellbeing are prioritized more than ever. New generations are pushing for this change harder than ever, and together with brands like Barbet, we are committed to making it happen.