Welcome Lane! What made you start Nonny in the first place?
Prior to jumping into Nonny, my brother was working in a small brewery for about 5 years. Meanwhile, I was at Shopify. We were at a point in our careers where we started looking for our next thing.
And for a few years leading up to that point - I had been pushing my brother to look at the non-alcoholic trend. We were both beer drinkers and I was getting increasingly interested in the lifestyle benefits of cutting back on alcohol.
Eventually, I stopped getting the cold shoulder from my brother & we decided to give this a go. That was about 1 year ago.
Out of curiosity: What makes a good non-alcoholic beer?
The process of making non-alc beer is actually changing as we speak. The traditional way was to brew an alcoholic beer, and burn the alcohol right at the last stage. But that method also tends to kill off all the aromas that come with a beer.
So now - new methods are being tested, and the creativity of the brewer can really start to shine.
Tell us about your journey to this stage: What were some of the biggest hurdles?
There was a big learning curve in getting the product right. Finding the right group of people to partner with was really tough.
It wasn't as easy as approaching a brewery and saying “let's keep everything the change - and remove the alcohol”. Initially we were naive in thinking that any brewer would know how to accomplish our flavor profile - but that took a while.
Let’s chat about the website: You came from Shopify, so you had a good understanding of what could be achieved. How did you navigate that and how did Storetasker get involved?
My background definitely made things easier. I did the bulk of the work on the first version of the site, but eventually - some parts got quite technical, and that’s when I decided to spend my time more wisely & outsource that work to an expert via Storetasker.
That made my life much simpler. The entire Storetasker process was super quick too. Within days of submitting a brief, I had the desired functionality built out. It made me realize it was well worth the investment.
Let’s talk about the future: What are some of the things you want to unlock in the next 12 months?
We now have over 150 locations carrying the brand, so we'd really want to maintain that growth in the Vancouver area. As much as we want to expand rapidly, we want to make sure that we are supporting our retailers correctly. There's still so much to be done.
Last question from me: If you had to summarize your success with 1 insight, what would it be?
We're really focusing on bringing Nonny directly into bars and restaurants first, and grocery second. By doing this we've been able to get feedback directly from the people pouring the beers, and learn from their experience serving customers in different settings and demographics. It's proved to be a great feedback channel for both product and brand, and we tend to get better unfiltered feedback than when we're sampling with our customers directly.