WILLISTON, Vt. (WCAX) Local Sweet was served at farmers' markets in the spring of 2018. The popularity of this Made in Vermont pop led to it being bottled and sold in stores. It's another stage of success for a couple of friends who made a name for themselves performing on stage.
During the mid 2000s Will Read and Joshua Pfeil were jamming out all over the country as part of the Burlington based band, The Casual Fiasco.
"We'd play anything for $100 or more. Any club, anywhere," Pfel said. "Filling up a room and seeing people jump around -- it was the best feeling actually."
The two parted ways after the band split. Read moved to New York City while Pfeil stayed in Vermont to work in the food industry, eventually ending up as the president of A Drop of Joy, an organic certified food production company in Williston. "Hot sauce, barbecue sauce, sour mix, things like that you would see on the shelves in the box stores," Pfeil said.
One item he always wanted to produce was his own carbonated drink. Once he had the means to do it, all he needed was a partner. He eventually convinced Read to move out of the Big Apple and back to the Green Mountain State to do the labeling, marketing and sales of Local Sweet.
"I was also starting my own company and that took all of my focus to do. So, it was a little while before I could devote just a little bit of attention to what's become one of the most fun projects and businesses I've ever been apart of," Read said.
The sweet in Local Sweet comes from Vermont honey and Slopeside Maple syrup. It's sugarcane free.
"We wanted it to fit somewhere on the shelves and we didn't want a Kombucha or a health drink and we didn't want pure sugar water," Read said.
"We made very much sure that we had a soda that we adored, and we don't put anything out that we don't love,"Pfeil said.
They currently have three flavors and it sells for $3.49.
"So this is our number one seller -- it's Zing Ale. It's fresh pressed organic ginger, pineapple juice and we sweeten it with local Vermont maple syrup. It's awesome," Read said.
"There's customers of ours, both retailers and consumers, who love our product in a way I never expected," Read said.
Two former band mates who found success making music, drinking in their latest accomplishment.