Before founding SIPP, you were a mixologist. Where did you work?
Beth Wilson-Parentice: I worked at a coffee shop that turned into a bar at night called Xando Coffee & Bar, which was later bought by Cosi. I created most of the drinks on their menu. Later on I created my own organic cocktail catering company called Eco Bar.
Is there anything you miss about tending bar?
Beth Wilson-Parentice: What I miss most about being behind the bar is the interaction with all different types people. I loved hearing their stories and also sharing the cocktails I created with them. The positive now is even though I’m not behind the “bar”, I am always out at the trade shows and events that we do with SIPP. In a sense, it’s the same sort of feeling, getting to know all different types of people and hearing their feedback. Especially when we serve cocktails after 3:00 at the tradeshows!
What exactly inspired SIPP? Was it a lack of similar products on the market?
Beth Wilson-Parentice: The idea of SIPP sprouted during my time catering events and serving organic cocktails. People would ask me all the time how they could create the cocktails I was making at events for themselves at home. When I began to tell them the fresh ingredients they needed to buy and muddle, I would see their eyes glaze over and they just gave me this blank stare. They said there was no way they had time to put all that effort in for one drink. I never found anything on store shelves that I felt comfortable recommending to people to mix with. That’s how I came up with the idea for Sipp. If I could create an organic beverage with layers of flavor and no artificial ingredients, it would work as a mixer for cocktails or as a stand-alone beverage.
Is it a coincidence that SIPP is a low-calorie drink? Or was that one of the main objectives?
Beth Wilson-Parentice: I wanted to keep SIPP mid to low calorie, so all of our bottles are 100 calories for the full 12 ounces. The 10.5 ounce cans are a small portion size so lower calorie. I wanted people to feel like they could enjoy SIPP as an alternative to really sugary, syrupy, high-calorie sodas and juices. It’s possible to have great flavor, a crisp, refreshing taste, and not load in tons of artificial ingredients and fake stuff. SIPP is sweetened lightly with agave, which is both to keep in line with using all natural, organic ingredients and it’s also part of the taste profile.
Do you have a favorite of the SIPP flavors?
Beth Wilson-Parentice: I really don’t. Each SIPP flavor is kind of like one of my children. I mean, I created them all. I spent a lot of time, sometimes years, developing each flavor and getting the balance right. So I really can’t say I have a favorite, since perfecting each one has kind of been a journey. I do go into phases where I’ll drink one more than the others.
What’s coming up for SIPP in 2017? Is there a possibility of more flavors coming out in the future?
Beth Wilson-Parentice: Our newest flavor, Ruby Rose — consisting of ruby red grapefruit, honey, and rosemary organic extracts — will be available in stores in March 2017. We’ve received a lot of positive feedback from those who have tried it, so we are excited. I am also in the process of developing another flavor that will come out later in the year.
What was the first bar or store in New York to take on SIPP?
Beth Wilson-Parentice: I believe one of the first places to carry Sipp was 2 Beans on Park Avenue. Whole Foods Market was also one of the first retailers to bring in SIPP, and they brought it into all of their New York City locations.
SIPP aside, what is your drink of choice?
Beth Wilson-Parentice: Well, I have many! I drink a lot of tea. Especially, green tea. In the world of alcohol, I’ve been getting away from vodka and drinking bourbon lately. I also love a great IPA beer and Pinot Noir is my wine of choice. I do have to add, even though it’s SIPP — guess I can’t help myself — I think my drink of choice will be our newest flavor Ruby Rose. It’s like a twist on Fresca which was one of my favorites growing up! And as a side note, it goes great with gin!
When not busy with SIPP, how do you like to spend your free time?
Beth Wilson-Parentice: I have a teenage son, I try to spend as much time with him as I can. I also love to entertain and travel. However, SIPP does take up a lot of my time!
Do you have a favorite restaurant in New York?
Beth Wilson-Parentice: I love Indian food and my latest New York City favorite is Tamarind Restaurant in TriBeCa.
Finally, Beth, any last words for the kids?
Beth Wilson-Parentice: Always follow your passion. We spend the majority of our lives working so we might as well do something we enjoy and are passionate about. Also, one thing I’ve learned over the years is to put yourself out there, you never know what may come back. One of my favorite quotes: “There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” —Nelson Mandela