New Yorkers like to drink, and so do young entrepreneurs Ryan Laverty and Sal Campisi. So, what do two under thirty-year-olds do to merge what they like to do with what they want to do career-wise? They of course decided to take on one of the most competitive industries in the world and create VIDE, a 6x Distilled, Gluten-Free Vodka, that comes in a variety of natural fruit flavors; And because we are in 2019, making sure your products are healthy is key, and so VIDE made sure that unlike other beverages, their’s is one of the healthiest on the market and they are fully transparent about all the ingredients they use!
The Levity Ball sat down with the VIDE masterminds for a few drinks and to learn more about how they have been taking over New York City one sip at a time…
1. How and why did you first decide to create VIDE?
I think it was a combination of a few different things. It’s funny, after people graduate college, they tend to have this epiphany of sorts, where they need to start living healthier lifestyles. I’d say Sal and I fell into this boat. Often times, we were looking at ingredients and caloric information on the foods and beverages we were consuming, but that practice came to a halt when we were drinking alcoholic beverages. We took a look at the market and noticed a real lack of transparency within the canned alcoholic beverage segment. We set out to make something for people like: those who demand transparency- you knew exactly what the ingredients were, those who appreciate quality- we’re using a premium, real spirit, and finally those who had more ‘health-aware’ tendencies.
2. Why the name VIDE?
Vodka I’d Definitely Enjoy!
3. Was it difficult to put on the market a new premium canned cocktail beverage?
The learning curve for the beverage industry is vast- very supply chain focused. As we always said, “If it was easy, everyone would do it.” Especially for two professionals who did not come from the beverage industry, or supply chain focused roles, there was a lot of networking and learning to do on our end. However, we quickly identified the right contacts and spent months learning how the space worked. We are still learning more about the industry every day, and we are eager to continue to build our expertise in this field. Finally, I’d add, this industry is dominated by some of the largest beer and alcohol brands in the world. However, that’s what the Vide story is all about- two young determined entrepreneurs from New York City, ready to take on the big guys and shake things up.
4. What makes your drink different than others out there?
Vide is a very unique brand. Through our strategic partnership approach, we are able to quickly and effectively resonate with our target consumers. Our story has a lot to do with it- people appreciate what we are trying to do here. From a product standpoint, we are founded on transparency. We want to make it as easy as possible to understand what our product is made of. Part of the reason we created the brand was because we were tired of being deceived by many of the other ‘hard seltzer’ brands out there. At times when we thought we were drinking vodka and seltzer water, for example, it was nothing more than malt liquor made from fermented cane sugar, which did not embody our health-aware lifestyles.
5. Being young entrepreneurs from here in New York… did the NY upbringing help with your drink’s “no nonsense” approach/branding?
New York defines who we are, not just as a business, but as people too. Growing up in New York, you quickly realize that being fake or deceptive just doesn’t fly here. That same way of life is what defines Vide as a brand: those who live life to the fullest, and never settle for anything but the best.
6. What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Plan for the unexpected. In a supply chain focused business, things never go ‘as planned’. We’ve learned very quickly you always need to have a back up plan.
7. What is your advice to others looking at getting into the beverage industry?
I’d say do as much market research as possible. Get as much feedback as possible before launching a brand. Know your consumer, and understand exactly how your product caters to them. Also, look at the competition- see what other brands are doing. It makes you stay up to date with preferences and trends, and keeps you innovative.
8. Where in New York can people buy VIDE? And what other markets can they shop in?
We’ve got a pretty big presence in liquor stores all across Manhattan and Long Island. An interactive map is available on our website (drinkvide.com) that shows all of our available locations.
9. What’s your own personal favorite flavors?
I’m a cranberry guy, Sal prefers the watermelon. Both are fantastic- super light, natural and clean taste. Taking risks and working hard. Leaving a conventional, secure career to take a risk on a launching a company is no easy task. People that do things like this deserve more credit. It’s exactly what society tells you not to do. But I know we’re onto something here, and when we look back on it, we’ll remember that hard work pays off. We’ve been working around the clock for months and will continue to do so. Two guys risking it all to take on some of the biggest alcohol brands in the world. That’s our story.