With a love for exquisite food and beverage pairings, foodie Sharelle Klaus realized something was missing from the culinary world in which she so much indulged. And, she did something about it.
In 2005, Klaus, who was in between pregnancies and nursing, wanted a less sweet, natural non-alcoholic alternative worthy of pairing with a great meal, so she created her own – in her kitchen. By using extracts fresh fruits, herbs, spices and an in-home carbonation system, she was able to create different variations of cuisine-inspired soda flavors. Lavender was among the first of them, and it was the hardest to get right.
“I didn’t want it to be too strong or overpowering, but I also wanted the flavor to be pronounced and instantly recognizable,” Klaus said.
She experimented with different sweetness and acidity levels for each flavor. Once she created exactly what she was looking for, she took her “bubbly bevs” to local restaurants and spoke with chefs to get non-alcoholic pairings for their menu items. Thus, Seattle-based DRY Soda Company was born. (Dry, a word you’d use to describe a wine for example, means “less sweet.”) Soon after, many of the marquee restaurants in the area, including Crush, the Space Needle and Wild Ginger were serving DRY. DRY Sparkling is the name of the company’s first line of refreshments, with the classic Lavender still being one of them.
“I love Lavender DRY Sparkling with a cheese plate or with chocolate,” Klaus said. And I love Blood Orange or Cucumber DRY Sparkling with oysters.”
The year 2018 marked a couple firsts for Klaus. Not only was it the first time she had an all-female executive team, but her company also unveiled a new set of products that they have been working very hard on for two years. By that spring, DRY launched a line of sugar-free sodas, DRY Zero Sugar, which featured four varieties, Cola, Peach Tea, Mountain Berry and Island Fruit.
“We realized that there was huge opportunity to create USDA Organic, zero-sugar sodas in really fun, new flavors using clean ingredients that actually taste great,” Klaus said. “So many people are walking away from traditional soda or becoming bored with sparkling water, so this is our answer for them.”
In 2007, Michelin 3-star restaurant, The French Laundry, owned by renowned Chef Thomas Keller, was carrying Lavender DRY Sparkling. DRY secured national placement in Kroger in 2013 and in Target in 2016.
“Both of those milestones were huge, and I was so proud of the hard work of my team who helped make that happen,” Klaus said.
The company now has two lines of soda, which is sold in over 10,000 retailers nationwide, including Target, Kroger, HEB, Safeway and Amazon. This summer, keep an eye out for DRY’s Summer Celebration Bottles in Watermelon and Pineapple.