Bill Gamelli, 45, of Wenham, spent 15 years in finance and cofounded an education software startup in China before becoming “a Wall Street escapee.”
“In my heart I was an entrepreneur,” he said. He tossed around a few ideas, then was inspired by his wife, Tracy, to start the company Mocktails, (mocktails.com) which makes nonalcoholic cocktails.
Q. What was the spark?
A.My wife was trying to get pregnant and not drinking. She said it wasn’t fun trying to be social and having people asking questions about why.
Q. She’s not alone?
A. A lot of people have the same issue, but don’t talk about it. Almost half the population are considered nondrinkers. I found cocktail recipes online, but nothing in a packaged product. I thought it was an underserved market. I said, “Honey. I think we can make a drink for you and a real business.”
Q, What are the products?
A.Research showed the most popular cocktail flavors are margaritas, cosmopolitans, sangria, and whiskey sours. So we created a line of those flavors. And they come in a patented reusable shaker bottle.
Q. Why are they different?
A. There is a focus on the ingredients and there’s no high fructose corn syrup, no preservatives, no artificial sweeteners, no allergens, low sugar, and no gluten. They are indulgent but low-calorie. (45 to 60 calories per serving, with four servings in each bottle. Just add ice, shake, and pour.)
Q. Availability and cost?
A. The product is available online and in 70 stores from New Hampshire to Washington, D.C. We are about to double that. Locally, at Crosby’s Marketplace stores, Shubie’s Marketplace in Marblehead, The Vineyard in North Andover, Danvers Butchery, and McKinnon’s in Salem, N.H. Online, a four-pack [16 drinks] costs $39.95.
A.We love to see the person not drinking getting a beverage on par with a person who is drinking. They are ready-made and easy to serve. It’s a work-free way of enjoying a cocktail.
Q. Other perks?
A. It’s dual purpose by design. It’s a cocktail you can drink alone or add alcohol to. We want people to enjoy themselves and have fun together.