Doncaster entrepreneur with thirst for success launches new independent drinks brand Vais

A 31-year-old serial entrepreneur from Mexborough is celebrating having seen an idea he had whilst on a tour of the United States, come to life - Nicky Story, CEO of Nicky Story Holdings and Founder of Supplies for Candles, which also incorporates The Soap Kitchen, Ava May Aromas and Glassprint Ltd, has branched out into a new market with his latest venture - as he brings a new drinks brand to market.
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A low calorie, alcoholic hard seltzer VAIS (pronounced Vice), was born out of his own desire to replicate a drink he loved in the States, which he had struggled to find in the UK.

After deciding to embark on a health kick and make more ‘health conscious decisions’, Nicky was attracted to hard seltzer drinks, but found it near impossible to find a low calorie drink that also tasted good.

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After trying several other seltzers on the market and not being impressed, Nicky decided to create a drink that filled this gap.

Doncaster entrepreneur Nicky Story.Doncaster entrepreneur Nicky Story.
Doncaster entrepreneur Nicky Story.

A refreshing premium fruit seltzer at 96 calories per bottle, with 100 per cent natural flavours, VAIS comprises of alcohol (4.5 per cent alc/vol), fruit and soda water. The initial products are Lemon & Lime / Black Cherry & Raspberry / Mango & Passionfruit.

Since the start of his product development more hard seltzers have hit the marketplace - but are all in cans - Nicky, with his glass printing factory, was determined to differentiate and create a premium product in a glass bottle - and this is the only one on the market.

Nicky said: “VAIS Drinks differentiates itself from other hard seltzer brands through its unique packaging. While many competitors use regular aluminium cans that may look similar, VAIS Drinks sets itself apart by using glass bottles that are screen printed in gold. This premium packaging creates a visually appealing and eye-catching display on retail shelves, attracting attention from consumers.”

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Nicky added of its USP: “When it comes to great tasting drinks there’s often a compromise to be made. Do you want something full of flavour, but also full of calories? Or do you choose to ‘be good’ and go for less calories but end up sipping on something that tastes like water?

Doncaster entrepreneur with thirst for success launches new independent drinks Vais.Doncaster entrepreneur with thirst for success launches new independent drinks Vais.
Doncaster entrepreneur with thirst for success launches new independent drinks Vais.

"Our fruit seltzers not only pack a punch with flavour, but they’re also under 100 calories. This emphasis on natural flavours and ingredients resonates with the increasing consumer demand for healthier and more wellness-oriented beverage options.”

Testing the market out in Ibiza with the likes of Eden Nightclub, Nicky found the drink was well received and is now excited to be launching it in the UK. Initially launching direct to consumers via www.vaisdrinks.com, the plan is to then roll out via distributors to pubs and clubs and Nicky is drawing upon his DJ network to provide Ibiza themed launch parties to all who become stockists.

“I am super passionate about this product - so much so, that I have said, the first supermarket to stock VAIS, I will tattoo on my leg!”

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This is definitely a passion project for Nicky who believes it’s important to invest time into doing things that you love, he continues: “VAIS is definitely a new direction for me, but it’s really exciting to work on something that really fits with my own interests.

"I believe we are all more than our businesses, and it’s important to ensure we make time to do what we enjoy socially too. You won’t find me chained to my desk every night. Being an entrepreneur and business leader is just one aspect of who I am, not the whole picture. I love the Ibiza lifestyle, I love music, travel and socialising so this feels like a really fun business to develop.”

Nicky graduated from Leeds University with a degree in Business and Management and started his business in his dad’s garage.

He spent four long years working hard to build the business, a one-man band juggling all of the roles: packing, buying, e-commerce, marketing, design, and production.

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He says of those early days: “I had no idea what I was doing, but I desperately wanted to succeed.”

In 2021 Nicky was honoured with a Great British Entrepreneur Award for Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year. Nicky’s existing businesses are booming, having experienced rapid growth over the past three years, with the group more than tripling in size, serving over half a million+ customers, employing over 50 members of staff and with a predicted turnover of £20m in the near future.

To find out more about VAIS, please visit: www.vaisdrinks.com. For more on Ava May Armoas visit https://avamayaromas.com/

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