HOUSTON – Whether you currently live an alcohol-free lifestyle, are struggling to get to the finish line of Dry January, or are just looking to cut back on the booze, you might want to make a stop at Sipple, the new non-alcoholic bottle shop in Houston’s Rice Village. From dealcoholized wine to functional spirits, husband and wife team Danny and Helenita Frounfelkner have something in stock for every sober curious person.
“It’s basically a nonalcoholic bottle shop. So, imagine a liquor store without any of the liquor in any of the bottles,” said Helenita.
Sipple opened its doors in October 2021. At the time of its opening, Sipple was only the 7th of its kind in the U.S. and the first in the state of Texas.
Those expecting artisan soda pop, seltzers or fancy grape juice are in for surprise. Sipple’s shelves are stocked with real adult beverages, around 150 highly curated products, all vetted and handpicked by Danny and Helenita.
“We’re not the Amazon of the alcohol-free world nor do we want to be. We’re purposefully looking for the best,” said Danny. “If we stock it and carry it, we stand behind it. I always tell people, ‘If I won’t drink it, it’s not here.’”
With more than 20 years of experience in the beverage and hospitality industry, Danny definitely knows his drinks. But, in 2019 he realized that alcohol was having a negative impact on his quality of life.
“I had a very unhealthy relationship with alcohol. I had to like look myself in the mirror and look at why I’m drinking,” said Danny. “I actually wanted to live my life with more intention, more mindfulness.”
During the pandemic, Danny decided to go alcohol-free, which led him to discover what alternative alcohol options were out there, and it turns out that Houstonians were interested to see what he and Helenita found.
“It’s just been phenomenal to see how Houston has responded to this store. I think we knew we were on to something big, but we had no idea,” said Helenita. “We bootstrapped this whole operation, you know. It’s just the two of us kind of grinding away, and it’s been amazing so far.”
The Frounfelkners have had a lot to juggle between the startup of Sipple, full-time jobs and caring for their three young kids, but it’s a venture they’re passionate about nurturing to help change the way people think about nonalcoholic beverages.
“There’s a lot of judgement that comes with it. There’s embarrassment that comes with it for some people,” said Helenita. “We’re here to kind of shift that narrative from ‘Why aren’t you drinking’ to ‘What are you drinking?’”
Danny and Helenita hope Sipple can grown into a community where people can connect and learn more about alcohol-free options without any judgement.
“We want to support full inclusion. So, come as you are. Drink what you want. No matter what your why is,” said Danny. “You’re taking a night off, a week, a month, a year, a lifetime – it doesn’t matter. We got you.”
Sipple is located at 2410 Quenby St Ste. 100, Houston, TX 77005. They offer tastings at the shop every Saturday from 2 - 5 p.m. and will be hosting a tasting and meet the founder event on Saturday, January 29 with Rasāsvāda owner Connor Godfrey. To connect with Danny and Helenita Frounfelkner, click here.
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