This is our very first blog post. This is a brand I have put my heart and soul into and this blog is intended to give you insight into my inspiration, in the hope it positively resonates, even in a small way.
The sunrise is such an integral part of the Sobrii story. Not only as a representation of our brand but also a deep-rooted and meaningful story that I believe, helps bring the brand to life. Part of the reason I chose it was because while I explored the motivations around drinking less alcohol I found health, hope and productivity to be central themes. The sunrise was a perfect reflection of all these attributes and a potent symbol of sobriety. It represented what I wanted Sobrii to portray. But there is more...
During the time I was developing the brand and the product, something happened that had a deep and profound impact on me.
On Wednesday, March 13, 2019 I was on my way to the distillery where I was commercializing Sobrii’s unique process. It was a crucial day because I was meeting with a food safety consultant to determine whether or not the techniques that had been developed in the lab could actually be done in a distillery. The distillery (Junction 56) in Stratford, Ontario is very close to where I grew up - at the time, my dad was still living on the farm. Living in Toronto, I often took the opportunity to drop in for a quick visit with dad before my distillery visits . This was one of those mornings.
As I approached the farm I passed the hamlet where I went to school, church and the cemetery (an integral part of our family). I passed by a farm right outside the hamlet, that I had known all my life. It’s best days are in the past, but that morning the sun was just rising. It was a phenomenal sunrise that painted these old farm buildings in a waterfall of colours. The solar masterpiece made me stop and look.
Alas I was on schedule and I arrived at my dad’s farm 2 minutes later. He was outside looking at the sunrise as well. We both admired it for the next couple of minutes and without saying a word, we both knew we were in agreement about the beauty and power of the sunrise. It was his favourite time of day. Agreement wasn’t always something that came easy to us. If fact conflict always more common. I was told my dad and I were very similar and when I'd look in the mirror I never liked what I saw. My trips to the farm were part therapeutic and part an effort to put to rest relationship demons that perpetually haunted me. He wasn’t a person that could easily communicate his emotions so it was always challenging to receive the support you wanted from someone you respected and admired.
That morning, I updated dad on Sobrii's progress. He told me that the sunrise was a sign for me and that he thought I would be very successful with it. I was startled, as he didn’t generally express himself like this. I left there feeling inspired, motivated and determined. I didn’t know it at the time, but, exactly one year ago today, was the last time I saw or spoke to my dad. He passed away 3 weeks later.
The words exchanged and sunrise shared have forever been imprinted on my mind, heart and soul.
As I developed Sobrii and reflected on that sunrise and the loss of my dad my vision became clear, but, not only for the brand. I found creating Sobrii helped me fill the void that existed for so long. In settling my dad’s affairs and creating my business, so many things started to make sense to me. I opened my eyes to see the path my dad was trying to show me. In My Father’s House, Bruce Springsteen wrote, “I awoke and imagined the hard things that pulled us apart will never again, sir, tear us from each other’s hearts.”
I miss my hero, but I am reminded of him at every sunrise and every time I look in mirror I like what I see. I truly hope you can find your path to serenity when you most need it. You now know mine.
Thank you for sharing this Bob and I know your Dad would be very proud of the wonderful product you have developed and the business you have created. Continue the good work.