When is a brand more than just a brand? When it’s a vibe.
SHOKI, a Black- and woman-owned beverage brand inspired by West African flavors and Caribbean heritage, is a great example.
Transcending commercial branding to become a vibe doesn’t just happen. It comes from a brand’s culture, and that culture is informed by the people at the top.
SHOKI’s vibe—which eludes concrete description but includes laid-back fun and sophistication—comes directly from co-founder Tiffany Yarde’s influence.
For reasons with which we’re all too familiar, we’ve all had to change how we interact and engage with people and brands. During this year’s all-digital Bar Convent event, that meant booking meetings and networking online.
There tends to be at least a moment or two of awkwardness when “meeting” someone via Zoom or any other video conferencing platform. Reading body language and cues doesn’t come as naturally through a screen as it does in person. Talking over others or unnatural lulls in conversation have become a common manifestation of 2020 awkwardness.
My meeting with Yarde was nearly bereft of any bungling. In fact, the only awkward moment came down to a technical issue at the very beginning of our conversation.
Yarde and I simply vibed—we clicked and had a natural conversation. We “got” one another and chatted beyond the time we had scheduled for our meeting.
The ease with which Yarde and I got along embodies the SHOKI tagline: “Good vibes only.” A quote from Yarde further explains the brand’s operating philosophy: “Good food, good wine, and good weed bring people together.”
You see, there are two lines to choose from: the original and a cannabis-based range. Both are alcohol-free, both serve as alternatives to traditional cocktails, and both are produced to engage the consumer’s senses and their engagement with other people.
Expressions in the original line are intended to be enjoyed on their own or mixed with spirits. Ruby Spice, arguably the beverage and lifestyle brand’s flagship flavor, plays very well with dark rum. The expression is also based on a recipe created by Yarde’s grandmother that combines hibiscus with ginger and spices.
Then there’s the cannabis-infused range. Just like the original range, SHOKI’s cannabis beverages are made with real juices, roots, herbs and botanicals, and contain zero artificial flavors, sweeteners or alcohol.
For the cannabis expressions—Ruby Spice, Passionfruit, Pineapple, and Mint—SHOKI has tapped Vertosa to dose their cannabis beverage range through nanoemulsion tech. Each attractive 355ml glass bottle contains 30mg of THC and zero CBD, providing another way to vibe with SHOKI.
Described as “Christmas in July” earlier this year, SHOKI Ruby Spice is poised to be an in-demand expression this holiday season in both original and cannabis-infused form. Given how 2020 has gone, I’d say we could all use a sip of something that will help us vibe out.
Images courtesy of SHOKI
I’ve been studying and writing about the hospitality industry since 2006. Like so many people, I started my journey in this business by working as a host, server and bartender. I was introduced to nightlife in Chicago, learning the ins and outs of nightclubs and after-hours hot spots.
After moving to Las Vegas nearly 20 years ago, I both co-owned a valet company and helped promote the club it serviced. That led to me taking on the role of editor for a Las Vegas hospitality industry publication.
A few short years later, I continued along my journey of hospitality industry reporting. I went from contributing to a major industry outlet to taking on the role of editor and content curator.