Cheers to The Sobr Market Apr 5, 2024

By Jennifer McFee

A bustling new business serves customers who are saying cheers to non-alcoholic beverages.

Business is booming at The Sobr Market, which has experienced non-stop growth since its inception.

It all began about two years ago when Shane Halliburton decided to stop drinking alcohol. He was seeking good-tasting non-alcoholic options, but wasn’t finding anything to suit his taste.

“I was somebody who liked to make a nice complex cocktail with alcohol, and I still wanted to do that without alcohol,” he says.

“I found there were products in Europe or the States, but shipping them cost a lot of money.”

Together with his wife Jessie, they realized other people might also be interested in these same drink options. They decided to fill this niche by opening a business that sells beverages with no alcohol content.

In June 2022, the duo launched an online store and set up at markets each weekend. Then in February 2023, they had the chance to host a pop-up shop in the Exchange District. A month later, they opened their own store at 2-484 Academy Rd., followed by another store in Toronto.

Shane and Jessie Halliburton
Jessie and Shane Halliburton at the Sobr Market Winnipeg location on Academy Road.

“We have over 700 different products in the store, so no matter what your taste preference or profile is, you can usually find something you’ll enjoy,” Halliburton says.

“There’s a substitute for any alcoholic drink from beer to wine to ready-to-drink cocktails and even spirits. There are zero-proof whiskeys and tequilas. We also have various good-tasting drinks that don’t mimic alcohol.”

The Sobr Market storefront recently celebrated its one-year anniversary, and now the main challenge is keeping up with growth.

“It was just my wife and I to start. We now have eight employees. We could be working 36-hour days and still not get everything done,” Halliburton says.

Sobr Market products
Sobr Market’s products feature a large variety of Canadian brands.

“Our plan is to open six more stores across Canada by 2025. We also sell wholesale to restaurants, bars and other retailers, and that’s really taking off. We’re hoping to have over 1,000 restaurants and bars as customers before the end of this year.”

For other aspiring entrepreneurs, Halliburton offers some sage advice.

“Find something that means a lot to you personally,” he says. “If you have that passion, then you have a far greater chance of succeeding.”

He also recommends connecting with World Trade Centre Winnipeg as an additional resource.

“They provided information and demographics that helped us confirm the best location to put our store,” he says.

“Those were valuable resources, and it’s worked out really well. I’m very thankful.”

To learn more about The Sobr Market, visit, call 204-489-8259 or check out their social media pages.

Ready to take your business to new heights? Don’t miss out on WTC Winnipeg’s Business Planning Program (BPP)! Join us to craft a detailed roadmap for business success, equip yourself with essential entrepreneurial skills, and connect with a community of like-minded individuals.

The next session of the BPP will take place in the fall.
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