There are a few things you should know about Tim if you really want to get a feel for our founder. Firstly, Tim is really quite tall. About as tall as Michael Jordan. He’s also a bit restless. Or curious. And those two things have created an entrepreneurial spark that (most of the time) just seems to happily glow away.
Now then… the trouble with that kind of glowing sparky ember, is it inevitably lights a fire every now and then. Well, the fire happened. In fact, it’s burning quite brightly. And the result is Zero.Zilch.Zip. A brand born to battle through the clutter and guide people to the world’s finest collection of alcohol-free drinks. Just 62 products in total. Small. Sublime. Inclusive. Inspiring.
We’ll let the man himself share his story (please read in an Australian accent).
On the start of the journey:
To be honest, my way into this might feel familiar to anyone reading… and it was a very personal thing. You see, I wanted to cut down on alcohol. I wasn’t addicted or anything, but I’d fallen into all sorts of habits, where finishing work or cooking a meal came with an unconscious reward mechanism – and I’d automatically treat myself to a few glasses of fizz.
That became even more exaggerated during lockdown. So I thought the best way to break the habit would be to replace the reward with something similar but healthier. And alcohol-free felt like the obvious way to go.
On feeling like a mug:
Like a lot of people, my starting point was the local supermarket. The ranges were very limited, so I tried pretty much everything… buying blindly and expensively. And the truth is – 90% of the drinks I tried just weren’t very good at all. So I decided to try and dig a little deeper, and it didn’t take long to discover there was something bigger and broader beyond the supermarket.
But that same problem was still there. In fact it got even bigger. Because I just became overwhelmed by choice, so I just blindly bought anything and everything, in the hope I’d stumble across a few new favourites. To be honest, I just felt like a total mug. But what other options did I have?
I guess that’s where Zero.Zilch.Zip. came from. And it’s why you’re sat reading this today. I didn’t want to add to the unruly and overwhelming choice that was already out there. Instead we wanted to cut straight to the very best, with an expert curation led by James and Chrissie’s amazing palates.
On the final frontier:
So, yeah. Those are the experiences that led us to where we are now. But I think the journey actually started seven or eight years ago. I was working with a healthcare business. And I just had this epiphany… an acute awareness that most diseases associated with ageing are totally and utterly avoidable. It’s just most people choose not to avoid them.
But I wanted to take a different path. So I started embracing a healthy lifestyle. Exercise. Diet. My whole lifestyle was just unrecognisable, except alcohol. And that kind of became my final frontier… because I didn’t like the way it was starting to affect me.
By early evening I was feeling a little bit blurry most nights. It was affecting my sleep. It was limiting my options and my freedom. And it was literally the only aspect of my life where I’d continued to be unhealthy.
On his favourite discovery:
Look – I like bubbles… I was always a champagne guy. And that’s actually a stroke of luck, because some of the alcohol-free sparkling options are just brilliant. My current favourites have to be the Wild Life Botanicals, or some of the Kombuchas - the Holos sparkling Oolong is a particular favourite.
Maybe my favourite discoveries aren’t actually the products though. They’re the benefits I’m feeling… I sleep so much better, my head’s clearer. But above all I love the freedom. You can do what you want, when you want – you’re not encumbered by the debilitation of alcohol.
On the future of Zero.Zilch.Zip:
James and Chrissie are absolutely fascinating and absolutely passionate about the alcohol-free industry. They’re the perfect Zerologists, and we’ve got a lot to thank them for. I’m really excited about this first expert-led curation, but I actually imagine the future of Zero.Zilch.Zip. would be shaped by its community of customers.
We always want to be the world’s most carefully curated collection of alcohol-free drinks. That’ll never change. But we love the idea of handing the control to customers… empowering them to decide when a product deserves to be listed, or when a recipe perhaps hasn’t evolved and no longer deserves its place.
That’s what really excites me, because it won’t be a shop anymore. It’ll become a movement. I really can’t wait for that to happen.