JOSIE AND NIKKI'S PARTNERSHIP HAS A SERENDIPITOUS START...
In 2012, both women battled parallel autoimmune and digestive issues—Josie in Nashville, and Nikki in Boston—and began tinkering with homemade concoctions to improve their health. While Josie and her mother began crafting apple cider vinegar drinks called Haymaker’s Punch in the kitchen, Nikki was home-brewing switchel, the same product under a different name and an alternative to expensive kombucha. When Nikki brought her concoctions to work at PBS, her coworkers were immediately hooked. Before long, Nikki had established an underground smoothie/switchel subscription service with loyal customers, run right out of the WGBH newsroom.
Fast forward to January 2017. A mutual friend brought Nikki and Josie together at the Women’s March in Boston, and it was like love at first sight. Bonding over everything from all-natural, gluten-free products to kombucha cocktails, the two quickly discovered that they had been making the same apple cider vinegar and ginger drink—switchel, or Haymaker’s Punch in the South—to help alleviate their health symptoms. That commonality sealed the deal: both women realized the need to do something more with their lives, and they needed to do it together.
In June, Nikki moved to Washington DC, inspired to take a chance and create something new. She and Josie had become closer since the Women’s March. The two linked up one night in NoMa, over boozy homemade popsicles on Nikki’s roof. That’s when they decided: “Screw it, let’s start something.” They researched and realized the untapped potential for the drink that they both turned to in their time of need. After building a business plan and creating product samples, Nikki and Josie pitched Union Kitchen. Today, they are co-owners of Sip City, a functional beverage company focused on convenient, on-the-go drinks for mindful consumers.