It’s no secret that alcohol consumption has been declining for years with Aussies thinking more mindfully about how much they’re drinking and why. This cultural shift saw Byron welcome its first booze-free bottle-o to Lawson St last month.
Sunnyboy Cellars is the first retail space of this kind in the region, showcasing a lovingly (and very carefully) curated selection of wines, bubbles, aperitifs, spirits, beers and cocktails.
This is the second business venture for wives Ella and Bella who also own and run Sunnyboy, an espresso bar and corner store in Evans Head, where the cellar humbly originated.
While listening to a pregnant mate lamenting the lack of decent alcohol-free options in regional towns, Ella and Bella jumped to fill the gap, adding Hiatus pacific ale and Dayse functional spritz to the Sunnyboy shelves.
The idea gained traction fast among customers who were deprioritising drinking to tend instead to careers, mental health, religion, wellbeing, healing, addiction recovery and softened social pressure to drink.
The two products originally on offer quickly blew out to upwards of 20 as Ella dove head first down the rabbit hole of the sober curious movement.
Needless to say, the sober cellar outgrew Sunnyboy and while the leap to open a Byron venue was spontaneous and rapid (four weeks in total), the expansion was a natural progression toward celebrating cool, innovative options for adults drinking less, or not at all.
Ella and Bella swigged their way through hundreds of samples; ultimately agreeing to focus on products that were unique, predominantly Australian made, often sophisticated or complex in flavour and very rarely found in mainstream retailers.
Stocking an exhaustive range of products wasn’t the priority of this project; Ella and Bella had no desire to compete with major bottle shops or supermarkets, and the misfit aesthetics of their venue intentionally suggest a less commercial experience for customers.
Functioning as something of a reception desk, the Lawson St retail space is also open for enquiries regarding bulk event orders for baby showers, weddings, hens, corporate events, birthdays and celebrations of every kind.
Winter hours at the cellar are 10am–5pm, Tuesday to Saturday and these hours of trade will expand during peak seasons.
Sunnyboy Cellars: 3 / 13 Lawson Street, Byron Bay. Insta: sunnyboy_cellars.