THREE YEARS AGO, Kristin Cagney sat poolside, sipping spiked seltzers with friends, when she joked that she wanted to open a seltzery. “But my friends were like, ‘Do it,’” the 29-year-old Illinois native says with a laugh. She did some research and learned about the huge market for bubbly beverages. “White Claw alone did billions last year. I don’t think it’s a trend drink. I think it’s here to stay.”
Cagney developed a taste for seltzers during the decade she spent in Colorado. “I’d reach for it on the boat or when I went skiing,” she says. “On hikes or ski trips, you don’t want a heavy beer. But if you have a few seltzers, you can still get back to the slopes.” After three years working in wealth management at Fidelity Investment, she had what she calls her “quarter-life crisis” and quit her job to move back to Lake Norman, where her parents live. In 2016, she enrolled at UNC Charlotte to pursue her MBA and wrote the business plan for Summit Seltzery.
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