Written by Carolinne Griffin
Jess Messer first sold Savouré small-batch sodas, pickles and jams in the bustling farmer’s markets of Montréal. After relocating to Vermont, Messer turned her focus solely to her creative bubbles, which have refreshed foodies up and down the Atlantic Coast for over a decade now. Messer achieves exciting flavor combinations by steeping together seasonal ingredients from her production kitchen in Bristol. Popular offerings such as peach, yuzu, geranium; rhubarb, pink peppercorn; and black current, rosemary have been bottled and distributed from Quebec to New York City. Her more experimental single batches have been served up on tap in select restaurants, cafés and bars—the very sector that came to a hard stop when the pandemic hit.
Thanks to the small-scale nature of her business, Messer was able to keep Savouré afloat through the lockdown. “I wound up doing porch drops and had an amazing amount of support just from individual community members.” Messer saw a 133% sales increase in 2021 compared to 2020 and has continued to think outside the bottle. Savouré now offers kegs of seltzer and sparkling teas for local businesses, like Beta Air, that want to offer employees locally made, low-sugar drinks without the excessive waste of bottles and cans. Some recent seltzers have featured carrot peels and fronds from Footprint Farm, and Vermont hardy kiwis grown by one of Messer’s friends. Several collaborations are also in the works—Savouré and Brio Coffee have dovetailed their specialties into a coffee soda that will be out in the coming weeks. “It’s that kind of mini-ecosystem of farm, food and making— that’s really where my heart is. It’s been a gift for me to have that part of my business re-expanding.”