By: Britt Parrish, co-founder, Sunshine Beverages

It’s 6:30 a.m. I’ve already been to the gym, made lunches, packed after-school bags for lacrosse and swim practice, fed the dog, and now I’m getting my three boys up and ready for school. To say I need a little pick-me-up to get through the day – heck, the morning – is an understatement.

Like other moms, I’m not interested in crazy adrenaline-fueled energy drinks. I lead a healthy lifestyle, and don’t want loads of sugar, caffeine and unpronounceable additives in my drinks. What seems like pretty reasonable standards have left me without any options.

And, I know I’m not alone in this. Studies and focus groups continue to prove that people want drinks that taste good, but don’t bring unhealthy and unnecessary amounts of sugar and caffeine.

Something better must exist!

parrishBut, it didn’t. Everything on the shelf was sugar water, syrupy soda or liquid caffeine. Things that didn’t taste quite right, and certainly didn’t make me feel good. It was about time someone created a healthier energy alternative I could feel good about drinking.

So I worked with a group of Winston-Salem’s best and brightest entrepreneurs to create Sunshine, a pick-me-up of good energy that comes from good ingredients.

Sunshine is unlike any other energy drink. It refuels your body through electrolytes, vitamins and just enough caffeine. With 50mg of caffeine – the same as a diet soda – it has just enough kick-in-the-pants to get your “out-of-sorts” back in-sorts. And, it has the perfect balance of taste and function to keep you well-hydrated at the gym, running errands and even when you’re home sick.

In fact, here’s a tip I’ve learned about the Original Ginger Berry Sunshine: it’s the perfect antidote to the flu. As a mom, I’m no stranger to bouts of bad stomach bugs making their way through the family. I’ve turned to Sunshine for its re-hydration effects and stomach-soothing ginger flavor for my kids and myself.

As opposed to sodas and other caffeine-pumped drinks, I actually feel good about my kids drinking it. Sure, I monitor their caffeine intake, but I love knowing that they’re drinking something that actually has good ingredients in it. It packs great taste without all of the caffeine, corn syrup and chemicals. My three boys love sharing the Sunshine with their teammates.

Sunshine Sunray LogoWe thought it was pretty novel and delicious when we first launched it, and so did our community. Right off the bat, we piqued the interest of local grocers like Lowes Foods and Food Lion, cool shops like Washington Perk & Provisions and Twin City Hive, and even local universities, wineries, bars and restaurants that continue to sell Sunshine. In fact, we’ve elicited the help of expert mixologists at bars and restaurants to create and serve signature Sunshine cocktails. I certainly love Sunshine on its own, but I’m the first to admit that it also tastes great with some of my favorite spirits. My favorite is the Buck Shot (Vodka, Sunshine, splash of Cranberry Juice, Lime). I always say that I’m hydrating myself as I’m dehydrating myself – something I definitely appreciate the following morning!

What started as a small, local beverage company has grown into a burgeoning business. Since launching in 2013, we’ve sold nearly half a million cans of Sunshine in more than 700 locations across the southeast and in states like New York, Montana and Indiana. We’ve caught the eye of local and national distributors, who are helping us grow our footprint.

newOur inaugural Ginger Berry flavor was so successful we just launched two new flavors with the same high standards for good ingredients and good energy. Clementine Twist features 200 percent of the daily dose of Vitamin C and Blueberry Lemonade is made with 100 percent organic caffeine. Even in their first few months of availability, we’ve already sold out and are on our second run to produce more.

As we grow, we’ll always have our focus on our Triad roots. Just like Sunshine, I was born and raised in Winston-Salem. Though I moved around for a few years in my 20s, I found my home back in Winston-Salem to raise my family. We believe in supporting our local community and local products, so Sunshine will always reflect its southern authenticity and heritage. Our goal is to become one of North Carolina’s most beloved brands, alongside the likes of Krispy Kreme and Texas Pete.

The next time you’re in need of a pick-me-up – whether you’re trying to make it through a meeting or shuffling between after-school sports – try reaching for something that will lift both your energy and your spirits. Something that is sure to Clear the Clouds. Something like Sunshine.

For more information, or to find where to purchase Sunshine, visit


*Sponsored by Sunshine Beverages