FLINT, Michigan -- Prince Talley, founder of We Happy Beverages, has been an active member of the Flint community for a number of years.
In 2017, he organized an anti-violence rally on the city's northside in an effort to reduce the crime rate. In 2020, he launched his first business in the city, with a mission to bring more positivity to Flint and put a smile on the faces of wine lovers.
Talley's beverage company serves up wine with a hint of margarita that's infused with fruit juice. Available in three flavors -- strawberry, Bahama blue, and green apple -- the drinks have quickly become a crowd favorite around Flint and surrounding cities.
In a recent interview with Flintside, Talley spoke about the inspiration for We Happy Beverages, the challenges he faced while launching the company, and the one person he would personally like to send a bottle of wine to.
Flintside: What inspired you to create We Happy Beverages?
Prince Talley: "The idea was in progress for about four years. I used to have a club on Robert T. Longway (Boulevard), and I whipped up a beverage that ended up being a crowd favorite there. People would request it all the time. It didn't hit me until years later that I should maybe start selling that drink. Plus, I wanted to bring something positive to Flint to combat against the negativity. We Happy is as positive as it gets. Who doesn't want to be happy? So that was my contribution to Flint and it's been going good ever since."
Flintside: What was the process of getting it off the ground?
Prince Talley: "The initial process was kind of tough because I had to do a lot of research about wine, bottling, labeling, and getting into the market. There's a lot that goes into launching food and beverage products so I had to sit down and really focus on doing the work so I could get the wine out there."
Flintside: What do you think sets the wine apart from other brands on the market?
Prince Talley: "I think it's different because it's a wine but it has the kick of a margarita. It's not a light wine but it's not too strong either. When I started looking at the trends, I noticed that a lot of people like wine and that many people were moving away from indulging in hard liquor all the time. I thought it would be a perfect time to launch because We Happy offers a nice wine with a nice kick."
Flintside: What were some of your challenges?
Prince Talley: "Honestly, just trying to get everything legalized. I definitely had to jump through some hoops to get everything legalized so I could sell it to the public. Another challenge was just staying focused. When you're excited about your business, you want to keep that energy going but you still have to sit down and focus and really do the work."
Flintside: If you could send a bottle of wine to anyone in the world right now, who would it be?
Prince Talley: "I would send a bottle to my dad. He was never really in my life while I was growing up so I would send one to him to let him know that I did it without him. I was able to grow up and make it without him being present and showing me the way."
Flintside: What advice do you have for someone thinking about getting into the wine business?
Prince Talley: "I would tell them that the process is actually simpler than they think it is. All you have to do is just get serious about your plan and set out to make it happen. Do your homework and research your market. It's not as hard as you think it is. Just do it and keep going."