Kyle Cooke, best known for his role on the reality show Summer House, is a true entrepreneur.
He attended Babson College, which has been named the best college for entrepreneurship.
And while he was there, guess what he did?
He started a small contracting business.
Post graduation, he launched a platform call Reservations Tonight, that got lost in the daily deal bubble. He ended up selling the technology to an overseas buyer.
With a couple of businesses under his belt, he decided to invest $100,000 in a health app, only to find it hit a dead-end street.
It was a tough pill to swallow but like any seasoned entrepreneur, Cooke didn’t let that stop him.
Instead, it sparked an idea: He needed to come up with a product that he could show on the hit reality show, Summer House.
Cooke said, “I just stopped trying to make my app happen. People kept on asking me over and over: What are we drinking? What’s the rosè? What’s this tea? What’s this seltzer?”
Cue the birth of Loverboy.
It wasn’t just another hard seltzer.
He envisioned a healthier, transparent alcohol brand—an answer to the growing demand for wellness-conscious products.
Cooke said, “In alcohol, people would turn the can around and think, ‘Where are the nutrition facts? Where are the ingredients?’ We’re 100% transparent.”
A turning point for Loverboy was its shrewd product placement on Season 3 of Summer House.
That led to a surge in demand, fueled by the visibility and seamless integration with the show’s narrative.
Cooke said, “All that I focused on, was: Getting the brand to a point where it’s trademarked and we could put packaging on a can. And to make a small run of product for us to drink on the show.”
He poured $100,000, of his own money, into the brand. But he didn’t have any extra product to sell.
Instead, he created a demand first.
And he also targeted the right audience.
“It was always just a brand that that was for me, Amanda, our friends and the Bravo audience.
Their audience was a little more affluent and a little more educated. It’s still pretty diverse but it leans female.
Something like 70% of alcohol purchases are made by women. Meanwhile, I think most of these products are marketed towards men,” said Cooke.
Alongside him on this adventure was his wife, Amanda.
Her creative finesse and commitment to authenticity transformed Loverboy from just another drink, into a lifestyle.
Amanda created the brand’s visual identity, which breathed life into the Loverboy brand.
Cooke said, “Without a story, there’s no authenticity, right? There’s nothing to really tell. There’s nothing for people to buy into.”
Their brand story, and engaged community, has paid off.
In 2022, the company generated $16 million in sales.
Cooke said, “We’ve grown fast, and furiously, since we first launched. Loverboy is now available nationwide in key retailers, like: Total Wine, Whole Foods and Kroger.
Loverboy is the #4 hard tea brand in the country and is on track to hit #3.
That growth will only continue as we focus on reaching more people looking for lower calorie, lower sugar, full flavor premium hard teas and canned cocktails.”
As Loverboy continues to grow, it’s a true testament to Kyle and Amanda Cooke’s vision and entrepreneurial spirit.
A trend now, among entrepreneurs, is to “build in public.”
That means showing your successes, and failures, on social media; as you struggle to get your company off the ground.
But Kyle and Amanda were doing it long before it was a buzzword.
Every week, on Summer House, we’d see Kyle stressing about how he lost a distributor or an account.
Or, we’d see Amanda creating designs for the brand; long after coming home from her 9-5 job.
Bringing people along for the ride, and making them part of the process, creates a “ride or die” community.
In an extremely competitive industry, it’s what makes you stand out from your competitors.
And while you may never get your shot on a reality show, you can still share your journey on social media.
And pretty soon you’ll have your own community.
And that is what it’s all about.
Loverboy just launched two new products: A new Spritz Variety Pack and Black Cherry Vanilla Sparkling Hard Tea 6-Pack. To learn more, visit www.DrinkLoverboy.com.