Venise Cunningham and Belinda Kelly celebrating the opening of their new restaurant and bar, the Simple Goodness Sisters Soda Shop in Wilkeson. Contributed photo

Venise Cunningham and Belinda Kelly celebrating the opening of their new restaurant and bar, the Simple Goodness Sisters Soda Shop in Wilkeson. Contributed photo

Simple Goodness Sisters Soda Shop opens in Wilkeson

There’s sodas for the kids, cocktails for the adults, and ice cream and sandwiches to round out the family-friendly vibe of the new shop.

Cocktails made at the Soda Shop have ingredients grown on the Simple Goodness Sisters’ farm and uses spirits from local producers. Contributed photo

Cocktails made at the Soda Shop have ingredients grown on the Simple Goodness Sisters’ farm and uses spirits from local producers. Contributed photo

After successfully crowdfunding their bar last fall, the Simple Goodness Sisters Soda Shop in Wilkeson is now open for business.

Run by Belinda Kelly and Venise Cunningham, the Soda Shop is far more than a typical small-town bar — everything in the store, from the alcoholic drinks and sodas to the syrups and sandwiches are prepared with the “farm-to-table” concept heavily in mind.

“We’re pretty prideful people, so if we’re going to have anything in the shop, we want to be sure that it’s excellent and that we’re proud of what we’re serving,” Kelly said in a recent interview. “We’re going to make all our spreads from scratch, our pickles from scratch, and we’re going to grow the ingredients on the farm as much as we can.”

The story of the Soda Shop started in September 2019, when Kelly and Cunningham hosted a Kickstarter in order to raise $15,000 for the future shop. The two already had plenty of business experience, with Kelly running the Happy Camper Cocktail Co. (a mobile bar and bartender service) and Cunningham growing many of the ingredients Kelly used in her business at the Simple Goodness Sisters Cocktail Garden in Buckley.

The Kickstarter was successful, raising more than $17,000. However, their planned June opening ran afoul of COVID, so the opening date kept getting pushed back until the Soda Shop was finally able to open on Oct. 8.

All that time, Kelly and Cunningham said they received much-needed support from their local communities.

“The town has been crazy supportive, which has been awesome,” Cunningham said, also giving a shoutout to Buckley and Carbonado. “They turned out in a huge way for us.”

If you’re looking to stop in, though, do it soon — any “farm-to-table” concept is seasonal, and the Soda Shop is preparing to be closed December to May.

Open hours are currently Thursday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

NOT YOUR TYPICAL SODA SHOP

Although Kelly and Cunningham wanted to tap into the emotions that come with a soda shop (nostalgia for the older crowd, curiosity for the younger) customers will discover unique flavors for their drinks.

“Instead of having traditional flavors like chocolate and strawberry and vanilla, we have rhubarb vanilla from our farm and we have marionberry mint and huckleberry spruce tip — more exciting, inventive flavors that we come up with because of what we grow,” Kelly said.

Of course, since everything is made fresh, the drink offerings are seasonal, Cunningham added, and they will rotate often.

For soft drinks, customers currently have the choice of the above flavors, plus blueberry lavender, lemon herb, and berry sage. All syrups used for the drinks are made from ingredients that came from the Simple Goodness Farm.

The cocktails — and mocktails — are equally inventive, like the Garden Gin Sour (gin, fresh lime, cucumber juice, and lemon syrup), the Hot Saw Shot (whisky, house pickle brine, and buzz button-infused vodka), or the Far Far Away (cucumber-lime-basil shrub, coconut milk, pineapple and orange juice, and cinnamon).

What’s even more special about these drinks is how they’re served.

“We serve a lot of cocktails on draft, which is unique,” Kelly said. “One of the reasons is for speed and the other is consistency — rather than having every bartender make a drink differently, every time you come in, the drink will be the same.”

But don’t expect these cocktails to come with the same punch you might find at your neighborhood dive bar.

“The alcohol is not the star of our cocktails. The cocktails are really, end-to-end, about what’s in them, whether it’s a fresh-squeezed juice or a bitters made from a small local bitters company that we respect, or our syrups that have so much heart and high-quality ingredients in them,” Kelly continued.

FAMILY FRIENDLY ATMOSPHERE

The Soda Shop isn’t just for adults, either — Kelly and Cunningham wanted to make sure the whole family can come enjoy a cool drink or a hot meal with their panini and kid’s menus.

It’s “as family friendly as possible — your kids can get a milkshake to treat themselves, and you can get a cocktail to treat yourself, and everyone’s happy,” Cunningham said.

Sandwiches include the Venise (white cheddar with savory tomato jam and pesto), the Belinda (pepperjack cheese, turkey, pickled red onion and pesto), and the Cuban (pepperjack, ham, mustard, bread-and-butter pickles, and hot sauce).

There’s also ice cream, which you can have in a fresh waffle cone, made into a float, churned into a milkshake, or combo with any Simple Goodness Sisters syrup.

Over the winter, when the Soda Shop is closed, Cunningham and Kelly will be working on developing an outdoor so “we can greet people next May with a gorgeous outdoor space that’s dog and kid-friendly,” Kelly said. “In the future we’ll do outdoor movies and music events as the situation allows us to.”


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@courierherald.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.courierherald.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 500 words or less.

More in News

Flaming Geyser is one of the several state parks in proximity to the Plateau that you can visit for free on Jan. 1 and 18. Photo courtesy Washington State Parks
Free Park Days in 2021 start in January

The first free days are Jan. 1 and 18.

After a relatively quiet October, Enumclaw's November COVID cases are quickly rising. Screenshot courtesy King County
COVID cases on the rise

Enumclaw has topped more than 250 positive cases, many of them just from November alone.

In addition to traveling through Enumclaw and Buckley, Santa will also be at the Enumclaw Expo Center's Hometown Holiday Parade Dec. 4 - 6, in place of being a part of the normal Enumclaw holiday parade. File photo
Santa to visit Buckley, Enumclaw neighborhoods

Make sure you know when Old Saint Nick is traveling through your area Dec. 7 - 12.

Feel free to use this image, just link to www.SeniorLiving.Org
Buckley budget includes money for streets, recreation projects

Residents can look forward to work being done on River Avenue and a new athletic court.

Enumclaw's decision making tree
ESD students will not return until January

Many teachers and parents saw flaws in the plan for students to return to school after Thanksgiving, just to have them go on winter holiday a few weeks later.

Sage Viniconis is a career performing artist in King County who’s been out of work and seeking creative outlets during the COVID-19 pandemic. Courtesy photo/Sage Viniconis
Puget Sound artists adapt creativity, and business sense, to pandemic

Artists Sunday is an online directory that connects artists across the county, state and nation.

The Courier-Herald is moving to a paid-subscription model. Photo by Ray Miller-Still
Nov. 25 is the last free edition of the Courier-Herald

When you subscribe to a newspaper, you’re not just receiving a product, but investing in an idea.

One of the highlights of Holiday Fantasy has been outright donations to a worthy cause. Here, attendees show their support during the 2018 event. This year, the event will be holding a virtual auction over four days. Photo by Kevin Hanson
Holiday Fantasy goes virtual, offers four days of silent auction

The annual Rainier Foothills Wellness Foundation fundraiser helps fund nearly a third of the non-profits various programs, from feeding seniors to arranging transport to medical appointments.

File photo
Snow Lake, located near Snoqualmie Pass in Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.
Washington releases new forest plan

It outlines ways the state will protect and maintain forest health.

Most Read