I grew up on a farm in a small town in eastern Idaho. It was a great life! I was the 5th of 8 children, and we all worked on the farm every day. That taught me the importance of hard work and that you don’t quit until the job is done which I know prepared me for owning my own business. In the summers I also worked in Jackson Hole Wyoming at McDonald’s and Sizzler. This instilled in me the love for the restaurant industry and what good customer service really means.
I lived next door to my grandparents growing up and would walk down the lane to their house almost every day and sneak an ice-cold Coke out of their fridge (you know the classic glass bottle ones). My soda obsession definitely started at an early age and has only increased over the years.
I graduated from Teton High School in 1989 in a class of only 55 students. In 1991 I graduated from Ricks College with my Associate’s degree in Administrative Office Education and moved to Provo Utah to start my first job with my degree as an Administrative Assistant for a company that automated library systems. I met my husband a year later. We have been married for 29 years and have 5 children and 2 grandchildren. They are the loves of my life!
We moved to our vacation spot, St. George Utah, 12 years ago in hopes to start our own business. My husband and I were brainstorming ideas and one day he said, “I think I have it. What is something we have every day, multiple times a day?” I responded, “That’s easy, we get a Sonic (Diet Coke).” He responded, “What if we build a business with just drive-thru fountain drinks?” And that is how the Swig journey began!
We opened our first Swig on April 2, 2010, in St. George, Utah in a very small, old building with a very big parking lot so that meant a good, long drive-thru! It seemed like a long shot because every restaurant and every fast food place sells fountain drinks. Swig had to be different. Our goal was to create a destination for people to come get their favorite fountain drink made exactly how they want it, pair it with a delicious, homemade cookie all while staying in their car in a fast, friendly drive-thru line.
Word spread fairly quickly about this original concept and by spring 2013 we received TV coverage on Channel 2 news in Salt Lake City as a Top 10 Destination for Spring Break! At that time, we had just opened the doors to our 2nd location only a mile away from the original store and both stores had lines of cars wrapped around the buildings.
That publicity blew the popularity of Swig out of the water. We grew from 2 locations in 2013 to 16 by 2017 with locations from Logan, Utah to Gilbert Arizona. We knew we needed partners with some restaurant experience to continue growing at this rapid pace and give the stores the structure and support they needed. We were introduced to Andrew and Shauna Smith of Four Foods Company in June 2017 and we immediately knew we had found that partner. The Four Foods team was able to take on a lot of the day-to-day duties so I could focus on what I loved to do. Which is being in all of the stores, seeing our awesome customers, and working with our amazing teams to make sure the culture was good and ensure that every Swig looks and feels just like the first. Since the partnership we have redesigned our logo and the look of the stores, refined many systems in the store to help with productivity, and now provide structure and support to the managers.
Swig now has 30 locations with many more to come in the future, including opening new stores in Oklahoma, Texas, and Idaho this year.
It is incredible what this company and brand has become. It took a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and a lot of prayer. It really is a dream come true and to think it all started with the love of a good Diet Coke!