By Ginger DeShaney

Because it’s important to celebrate every moment, the co-founders of a new canned vodka and soda company put it right in their name. 

“Celly is short for celebration,” said John Dooley, a co-founder of Celly with his brother, Tyler, and his dad, Kevin. 

“We wanted our brand to embody this idea that you need to celebrate every single moment, every single day of your life,” John said, especially with COVID and where the world is now.

“We want to ensure that people are taking the time, taking the moment to cherish everything that life has to offer,” he said. “We’re definitely trying to embody that spirit and bring that positivity back into everybody’s lives.”

John and Tyler both attended College of the Holy Cross, studying economics. After stints in the tech space, they are now following their passion along with their dad, whose background is in national accounts management.

“We have always had a deep passion for the alcohol space,” John said. Before the pandemic hit, John was looking at starting a tequila seltzer company. Tyler already runs a successful energy drink company called Wake Up Water. “It just made sense for us to partner and build our passion together,” John said. 

With guidance from some of Tyler’s connections, the company is off and running. 

The trio is involved in every phase, from branding, formulation, and operations, to marketing, finance, and sales.

The drinks are produced in Jersey Shore, PA. The family traveled there about a month ago and watched the first production run of Celly. “We saw our idea come alive,” John said. “It was super exhilarating for all of us. 

“Watching our idea come from our heads to the actual production line … that was something I wasn’t really even prepared to feel. It was definitely a surreal moment for all of us. It definitely made us feel a lot more excited and just thrilled that this idea is finally coming alive.”

Their products include Black Cherry Lime and Blueberry Pomegranate, which are available in Boston. They also have a Mango Pineapple and are looking to introduce new flavors.

John, Tyler, and Kevin worked closely with the formulation team members, telling them they wanted their consumers to have the best possible experience with these drinks. Each can comes in at about 100 calories. The company avoids adding sugar and artificial ingredients.

The ready-to-drink cocktail is made with premium vodka and real fruit juice.

The company launched less than a month ago. John and Tyler, who grew up on the North Shore but live in South Boston, have held tastings, including one recently at Southie Liquors.

Consumer feedback has been very positive, John said. Comments have included it’s clean, the taste is very refined, it doesn’t cause bloating, and there’s no gross aftertaste. 

“For strangers to say, ‘Wow, this drink is fantastic,’ is exhilarating and it makes me proud,” John said. “We’re definitely looking to make the consumer experience as best as possible.”

In Southie, you can find Celly at Southie Liquors, The Liquor & Wine Emporium, Seaport Wine & Spirits, American Provisions, Jimmy’s Korner, Shennanigans, and Loco.

The company will have the following tastings: Oct. 21 from 5-7 p.m. at Brighton Cellar and Gourmet; Oct. 22 from noon to 3 p.m. at the Liquor Junction in Somerville; and Oct. 22 from 4-8 p.m. at Brighton Brewfest 2022.

“We’re definitely trying to make this a people-centric and for-the-people brand, and we just want to ensure that our customers are receiving the best product possible,” John said, noting the Celly team is open to ideas and feedback.

And as their website states: “With each sip, we hope you’re reminded to cherish all life has to offer. Celly — because every day’s a celebration.”


John (left) and Tyler Dooley held a tasting at Southie Liquors recently.