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Party Star-Ter 

Jel Shots Take Over in Detroit

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The directions are simple enough: peel, squeeze, party. When the idea for PartyStar Jel Shots first hit founder Matt Marini, it was that "light-bulb" moment that he knew would make for the next big thing in the alcohol business, although the inspiration hit him in the strangest of places.

"I was shopping in an international food market in Rochester," he says. " And I'm a total product/logo freak, when I see something new I have to buy it and bring it home and put it up on my shelf."

What he saw were jelly snacks that didn't require refrigeration, a treat that people all over Asia enjoy on a daily basis.

"My first thought was 'How are these shelf-stable?'" says Marini. "And then I thought, 'How come nobody's putting alcohol in these?' I couldn't believe no one had thought of this."

Marini worked for hip flavored-drink makers Jones Soda for about a decade, so really, it's no wonder he has an eye for the next big thing. Although, before he spotted the jelly snacks, he was about to embark on a very different business endeavor.

"I was actually trying to open up a pizzeria," he says. "And then I saw the jelly snacks and I knew I wanted to be back in the beverage industry. The beverage business is very challenging, yet very fun."

And for a little over three years now, Marini and his partner/CEO Miles Lakin have been in that business. After spotting the shelf-stable jelly snacks, Marini got started on developing the product and brand, while Lakin developed the business side of things. Having launched in August of 2010, seven million Party Star Jel Shots have already been sold throughout the U.S. As a company that's based in Michigan, you could probably call them the Alcoholic Economic Stimulus Package without anyone disagreeing with you.

As of early 2013, the Jel shots now are sold in bars, clubs and retail settings in about 20 states, and are doled out by big name distributors. Around Michigan, you'll find the shots in about a dozen local bars including O'Tooles in Royal Oak and any of the Dooleys drinking establishments.

With summer drawing near, PartyStar Jel Shots are great for at-home get-togethers and can go anywhere under the sun without melting. The shots are available in an introductory 2-piece pack and 15-piece jars at retail locations and custom-made "bar tray" packaging for bars, clubs and restaurants.

"These are so convenient for the establishment and fun for the consumer," says Marini. "You can also be assured of the safety and content of each shot, rather than perhaps wondering what's in, or who made a 'homemade' shot.

"PartyStar is also vegan and vegetarian-friendly," says Marini "Rather than being made with animal bi-products, these are made with a plant-based ingredient. They also contain Pure Grain Spirit and are only 12 calories each. Kinda cool, we have revolutionized the tried and true Jell-O shot into something that can be enjoyed anywhere."

With eight new flavors rolling out in June, PartyStar Jel Shots will be expanding their already wide range of flavors. Suga Apple, FuzzyPeach, FrostyMug, Red Hott, Blu -Raz, CandyMelon, BananaFana and Mandarina are set to hit shelves early this summer, according to Marini.

Hitting up many a major event within the city of Detroit, you can expect to see Party Star Jel Shots at several of your Movement pit stops. Get ready to peel, squeeze and party. | RDW

For more info check partystarshots.com

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The directions are simple enough: peel, squeeze, party.
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