Selling alcohol is one-way businesses can increase sales and expand the products they sell.

But, businesses looking to serve alcoholic beverages have a few steps to take before they can sell them.

“So you walk and say, ‘I want a retail beer and wine license.’ We say, ‘OK, here’s a four-page application to fill out. We gotta schedule a background check with the PD, we also need to do an inspection with, a city inspection and the fire department.’ And then we’ll get you to council and ask for approval on that. Once it’s approved, you can start on the state process,” said Derek Hackett, the public information officer for the City of Minot.

There are 105 active licenses for the sale of alcoholic beverages in Minot.

While liquor licenses have a cap of 1 per 1,000 residents, beer and wine licenses do not.

Guilty Sweets has only been open for a couple of months and soon they’ll be able to serve beer and wine.

“We do a lot of charcuterie,” said owner Sarah Massey. “We started with dessert first, charcuterie second. And now they can be kinda on an even playing field. And I do have someone who has studied wine that wants to come in and do some beer and wine pairing classes with our charcuterie so just gave us a few more options.”

Next door, another local business, Prairie Sky Breads, already has its beer and wine license.

Massey says she thinks the new drink offerings will bring in more people.

“Maybe some different demographics,” said Massey. “Cause we’re gonna do happy hours from 5 to 7, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.”

Hackett says selling alcoholic beverages expands the market for the business.

“Maybe have later hours because generally beer and wine are consumed later on in the days or in the evenings,” said Hackett. “Maybe they could have specials or make baskets or things like that. So it really can open up their horizons to the product that they sell rather than just their normal type of product.”

Massey says as a new business, she’s always looking for ways to improve.

“That’s always the goal,” said Massey. “When you’re just starting out, you wanna figure out where you can increase sales and where you might need to make some adjustments and I think that it will help.”

The city requires businesses to renew their licenses each year.

Beginning in March, Guilty Sweets will start having brunch boards and mimosas on Saturdays.