Welcome to our blog page. Here we will be updating you on our company news and sharing our journey with you.  With the factory ready to go and our launch on the horizon, this blog post lets you see inside our factory and shows you how we’ve got to where we are. Whether you are in the process of starting your own drinks company, one of our fantastic supporters, or just came across this page by accident – welcome! We hope you enjoy our update…

This time last year we had a vague idea that we wanted to start a drinks company based on the water kefir culture, but we didn’t know how, where or when. We did know why though – by using water kefir cultures we are able to produce soft drinks with significantly lower sugar than sodas and fruit juices!  Kitchen trials had given us a good indication of which flavours work best with water kefir, however we knew that if we wanted to be able to list in stores, cafes and restaurants across the UK we really needed to find an industrial unit to make it happen. This was not only from a health and safety perspective but also so we could deliver the volume we want to.

We started our search in March 2017, hopping (since it was Easter) from viewing to viewing of industrial units in Glasgow, always coming away feeling disappointed.  Too big, too much graffiti, too full of pigeons (true story). We felt like we were never going to be able to get the business off the ground.  Then….we cast our net slightly further on the NovaLoca website and behold, a gleaming brand new industrial unit emerged from the listings like a…pigeon from a Maryhill industrial unit?  The new unit was based in West Dunbartonshire, and was perfect for our needs: a clean and modern 70m2 terraced unit with a WC and a small kitchen area.  We decided to take the plunge and sign for the lease (very different from residential leases) and picked up the keys on 1st June 2017.  This is what it looked like…

Empty factory start up

The day we got the keys – so full of excitement and energy. If we recreated this picture now we’d probably be lying down and exhausted.

The first step in converting this concrete shell in to a food-grade facility was to seal the walls and floor.  The walls took 3 undercoats and a washable top coat, while the floor took 2 coats of floor paint.  Tadah!

wall paint

Walls painted, next job – floor!

 

floor paint

Painting the floor.

 

Factory floor paint

Freshly painted floor.

Next we created an office area at the back of the unit, plumbed in a new sink, extended the electrics so that we had power throughout the unit, and fitted a heating unit.  We also started to receive our equipment piece by piece.

Tanks

Our tanks being delivered.

 

Reverse osmosis

Delivery of our reverse osmosis machine – no it’s not a pygmy llama unfortunately 🙁

We also started receiving our raw ingredients and packaging deliveries.

drinks bottle

Our bottles being delivered.

So where are we now?   Well… this is what the unit looks.

Water kefir tanks

Our tanks ready to brew delicious water kefir.

 

Drinks factory start up

The factory in February 2018.

Doing the factory fit-out ourselves has been hard work, with a number of challenges thrown our way as you would expect with any new venture.  Being sent 5000 of the wrong bottles, finding out our filling machine didn’t work with the shape of our bottles, and watching a delivery driver throw 2000 flatpack cardboard boxes off a lorry in to our car park since we didn’t own a forklift truck have definitely been the most memorable moments!  We are currently awaiting our new filling machine and once this arrives we will have everything we need to create our first batch of cherry and lemon drinks.  We are looking into distribution options at the moment and are excited that we will be able to drop off our drinks with some key contacts very soon.  We are also looking forward to our online launch, where our products can be bought in boxes of 12 and 24.  Keep an eye out for updates on Facebook and Instagram!  Until the next blog post, cheerio!


4 Comments

Pat · 13th March 2018 at 1:04 pm

You’ve worked so hard, lesser mortals would have thrown in the towel! Great to see you’re up and running, this would seem like a good oppotunity for your product with possible taxes on sugary drinks. Good luck from us all at the Rowett.

    Catriona · 13th March 2018 at 1:07 pm

    Thanks Pat! We’re pleased that our sugar levels are so low that the sugar tax will not affect us.

Sarah Edwards · 13th March 2018 at 2:58 pm

Looks amazing ! Maybe one day it will be a vertically challenged llama come to see what all the the fuss is about !

    Catriona · 14th March 2018 at 6:55 pm

    Thanks Sarah! Whilst we would not discriminate on height, the llama would not be allowed in the factory for health and safety reasons :-p

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *