Patience is a virtue.
Updated: Feb 2
We’ve heard it all. It takes time. You can’t rush these things. You’ll get there.
We knew it was true. We know its all about the journey and what doesn’t make you want sit in a dark room and have a little a cry makes you stronger, right?
But when you are in the eye of the storm it is hard to pull your head out of your own ass and see the wood for the trees.
Our little business has been battered and bruised this year, and I think what's been the hardest pill to swallow is that it's only happened because we are trying to do something better. We could have stayed where we were. We could have chosen stillness instead of growth.
We decided to move into the city centre so that our brewery could be more central. We want to be the key kombucha brewery in the North West. We want our booch to be in the coolest places in town. We didn't want to just be a drinks producer, but build a brand that people believe in and want to be a part of.
A community. A bear club, if you will.
We wanted our brand to match Manchester's northern edge, and knew to make that work we had to sell our house in suburbia and move into the city too. That was the easy bit.
Since then, without sounding like I need a tiny violin being played alongside me, we have had so many challenges I have lost count. It sometimes feels like every way we turn there is another problem to tackle.
Keeping morale high when you live, work and breathe this beast you are nurturing, with only 2 of you is tough going at times. How do you keep things moving? To be honest, I don't know some days.
Then, as if by magic there is this sparkle moment where you go - oh shit, yeah - that was awesome. We met Anna, who puts up with us and is our Op's manager/ lady that tells me off when I forget things. She introduced us to Dave. Or super Dave as I like to call him, who is kind of a big deal. He is a top graphic designer and I am still pinching myself that he wanted to even work with us as his vision and the way he believes in the brand is amazing. He is also really kind. Dave introduced us to Chaz. She is a Manchester Uni graduate who takes pictures. But not just any pictures. She is so talented, I do not know how we gave her 3 bottles of kombucha and she has managed to come back to us with the coolest, most edgiest, retro and unique pictures I could have ever imagined. There is no other kombucha brand that looks like ours out there at the moment. Not even close.
Little wins init?!
And we've had loads of 'em! James' brother is a refrigeration engineer (pretty handy when you have a huge cold room you need to put up and don't have money to pay someone to do it for you).
Anna knows so many cool cats in Manchester. She is too cool for me and James who basically only know each other.
We needed a capping machine so that we could reduce our single use plastic tamper proof stickers. We had made a fair few changes to try and reduce the shit that ends up in landfill.
We wanted a fancy one, like a cap you would have on a bottle of wine or glass water bottle.
They are expensive.
After chatting back and forth with a supplier and realising that we couldn't afford one, they emailed me a few months later saying they had an ex demo model for less than half the price. Did we want it?
It goes without saying that we have a long way to go. We are just kicking off again actually trying to get our booch on shelves this week for the first time since the beginning of year.
And what a year of learning it's been.
Our booch is available to preorder online now. That feels so damn good to say that out loud.
Oh, and PS. Whilst I have been writing this we just received our first online order! Thank you!