Say hello to:
Fitch Brew Co
Food & Drink
You can find us at:
TAVERNERS WALK ESTATE, SHEEPSCAR GROVE
Or visit us at:
Tell us your business story to date...
I left BrewDog, where I was a Key Account Manager for their UK distribution channel, last summer after becoming obsessed with Cold Brew coffee on a trip to the USA in 2015. I remember taking one sip of Stumptowns Cold Brew and just totally getting why it was so popular in the states already.
Coming from a drinks industry background (previously with Pernod Ricard and Funkin cocktails), I instantly could see the potential for Cold Brew within this market especially the on premise due to its versatility. Whether adding to cocktails or mocktails, pouring through draft, adding nitrogen to create a thicker, creamier pour or simply enjoying straight up Cold Brew - there is literally something for everyone.
We spent 7 months developing the product (we wanted the taste to work really well alongside alcohol brands), as well as the branding and business strategy. Our prototype alone has led to over 20 independent bar listings and we are now in talks with Matthew Clark (who supply over 16,000 venues in the UK) to distribute.
On February 13th, we will be going live on the CrowdCube platform looking to raise £100k in order to buy the equipment, cans and coffee beans which will allow us to produce on a scalable level.
Cold brew as a category around the world has seen phenomenal growth over the past five years and now has an estimated value in the US of $3.6bn by 2020. We are very much at the start of the trend in the UK, but it is certainly starting to gain traction. It’s an incredibly exciting time for us and I can’t wait to develop the category in the UK and see where we can take it.
What can we look forward to seeing from you?
We have some really awesome stuff planned for the future. Our brewery, based in Leeds, is right next door to North Brewing Co, an amazing craft beer company. You can not only expect to see epic beer collaborations but we have plans to hold a yearly coffee collaborations festival on site which will see us team up with beer, spirits, and soft drinks companies from around the UK to deliver the ultimate caffeine fuelled party! Anybody who invests over £50 on CrowdCube will become a member of the 'Fitch Brew Crew' and will receive an invite to this annual event.
What are the best and worst things about running your own startup business?
I have found starting up as the only founder quite challenging, as I only have myself to answer too so motivating myself especially on the harder days can sometimes be difficult. I am very lucky to have incredible friends and family around me to lean on for support when needed but i feel like it would be nice to have someone to be accountable to. So, if possible, I would recommend finding a co-founder so you have some to work alongside and bounce ideas from. However, being your own boss means you get to run free with your ideas, and as I have quite a weird and wonderful imagination this is a lot of fun for me.
What has been the most fulfilling startup experience to-date? What did you learn?
I think my most fulfilling day so far was when I got to hold my first can in my hand straight of the canning line because it was just an amalgamation of all the hard work we had put in for the past 6 months. It finally felt like we had a business as we had an actual physical product. I learnt that sometimes things can take a little while (and more than likely always longer then you have in your mind), but if you can learn to be slightly flexible with your plans you will find that it all works out for the best in the end.
Is there anything you can offer to help other startup businesses?
In terms of advice...I would tell any startup to expect a rollercoaster journey. There are days where everything goes really great and you feel on a complete high and then literally the next day you will feel like you are hitting a brick wall and just feel completely miserable. I have learnt to enjoy the highs when they come and ride out the lows...perseverance is key.
In terms of support..I have come from a strong sales background, especially in the drinks industry. I know this is where my strengths lie (I've had to gather a team of people around me who had the skills i was missing), so I would be more than happy to help advise anybody on sales strategy if they need it. I am 100% in for skill swapping...super important when you are strapped for cash as a new startup!
Is there any help that are you looking for?
We really want people to be a part of our journey with us from day 1 which is why we are raising our funds via CrowdCube. So, if anybody would like to invest, you can do so from February 13th.
We also love collaborations and are always open to all opportunities, so please feel free to get in touch if you have the next epic idea we could pull off together!