Kombucha is quickly becoming one of the most popular drinks in the UK, with new and innovative products appearing in stores every month. In this installment of Start-Up Stories we got an inside look into the life of an entrepreneur in the drinks industry from Freya Twigden, the founder of Fix8. Have a read to see what she had to say about all things Kombucha!
What’s Fix8 all about?
Fix8 is a premium kombucha born from a positive obsession. We champion complex flavour, disruptive design and traditional kombucha techniques in the category. After becoming infatuated with making and sharing the drink myself, I travelled all over to meet other kombucha obsessives in Hawaii, San Fran, Portland and LA.
“We want to celebrate positive obsession in a world that only ever seems to highlight the negative – from sugar to social media to shopping.”
We’re here to champion what we’re positively obsessed with, for me that’s kombucha, for others it could be music, running or listening to a favourite podcast. We’re changing the perception of kombucha and celebrating positive obsession in the process.
Kombucha is in huge growth at the moment, do you think this is set to continue?
Absolutely! What I love so much about kombucha is that it’s nothing new. It’s really an ancient tonic that serves a very modern purpose. We’re learning more about the microbiome, understanding we need more positive bacteria in our diet. And at the same time, were drinking less alcohol, but not wanting to compromise on experience of flavour. Kombucha serves as a functional beverage that’s enriched with beneficial bacteria and complex in taste from the fermentation process – the perfect non-alcoholic serve that’s also good for you (or a better cocktail mixer if you’d rather).
With big brands catching on to the Kombucha trend, how do you plan on making Fix8 continue to stand out?
This is a challenge we’re certainly up against.
“The category has become flooded with big brands and big budgets selling fizzy pop as ‘kombucha’. For us, kombucha must be raw, alive, punchy and complex.”
We never try to mask the kombucha character with flavour, simply enhance it. That said, we try not to look over our shoulder all the time and simply focus on our own intention: to create great tasting and authentic kombucha that’s not only fun to drink but full of goodness. We disrupt the category through design, flavour, and now – our standing as one of the few ‘live’ kombuchas on the market. We’re also incredibly transparent. Anyone can come down to our brewery and see how we make it, we will continue to always be open about our traditional methods, ingredients and process – there’s nothing to hide.
Did you have any previous FMCG experience? Or was this a whole new avenue for you?
Nope! This was my first ‘job’ out of university. I graduated a couple of years ago and then trained as a yoga teacher. Brewing kombucha was simply a hobby for me, I never thought one day we’d run a kombucha brewery and it would be sold in Selfridges!
Was founding/owning a business what you expected?
I’m not sure I had any ‘expectations’ of what it would be like. In fact, it feels like jumping into the unknown on a day to day basis.
“It’s certainly exciting, inspiring, rewarding and at the same time – totally exhausting and scary.”
There’s never really an ‘off’ day I’m always tuned in, or maybe that’s what the first few years feel like anyway. I’m hugely grateful for the opportunity and feel blessed to be surrounded by so many amazing people on the journey, who are now part of the ‘Fix8 Fam’.
What would you say is the most impactful moment of your career so far?
There’s been so many. From the random photos I get of people drinking Fix8 in the wild, or the more casual photos of my dad (former kombucha dislike) to now having his daily Triple Ginger Fix! A peak moment has definitely been running our pop up ‘kombucha on tap’ in Selfridges this summer – it’s amazing to reflect on how far we’ve come since only launching in October last year.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to people wanting to work in a start-up environment?
Get ready to be thrown in the deep end and be ready to pivot. One morning you’ll read your job description and the next morning, it’ll be out of the window. Get stuck in. Be ready for the ups and downs, it’s life in the fast lane.
Where can people find your awesome drinks?
You can get Fix8 soon direct from our website (fix8.com), we’re also available in Planet Organic, Selfridges and in around 150 independent cafes. If you’re looking for a Fix8 cocktail though – we’re served up at The Goring Hotel, The Bankside and our favourite cocktail bar ‘Funkidory’ in a Holy Negroni.
What does the future hold for Fix8?
Lots! New flavours and products we’re currently working on at the moment. We’re also hoping to launch more kombucha on tap, spice up cocktail menu’s across the board and roll out the bottles into more venues. Watch this space!