Magazine article Management Today

How We Beat the Odds: Charles Rolls and Tim Warrillow, Founders of Fever-Tree

Magazine article Management Today

How We Beat the Odds: Charles Rolls and Tim Warrillow, Founders of Fever-Tree

Article excerpt

Everyone thought we were barking mad when we told them we were starting a mixer-drinks business. 'You're going up against Schweppes?' they'd smirk. 'Give me a break. That's a worldwide brand.'

As the boss of Plymouth Gin, I'd become appalled by the quality of mass-market mixers. Add one of those artificial, saccharine-packed tonics to gin and it destroys its flavour and aroma. Tim, who'd worked in luxury-food marketing, shared my disgust. We first met in 2003 and decided then and there to start a rival mixer, made from fresh, natural ingredients.

We never imagined it would take us nearly two years to launch our first product. Dealing with all-natural ingredients has its headaches. We'd develop a drink that we really liked, put it through stability and ageing trials, and then find that the flavour had completely changed and we'd have to start all over again.

Then there was the travel. We trekked to some of the most remote and most dangerous regions in the world to source ingredients. The purest quinine - the main ingredient, and the essential bitterness in tonic water - is to be found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. I'd contracted malaria the last time I was there, in 1984, and refused to go back, so Tim got the pleasure of that particular trip: he got held up at the border by a band of local militia brandishing a rocket launcher and AK-47s.

I invested pounds 100,000 in the business and we raised a further pounds 100,000 from angel investors. We shouldn't have bothered with the latter. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.