HEAD TO HEAD WITH GINA GEOGHEGAN, FOUNDER OF WILD FIZZ
Tell us a little about yourself and how you came about founding Wild Fizz Kombucha?
I discovered Kombucha on a trip to the U.S a few years ago. I loved its tart, sweet taste and delicious goodness. After a few days hooked on the ‘booch, I noticed that my IBS symptoms had pretty much disappeared. Having struggled with IBS since my early 20’s, I had tried everything I could to manage my condition with little success, but this was a major game changer. In fact, that trip changed the course of my life…as I sat in the Arizona Desert I started thinking…can I start a Kombucha company? At that moment, Wild Fizz was born and the rest is history.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of your role?
We are literally improving peoples gut health one bottle at a time. I know first hand the wondrous properties of Wild Fizz. We’ve worked really hard to develop flavours that deliver additional health benefits too. We’re fighting a good fight against sugary drinks and we’re on the brink of the Kombucha movement going mainstream in the UK. I’m so proud to have played a part in that.
So, exactly what is Kombucha and how is it made?
Kombucha is basically a fermented tea. It's made by adding a colony of bacteria and yeast – called S.C.O.B.Y - to sweet tea and allowing it to ferment over time. It’s a really magical process. My partner in life, and now business, Luke and I started out brewing in our flat (our housemates were not impressed) then on our houseboat, and soon we realised we really needed to scale up fast to meet demand. The next thing I knew, I was running a brewery in Tottenham.
Tell us a little bit more about your site in Tottenham…
We identified really quickly that to do this properly we would have to have total control of the brewing process...every single bottle is brewed with love, and always will be, and that love needs to come from us. So instead of sub contracting production we built our own brewery, sounds crazy I know!
We now have the capacity to brew and bottle 80,000 bottles per month, and I’ve recently hired a professional brewer to support me, giving me more time to get out there and educate the industry on all things booch. You’ll be seeing a lot of us in 2019!
It sounds like you’ve been on a rollercoaster ride. What advice would you give to anyone looking to set up a business in the food industry?
Persevere! It’s been totally insane at times; there have been a fair few sleepless nights (and that was before our daughter Oona was born, Luke and I don’t do things by halves!). But ultimately, it’s been worth it. We had no idea about running a drinks business, but with passion for the product, and a desire to create a truly ethical brand, we’ve gone from selling ‘booch from a market stall to running a brewery in Tottenham and seeing Wild Fizz on the shelves of Whole Foods…it feels like a dream!