Isle of Man-based producer Roots Beverage Co has launched its tonic waters, sweetened only with organic honey, in the UK.
As well as classic tonic Worker Bee, the range comprises Queen Bee made with clementines, lemons and quinine, and Rhu-Bee, using the same ingredients as Queen Bee but with natural colour and flavourings from rhubarb. They come in 200ml and 500ml bottles.
Roots’ founder, Jamie Blair, said: “I wanted to make a brilliant product that made a difference to people’s health, to the future of bees and to our planet.
“It’s a unique proposition because as well as wanting to introduce a natural, healthier range of soft drinks and mixers, we also want the business to give back. We reinvest 10% of all profits into bee-related projects to ensure the bee population continues to thrive.”
Roots Beverage Co was founded in 2016 by 25-year-old Jamie who grew up on the Isle of Man and has worked in independent bars and restaurants on the island, developing a passion for locally-sourced, sustainable produce.
After completing a beekeepers’ course with the Isle of Man Beekeepers Association, he started his first hive, supported by a mentor. He then experimented with using honey from the hives on the island as a natural sweetener to create a healthier version of ginger beer.
With a loan from the Isle of Man Government’s Enterprise Development Scheme, he now supplies Roots’ Ginger Bee soft drink and Honey Bee lemonade products to over 30 Manx outlets including the island’s largest wholesaler, Robinsons.
It has received investment from Isle of Man-based entrepreneur Ash Dougal who joined the company as a director in September 2016. “The company focuses on improving the environment and supports local communities with various projects, while also producing a healthy soft drink alternative for the consumer, separating itself from the other high-sugar drink products currently on the market,” he said.
“The range of tonic waters have been designed to complement a variety of spirits, while having enough of a flavour profile to be enjoyed on their own.
“We’re now offering like-minded suppliers, wholesalers and their customers the opportunity to share our passion for Roots’ products and message, and we’re keen to talk to anyone who seeks an edge in the premium mixers market.”