What was the development process?
It took a year to make what is now known as Jukes 6. I knew I wanted to pursue something which was organic and vegan, and to make sure the sugar and calories were as low as possible. But while health, vitality and wellbeing were key, I also wanted to ensure the drinks were satiating, dry and sophisticated. Within a few weeks, I had refined my method of production and employed the services of a drinks specialist to make every single fruit, veg, herb and spice into a single note cordial. We were trying to make a non-alcoholic drink with the same satisfying aftertaste as wine. It was Jack who decided the creation had to be called Jukes. It was single syllable, unusual and catchy – and the etymology actually means an informal get-together at a roundhouse or bar. We described the drink as the ‘the height of cordiality’, so immediately adopted that word to accompany a series of numbers I was already using to remember the different categories and themes I’d dreamt up.
How have you managed to scale the business?
It wasn’t until September 2019 that we really started making this dream a reality and scaling up from a micro-batch operation into a more ambitious business proposition. Now, we’ve converted an old railway arch in Battersea into a bespoke kitchen complete with fabricated, stainless steel macerating equipment, which is key to the silky texture and mellow, long-lasting flavours in our drinks. We have a small team of highly dedicated and skilled staff who help make the Cordialities, as well as bottling, double-labelling and putting them carefully into our handmade boxes.
What’s the best advice you’ve received about starting a business?
We’ve been the beneficiaries of so many kind people’s advice along the way. Having conducted hundreds of secret tastings over the past few years, we are always over the moon to hear the feedback. It has kept us going and, looking back, it was worth all of the frustration, head-scratching, brainstorming, tasting and tweaking over and over again. Jack’s mentorship and business acumen has also brought us so far. It matters that our wider team, including our PR experts, highly skilled craftspeople, fruit and veg suppliers and management team are all singing from the same hymn sheet.