Welcome to Founder Interview number 3! Today, we are interviewing Elizabeth & Sander, founders of Fervere based in Belgium!
Fervere creates fermented drinks with a personal touch.
Fervere is the Latin word that fermentation comes from and means ‘to boil’. The Ancient Romans came up with this as they saw vats of grapes start to spontaneously ferment as they were making wine. We like the idea that fermented drinks like kombucha are healthy alternatives to sugary soft drinks. We strongly believe fermented drinks and food are healthy and we need to go back to consuming less processed food. And for sure more and more people are looking for similar alternatives. So in short, we are looking for like-minded people with an open mind. We have also seen that people in Cafés and Bars are looking for non-alcoholic drinks, and would like to offer them more choice than colas but that are more flavorful than water. The choice of ingredients is simple. Everything that goes in is organic and tasty. Some of our flavors are more subtle, sometimes more visible.
About a year ago we started with just a SCOBY and a five-liter juice dispenser to make kombucha for ourselves and friends. After receiving great feedback and only very rarely seeing it as an offering in stores and bars, we thought we could try to make it more available to a broader public. I work as a restaurant manager and after gaining experience with the food regulations made me realize it would not be that hard to start up a small business. So after investing a little bit month by month, we are now able to produce around 50 liters per week. Knowing the biggest challenge will be the upscale of the company to produce over 50 liters is something we are prepared for. Already having 3 restaurants/stores that are willing to sell Fervere has motivated us even more to continue the challenge.
We are in the process of getting everything in order to officially launch in September. As Belgium is a complicated country in terms of bureaucracy, we are nearly done with having all the necessary business-side items in order and are closer to selling to our 3 first customers. We produce in-house, are focused only on the Brussels market as it is not a widely well-known drink here (yet), and combine this in addition to our day jobs. As a restaurant manager, combing this with my day job is ideal.
The more I talk to shop owners locally the more I realize that people in Brussels are just starting to learn what it is, but that they are having trouble finding local producers. We don’t think people who have tried our drinks are just being polite when they say they like it. We think that people want healthy, flavorful alternatives to alcohol or sugary drinks, and why not have one that is also good for your gut bacteria at the same time?
The main expectation is just to exchange experiences and see what's about to come. We are really looking forward to meeting others who might have the same challenges to learn how they’ve been able to face them, and to share our experiences. And, of course, we are looking forward to trying what other producers in Europe are creating.
Thanks, Elizabeth & Sander! We'll keep releasing more founder stories every few days from now on, so stay tuned!
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