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How & When did you get in to the Food & Drink industry?
It was back in 1997 when I took over Luscombe Drinks. At the time it was an ailing family cider business. I made the decision to diversify into soft drinks following a number of years in Italy where I learnt about ingredients and matching flavours.
Why did you choose your specific product?
I inherited the cider and apple juice range but felt there was a real gap in soft drinks for adults. I am not a big drinker and was always disappointed with lime and soda in the pubs. It seemed obvious but no one was offering anything better, so we filled that gap. It took a while to get the momentum but I can say now that we are a leader in premium soft drinks in the UK.
The site at which Luscombe Drinks were first produced had been an organic farm for many years so it firstly made sense to continue with organic production processes. Secondly, organic, by definition, means much higher attention to small detail and from the early days of cider and apple juice production our organic apples gave us higher quality ingredients over other apple juice producer.
Out of your product range, which is your favourite?
It’s very, very difficult to pin me down on that one. We have 16 drinks now and the new ones are always popular. To be sure the recipe formulation is the very best it can be I will drink these new flavours a lot to test them and get feedback. I don't have a 'favorite' as such – it depends on what I am eating because Luscombe are created to pair with food so I drink them alongside meals.
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement in this business?
To lead the way in soft drinks. Since we started the whole industry has grown up. There are now some very good choices for those that choose not to drink alcohol all the time and I believe Luscombe has been at the forefront of this.
What happens next in terms of developing your business?
I am strictly improving every aspect of the company continuously. We are working ever closer with ingredient growers and making recipes that deliver on the flavours my customer ask for. I hope always to lead the field in this way but the proof is for our customers to decide.
If you have a message for the consumer, what would it be?
Keep asking for better and don't accept compromise. Life is often in danger of dumbing down and I sincerely hope that food never is. Oh, and support your independent local shop, cafe or restaurant it’s these people who makes the effort to bring you great food and drink experiences.