Ella Drinks are a fantastic producer of three all-natural ranges of delicious fresh fruit juices, based in Angus in the East of Scotland. Their most distinctive product is the deliciously sparkling raspberry juice drink Bouvrage, which they have been making for nearly 20 years, taking Scottish raspberries available for only a short season and showcasing this wonderful flavour all year round. More recently, they've also started producing the Angus Apples range of juices, made from Scottish apples sourced from orchards around Angus. Finally the Berried range sees delicious Scottish berry fruits blended with apples, water, and absolutely nothing else, for a refreshing blend that you can sip knowing you're getting only the good stuff.
We heard from co-founder Anne, about her perspective on running a successful fruit juice business in the current market.
1.How/why and when did you start your business?
We make completely natural juice from the berries and other fruit that we grow. I (Anne) have always loved raspberries. John had experience with the development and marketing of Appletise when it came to the UK. We did small scale trials in 1997 which gave us the confidence to launch our business in 1998.
2. What advice would you give to someone starting a new business in the sector?
Ask yourself if you have something truly unique and worthwhile. If so, do it. There are many reasons for a business to fail but ultimately the success is down to your persistence.
3. What motivates you?
We sell our juices to many young businesses who are passionate about quality and provenance. We get a great buzz out of helping these businesses create unique, powerful, worthwhile products.
4. How do you think the food & drinks industry could improve?
So much of the output of the food & drinks industry is full of fake junk products where they replace good ingredients eg fruit with sugar, sweeteners and additives or hard graft in making good sour dough bread is replaced with chemicals . We are keen to help the food supply chain evolve to support good food becoming closer to the people. This means small companies, it means agroecological practices in farming, it means being ever more connected closely in a closed food system locally. This will allow less adulteration, falsehoods, bad treatment of resources and people, improved society and health etc etc.
5. Is there an individual or organisation, current or in the past, who inspires you?
Riverford organics founder Guy Singh-Watson
6. Apart from Greencity, which other three or more people, living or deceased, would you invite to make a dinner party entertaining?
- Michael Brownlee, author of How to lead the local food revolution in your community
- Carolyn Steel, author of Hungry City
- Patrick Geddes, biologist and sociologist with innovative philosophy in urban planning