Supporting local businesses is what we love more than anything. Rapscallion are Glasgow-based makers of craft soda for whom flavour is everything. Gregor Leckie developed his drinks based around seasonal fruit and less sugar; now, after working around the clock, he has managed to make the drinks ambient, extending the shelf life while keeping those flavours as powerful as ever.
“We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavours & furniture polish is made with real lemons.” - Alfred Newman.
Well Alfred… Not now pal. Not now.
1.How/why and when did you start your business?
I started making soft drinks because almost all of the products out there were too sweet, full of artificial crap and there was very little flavour in anything. I have always worked in the drink industry, but got frustrated at the pomposity and marketing bollocks.
I set up Rapscallion after a successful pop-up in Glasgow, summer 2016. We started out on tap spring 2017, launched raw cans in summer 2018 and in spring 2019 we have finally stabilised our product without losing flavour and aroma. We started in a wee kitchen in the east end with the help of the Glasgow Collective, and now we operate out of a railway arch in the Gorbals.
2. What advice would you give to someone starting a new business in the sector?
Partner up! Going solo is extremely hard on your mind, body and soul.
Find a mentor. Separate advice from opinion.
Ensure the demand is evident before you lose the day-job.
Make mistakes. Admit you were wrong and then adapt.
Get paid. Protect your cashflow.
Follow your intuition.
** For the record, I did none of the above!
3. What motivates you?
Making a positive impact on soft drinks.
Changing peoples’ perceptions of what a soft drink can be.
Proving the naysayers wrong.
4. How do you think the food & drinks industry could improve?
I’m not qualified to answer this one! I wouldn’t know where to start.
What I want to say would get me in a lot of trouble…
5. Is there an individual or organisation, current or in the past, who inspires you?
My family, my partner Sophie, and all the clients and all the accounts we deal with.
We were just days away from going under this year, having had an unusual and relentless amount of pressure from the Council. When failure isn’t an option, and you have the support of friends, family and your stockists, all the hurdles just become part of the journey. It’s incredibly inspiring to have people believe in you and your product.
6. Apart from Greencity, which other three or more people, living or deceased, would you invite to make a dinner party entertaining?
Antony Bourdain, Lewis Capaldi, Billy Connolly, Ricky Gervais, Vic Reeves & Bob Mortimer, Harry Enfield & Paul Whitehouse, Joe Wilkinson.
If you’d like any more information about Rapscallion, you can check out their website at rapscallionsoda.com or contact the Greencity Sales Team who are always happy to help.