At the start of the week we ran a story about three friends who have launched a new energy drink company – Enertia Beverage – selling their new Vital Energy drink around Rochester in New York State. And today, we’re looking at another trio, this time just down the highway in the Big Apple itself, with the launch of Bronx Pop soda.
Michael Joseph, Jacob Blish and Scott Baron spotted the ever-growing opportunity in the energy drinks sector and Vital Energy was born. Their mission is clear, and despite varied news in the sector – Jolt Energy has just filed for bankruptcy protection – the three friends have gone for it, admitting that, “To some extent, it was the bad economy that helped us start”.
At this stage, the business plan is all about local distribution and relationship-building through deliveries from the trunk of their cars. This is reminiscent of the early days of Glaceau, and look what’s happened to Darius Bikoff in less than a decade!
In the heart of New York City, two friends and well-connected cousin have also taken a local approach, and this time in a segment that’s also suffering sales pressure. But the accent for the three native Bronxites who have launched Bronx Soda is taste, quality, all-natural ingredients and an essential hint of nostalgia: “Igniting people’s taste buds with the old-school flavour of fountain soda.”
Nick d’Aragona, Ralph Rubino and Tony Banacore have the stated intention of keeping the concept local, too. Distribution is currently throughout the tri-state region and they’re in the process of looking for warehouse space and hope to contain the entire operation in the Bronx; sticking to their roots and creating potential jobs for Bronxites.
I can’t help but think about three other friends here in the UK who launched Innocent Drinks a decade ago. Their premise was also health, all-natural and above all taste. The Innocent story demonstrates success on so many levels. What’s it all down to? Maybe the power of three.
FoodBev Media: first for innovation. If you know about a start-up beverage business – let me know.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2021
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