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Kombucha success drives Raw Culture’s move to new Aberdeen premises

12/08/2022
Ash Keenon, left, and Chris Geary at their new premises in Aberdeen

LESS than a year after launching onto the market, Aberdeen’s first commercial kombucha brewery is on the move.

Hot on the heels of picking up Best New Product in the North East Scotland Food & Drink Awards, Raw Culture has started production from its new premises in the south of the city.

Raw Culture was set up by Chris Geary, 41, and Ashley Keenon, 38, who are former colleagues from the oil & gas industry.

They produce Raw Culture’s premium, hop-infused kombucha – a sparkling tea-based soft drink – in four different flavours.

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With the lease on their previous premises in Dyce to the north of the city coming to an end, they began the search for a new headquarters and manufacturing hub.

Director Chris Geary said: “We started looking for somewhere that was the right size and had the right facilities to suit us, as well being closer and in a more convenient location.”

“Our new Aberdeen home here in Altens fits the bill perfectly. The original location in Dyce was always temporary so it’s great to be in somewhere Raw Culture can call home.”

The new site on Souter Head Road covers 1,200sqft and as well as acting as the company office, has a production area with large kettle and mixing vessels, and a large fermentation room.

Their product is 100% natural, made from water kombucha culture that takes on flavours from their own hand-selected varieties of hops.

The team has had to make a few modifications to comply fully with the strict regulations in the food & drink industry, but with all authorities satisfied and the Raw Culture logo proudly in place on the building, they are ready to brew up a storm.

The move comes just in time as production is ramping up to satisfy demand for their refreshing soft drinks. Chris said: “The first year of Raw Culture has involved a lot of educating about what kombucha is and its associated health benefits.”

“But we’ve got some great stockists and wholesalers on board and we’re looking at a good five-figure turnover in the first 12 months. The demand for a different soft drink is definitely there, and it has certainly helped that we’re local Scottish producers.”   

“We’ve proved there is a clear market for kombucha and we’re incredibly grateful to our stockists and cheerleaders for all their support. We’re now being stocked throughout Scotland as well as by specialist wholesalers in London.”

“Our production batches are running more and more frequently and we’re aiming to be running at capacity in the next 12 months.”

Raw Culture also lifted a Best New Product award in the recent North-East Scotland Food & Drink Awards. The win marks their first business award and comes less than a year after the launch of their first product line.

The team is not resting on its laurels however, and planning has already started on expanding the Raw Culture brand.

“We’ve got some new flavours in the pipeline to join the original four (The Original, Hopical Punch, Mangosaurus, and Lemondrop). And there is also an exciting new Raw Culture product on the brewing board,” said Chris.

“Having the new premises to work on these will be invaluable, and an added bonus is that it’s so close to my home.”

“I’ve even invested in an electric scooter so I’m looking forward to getting to work on that.  So it’s not just reducing travel time, it’s reducing our carbon footprint. So look out, Raw Culture is definitely going places!”

You can find Raw Culture kombucha at outlets throughout Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, and it can also be ordered online at https://rawculture.co.uk/

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