Life tastes sweet for entrepreneur Jerome Jacob as he is about to go into mass production with his unique fruit tea concept.
The 24-year-old saw a gap in the market for fruit tea after a friend of his claimed the sweet drink hardly ever tastes of fruit.
The former Sheffield University student discovered some fruit teas contain as little as one per cent fruit and so he launched his brand, PHROOTI, which prides itself on tea bags containing between 95 and 97 per cent real fruit.
Jerome has created three flavour combinations:- Sour cherry and cranberry, blackcurrant, blackberry and blueberry and raspberry and strawberry.
He is now set to go into production with 3000 pouches using a business loan and money he gained from two award wins for his unique product.
He said: “My friend Rachel was a big fruit addict and ate eight pieces a day, the question that struck me was why she had not ordered a fruit tea?
“Her answer was simple; they smelled fruity, but never tasted like fruit. I set out to fill those tea bags a better way - by inviting fruit to the party.”
Jerome won the new business startup of the year award at the University of Sheffield Enterprise Evolve Business competition last month, netting £5000.
Four days later, he picked up £1000 and a year’s mentoring from food brand Cotswold Fayre’s young food and drink entrepreneur of the year scheme.
Jerome is also close to launching PHROOTI online and is being supported by mentor and gluten-free food entrepreneur Emma Killilea, of Delicious Alchemy, and the Wosskow Brown Foundation, a charitable organisation set up by the law firm to support emerging entrepreneurs.
Jim Lawson, director of the Foundation, said: “Jerome epitomises the reality that a successful business is usually no accident and that for most, the rewards arrive as a result of months of pre-launch planning in minute detail around product quality, market research, cashflow forecasting and developing a business plan.
“We look forward to helping him to grow.”