Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Roots Soda co. Christmas aftermath.

It appears every time I open up my laptop, log on to Facebook, youtube, or twitter, a loud, pervasive, positive noise, descends over everything. I find myself in a space empty of anything. Brands jockeying for status via constantly empty updates that scream out absolutely nothing at all. I wouldn’t mind if a little humility showed up from time to time. If they’d talk up their failures alongside all their apparent successes. I’d dig that.

The situation is even more acute, if not critical, in the soft drinks industry. There, bullshit has run riot. Association with major sporting events, athletes, pop stars, wholesomeness. You name it, they’ve done it. There’s always the next big healthy thing too. Funny, it just seems to go round and round in circles. Something is healthy then it’s not. Over one hundred years ago sparkling water was healthy. Then, sodas were healthy. Then, sodas with artificial sweeteners. Then, smoothies. Then, right back to the start, water again but this time fortified with vitamins. What will they think up next?

Here’s an idea, how about just telling it like it is? We make sodas. They have this in them. You probably shouldn’t have them all that often.

Those old, dinosaur brands, looked after by caretakers now, who never had to build anything, who don’t care about anything except shareholders and money. They have absolutely nothing to say but they make a lot of noise anyway. And it’s always positive.

Life is jagged. It flies out at us all broken up and splintered. Hitting out, when we least expect it on some fucking street corner. It has as much, if not more, shade than it does light. I want to hear about the shade.

Roots should’ve been consigned to the history books. We’ve died and then been resuscitated several times over now. It’s fair to say that 2014 has not been a good year for us. The last two months were the bleakest, of a bleak year. I do not know how we, I, got through them. Talking about, and owning up to my failings is hard.

Getting myself up each morning these past two months was extremely difficult. I wondered if I’d done the right thing starting all this. Sometimes I even wished I could just reset the clocks back to a time before we risked everything in Roots. Before we were so severely indebted. Before, when failure was an option. It’s not that I don’t want to do Roots anymore, I’m doing what I want to do everyday, I just don’t want to mess it up for everyone who has helped with money, or their time.

A couple of months back, Roots took a steep nose dive the day we first ran our new bottling machine. Day after day, week after week, we could not get it to run properly. We found faults, resolved faults, only to find more. I began to get nose bleeds. With each failure my headaches only got worse. We lost thousands of pounds worth of soda while I received vomiting and severe cramps. I had to completely unplug from Roots in order to get well again. Right in the middle of our free-fall, right while I failed to make our cashflow plan.

Somehow, some-fucking-how, and I don’t know how, we got that machine working, eventually. After we had no choice but to take it apart, we found it had arrived with three faults.

Now we had a working production facility but the setbacks had left us in a bad place financially. Where now? I unplugged from everything again working day and night to rewrite our business plan. I was determined, somehow, this time, the banks were finally going to lend to us.

A few weeks ago our bank finally came onboard. I’ve been working on getting staff onboard since. As the only full-time member at Roots I’m struggling to cope.

We are now hiring. If you’d like to get involved please see the job vacancy here - http://www.list.co.uk/job/1885-head-of-sales/

I’m tired of going backwards. Unfortunately we’ve had to in order to survive. To say goodbye to a trying year, when the opportunity arose we made a short Christmas video.

A couple of weeks ago, family and friends gave up their Sunday and came down to Roots HQ. To all of them, thank you very much! To Idlewild and Withered Hand who let us use their music, thank you very much too!

You can download Withered Hand’s track here, for free, it’s beautiful so I suggest you do - Its A Wonderful Lie

Peace be with you brothers and sisters

Merry Christmas



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