When did you launch Botanic Lab and why?
Botanic Lab was set up three years ago by Christophe Reissfelder and me. I’d left the City two years previously after a decade; I’ve always had an entrepreneurial itch and felt it was now or never.
How would you sum up the difference between Botanic Lab and other brands we may think similar?
Less froth, more function. Our offering centres around using functional botanical ingredients to create really interesting drinks, that you can’t make at home, and without exception each drink is a flavour experience. It’s about providing our customers with a superior product in a non-dogmatic way, but being clear about what it contains. Not preaching about lifestyle and what you should and shouldn’t be doing. That stuff leaves me cold.
What’s your favourite Botanic Lab product?
Am I allowed two?! Our charcoal ISOTONIC [a sports drink used by professional athletes] and KOLA+ [fast becoming a natural alternative to branded energy drinks]. They taste amazing, look quite startling, are totally not what you would expect when you see them and are highly functional.
What is your most popular juice?
ISOTONIC has always been our stand-out bestseller – I think for all the reasons I love it so much. Our customers want to be taken by surprise and and not disappointed when they actually drink the drink. The colour is an immediate draw (black), the taste is then nothing like you’d except and above all it functions as a very effective sport drink (or hangover cure if that’s your preference!)
What is it about BLOK gym that meant there was a good synergy?
We started working with BLOK before they opened while they were curating their food and drink offering. Right from the outset they wanted only the very best products that provided their customers with support in their workouts. They had heard of us through reputation and we shared the same approach.
What advice would you give to someone embarking on a heath kick?
My personal view (and I should add that I’m in no way qualified to give advice) is that January regimes are pointless. ‘Healthy living’ is such a loaded term these days but common sense tells me that a consistent approach, which isn’t restrictive and incorporates a wide range of foods and activities of the best quality (including the bad ones!) is the approach that is going to lead to the best results (including a happier outlook).
What is your NY resolution for 2017?
I don’t tend to make those, but I did set a low bar this year of trying to drink more water – I’m winning on that front! Being an entrepreneur demands an almost obsessive degree of focus from me – one of my aims is to create a little more head space this year.