Johnny wanted to start a drinks company and was working in Soho. One Christmas while mulling this over with his Mum and Dad he thought about calling it The Soho Juice Co? Much to everyone's surprise the name wasn’t taken so The Soho Juice Co was born.
After the name, the idea. In the carbonated drink sector there was loads of exciting innovation, but in the non-carbonated, politely put, there wasn’t as much going on, and the drinks that were in that space were high in sugar and tended to be in single use plastic bottles. We felt we couldn’t be the only ones who felt there could be the potential for a shake up. When thinking of the leading carbonated soft drinks the names rolled off the tongue, when thinking of the non-carbonated soft drinks….not quite so much.
The very first version of the multi-award-winning cucumber, mint, lemon and lime drink was made at Johnny’s friend Steve’s ramshackle flat in a North London warehouse using a cheap blender bought second hand and ingredients purchased from a local supermarket. Along with Steve and Johnny’s old friend John (formerly of ex indie rockers The Basement minor fame) they sold out of their first homemade batches of SOHO at Borough market and then like with many a great idea, nothing happened.
Fast forward a year and John is in London for a record producer friend’s wedding which is coincidently being held very near to Johnny’s flat. Both friends decide to meet up the day after the wedding and hungover from the night before over a few Bloody Mary’s decide to give the SOHO idea a proper try.
They enlist the crucial help of Danny who worked with Johnny as operations manager for Johnny’s previous start-up, a petroleum free lip care company for skiers and surfers and the work begins.
John initially got the company an EU grant from the fine folk at Chester university despite none of the SOHO gang fulfilling the requirements that one of them had to be attending the university, and the early tentative process of mass production began. The early bottles had gloriously painful swing top caps that fell to Johnny and Danny to apply to all initial 2000 bottles by hand. John then started selling the drinks bar to bar and sold enough to prove a concept. During these early years SOHO began life as a C02 free mixer. The overriding feedback was the drinks tasted too good to just be a mixer, so we listened.
Though before we listened, we spent 3 weeks in 2018 showcasing the drinks on a 7-city tour of China with a dubious but charming character called Anton; a middle aged, cowboy hat wearing Angolan-Portuguese wine merchant with vague previous life links to the underworld that were only hinted at after too many wines in a Shanghai flop house. But that’s another story.
In 2020, a certain global retailer bought us out of our entire 200ml mixer inventory. Then during a once in a lifetime pandemic, amidst varying degrees of global financial uncertainty we did what any self-respecting company would do. Dramatically scale up the manufacturing, have total faith in our convictions and go all in on becoming the UK’s premier C02 free alternative soft drink company. Selling in sleek 100% recyclable 250ml cans without compromising on hard-to-find flair and originality.
Since making that step, in less than 2 years our drinks are sold up and down the UK, across Europe (you might’ve even seen us in an airport or two), in supermarkets in the Middle East and in North America, and we’re only getting warmed up.
Full of flavour, Free of fizz
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