A former actor who moved to Staffordshire from Australia brought the sunshine back through a new business backed by the county council – and has just launched his first product.
Christian Heath set up Sunnyside Drinks Co and has just launched a premium alcoholic ginger beer. He’ll be touring this summer’s festivals to give people their first taste of the new drink.
He has benefited from Get Started and Grow – the fully-funded support programme for start-up and growing businesses up to five years old which is run by Staffordshire County Council. Christian also received a £5,000 start-up loan from the county council.
Christian, from Stafford, managed to raise £9,000 through crowdfunding to support the launch.
He’s now studying for a master’s degree in entrepreneurship at Staffordshire University.
It’s been a long time coming as the process to obtain the various licences in order to sell the product is a lengthy one, but we’re now ready for people to interact with the brand this summer either at the events we’ll be at or online.
I had one-to-one sessions from Get Started and Grow which covered everything I needed to know in terms of market research, finance and business planning, and then it all came together into a business plan.
This gave me confidence, an ability to grow my network and open doors. Of course, there are lots of times you go through doubt, hitting walls, but you just persist and chip away. I’m fully driven and believe in the business and the products.
I am very fortunate to be starting this business in Staffordshire with the support from the programme team. They’ve been instrumental in helping me meet like-minded people and getting the fundamentals right for my business.
Any business up to five years old can apply to Get Started and Grow – which now includes human resources, accountancy and business partner/legal support.
I really think people will love this new style ginger beer with refreshing summer vibes. It contains natural and organic ingredients – though the recipe’s a secret!
People can find out more at www.sunnysidedrinks.co.uk
Staffordshire County Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for economy and skills Philip White said:
Get Started and Grow has supported hundreds of new small businesses across Staffordshire – boosting the local economy and helping to create jobs.
We recognise that many people would love to start up their own business but sometimes do not have confidence in themselves or their skills. We’ve seen a broad range of people from different back grounds benefit which is hugely encouraging.
The programme really enables people’s business ideas to flourish. “It’s great to see the difference this support has made to Christian’s business and that he’s been able to launch his product ahead of the summer. We wish him every success in the future.”