Supplier Spotlight: Lemonaid

We love to support ethical producers and are incredibly proud of the quality of ingredients we use and the products we stock at the cafe; from locally sourced meat to socially responsible coffee, we try our hardest to ensure your meal is the best it can be. With that in mind, we’d like to introduce you to Lemonaid – the socially aware soft drinks company – whose delicious beverage are available to enjoy from the drinks fridge. Read on to find out more…

For anyone that doesn’t know, what is Lemonaid and what do you produce?
Lemonaid is a social enterprise that raises money through making soft drinks to help make the world a better place. We make drinks as they should be made – from the best Fairtrade ingredients. Our raw ingredients are grown organically on Fairtrade plantations, by farmers that we have developed long term relationships with. With every bottle sold, 5p goes into the Lemonaid and ChariTea Foundation to help improve the lives of the people that grow our ingredients.


What was the initial inspiration behind Lemonaid?
We’ve got big aspirations! We want to change the world, drink by drink. So far we have raised over £2.5 million for social projects that improve the everyday lives of the farmers and their families in the regions where our ingredients are produced.


What are the core values of Lemonaid?
We believe that producing great food and drink doesn’t have to be at the expense of others, or the environment. That’s why we support organic and Fairtrade farmers, its why you won’t find our drinks in plastic bottles and its why you will find our Foundation supporting others to grow sustainably.


As a socially responsible company in a competitive market, what is the biggest challenge you face on a day-to-day business and how do you overcome this?
As a start-up and social enterprise, we don’t have a massive marketing budget, but we know that once you try our products you will be back for more. Competing with big brands with big budgets will always be a challenge, but we think our drinks speak for themselves – so an army of happy customers that recommend our drinks has to be our secret weapon.


What has been Lemonaid’s greatest achievement to date?
Since 2008 we have raised over £2.5 million that has been used to support the communities that grow the ingredients for our drinks, although this is great – there is still so much to do. At the moment we are supporting over 25 different projects worldwide.


From one business to another, what advice would you give you other entrepreneurs wanting to start their own company?
It is so important to know why you are doing what you have chosen to do, know what drives you and what you are aiming for. Be passionate and stay true to these founding principles and others will want to be involved in what you are doing.


What does the future have in store for Lemonaid?
We hope to continue to grow and hopefully you will continue to see our bottles of Lemonaid and ChariTea popping up!


Have you noticed any exciting emerging food trends for the next year or so?
Amazing things are happening in the world of food at the moment – its great to see so many smaller brands really showing the big brands how to be a truly sustainable and ethical business


If we came to Lemonaid HQ for lunch, what dish (or dishes!) would you serve?
Our MD, Julian has always got something pretty delicious for lunch – its likely to be something fresh, organic and healthy to keep him on track for the afternoon.