Business Leader recently sat down with Annie Mitchell and Charlotte Dales – the founders of Bottleshot Cold Brew – to discuss how they transitioned from successful city careers to entrepreneurs who created a premium New Orleans style cold brew coffee.
Can you tell me about your respective business careers prior to Bottleshot Cold Brew?
CD: I moved to London a decade ago, and after growing restless working at Deutsche Bank, I launched my first company Cake Technologies, a restaurant payment app that took the headache out of splitting the bill when dining out with friends.
Several years later, Annie moved to London from New York to join my team, heading up Customer Experience thanks to Annie’s background in product strategy and marketing for companies like Nestle, Pfizer, and Green Mountain Coffee. At Cake, we commiserated over the fact that we couldn’t find decent cold brew in the UK.
When I successfully sold Cake Technologies to a Fortune 500, we seized the opportunity. With the help of their local Parsons Green-based barista and a few coffee experts, we began to develop the Bottleshot recipe. After a long time spent immersing ourselves in the complex worlds of recipe science, UK production, and all things coffee, we launched Bottleshot in August 2019 and we currently offer two main drinks – Cold Brew Coffee Black and with Oat Milk
Can you give an overview of the company?
AM: Bottleshot is a female-founded company producing New Orleans-style cold brew coffee right here in. Our coffee is brewed cold for 18 hours because this slow extraction creates a bold, smooth, nutty flavour that’s high in caffeine, low in acidity and no added sugars. We add a dash of chicory for that traditional New Orleans natural sweetness. We care about creating healthy and delicious coffee drinks consumers love, while always using ethical and sustainable practices.
That’s why we brew without electricity, mix with oat milk, then pack our coffees in recycled aluminium cans, which can be stored ambient (until it’s time to quickly chill & drink them!). It’s also why we’re thrilled to be partnering with Urban Mushroom, a YMCA company that turns our coffee grind waste into compost for growing mushroom plants, while providing jobs and training to disenfranchised young people.
What was the inspiration behind setting up the company?
CD: It all kicked off when my barista in Parson’s Green, Lukasz, gave me a bottle of his home-made cold brew coffee one day, which I brought to the office where I worked with Annie. We’d both bonded over our love for cold brew and how there weren’t any good options in England. We decided to work with Lukasz and help bring amazing cold brew coffee to the UK.
What have been the challenges introducing your products to market?
Production! Learning the science behind cold brew and manufacturing, and finding trustworthy production partners who we can work with to create the best drinks. We’ve partnered with top engineers who are experts in producing safe, ambient products.
What separates the company from others in the market?
AM: Our traditional recipe, and how all of our ready-to-drink products are high in caffeine and never made with added sugar. Too often a canned/bottled coffee is full of sweeteners that perk you up for a half hour then completely crash you. We wanted our drinks to be delicious, proper coffees – they just happen to also be conveniently, ethically packed.
What are the future plans for the business?
AM: Increase awareness here about delicious cold brew, expand our flavour range, and then take Bottleshot beyond the UK.