Brian O’Shea spent 20 years working for supermarket giants including Asda and Sainsbury’s and even set up his own consultancy to help small producers start trading with big buyers.
In February he launched the Paisley Drinks Company after spotting a gap in the market for craft soda made using only natural ingredients and processes and blended with pure Scottish water.
It has been backed by a loan from Transmit Start-Ups, funding recipe development, and its range includes strawberry coconut, rhubarb cream and blueberry ginger sodas.
O’Shea said: “We wanted to develop unique flavours that would set the Paisley Drinks Company apart from others and that would really resonate with customers. For example, the strawberry coconut soda is based on Scotland’s favourite sweet treat, the snowball.”
Dozens of bars, cafes and restaurants in the Paisley area now stock the craft range and a new deal will see farm shops and other outlets on board.
O’Shea added: “Our individual serving bottles have been really popular with independent stockists and our next move is to consider other formats to allow us to compete with the big brands currently on the supermarket shelves.”
Transmit Start-Ups has to date backed about 1,170 entrepreneurs in Scotland with more than £13 million in finance.
The Paisley Drinks Company worked with Transmit Start-Ups’ business adviser Morag Kelly to secure its investment.
She said: “We’re thrilled to have played a part in getting the Paisley Drinks Company off the ground and into production and we really look forward to the next chapter in their start-up journey.
“There are some incredibly exciting food and beverage businesses starting up in Scotland and it’s great to see them go from strength to strength.”