Here’s a few of our favourite things: iced coffee, a great brand back story, and entrepreneurial spirit. Sandows cold brew coffee company has all three.
Cold brew coffee, for those (like us) who had no idea, is made by brewing coarse coffee granules in cold water for 16 hours. The outcome is a smooth, non-bitter coffee that’s best served cold in a glass over ice. It’s hotly tipped to be ‘the latest thing’ in CoffeeLand, and riding the crest of the wave are 4 month old cold brew company Sandows. TWOP headed to their underground brewery in Islington to find out more about their business and brand.
Brainchild of two baristas: Luke Suddards and Hugh Duffie, Sandows has been long in its coming. The guys used to serve cold brew in their former jobs and realised that there was an overwhelming demand for it – signifying the possible green shoots of a trend. They started plotting, pulling together a business model and a brand, and launched their company a year later.
Sandows, we were told, is a name borrowed from infamous Victorian strongman Eugene Sandows. In fact, the logo is inspired by a pair of crossed barbells in his honour. Hoping we hadn’t missed an obvious connection between Victorian weightlifters and coffee, we asked why. Meticulous planning and determination was the answer. Sandows would train excessively, studying his rivals and hunting down research on the optimum body shape – even fine-tuning small muscles in his forearm with finger exercises to achieve his vision. It’s this attention to detail the guys want to achieve with Sandows.
The classic branding was created by friends who run their own design agency (an entrepreneurial bunch, this) and matches the sophistication of the product. The packaging itself is a talking point: small whiskey bottles full of brown liquid? I got some funny looks sipping mine on the tube the next morning. But the guys like the fun of it, and as they’re going after an adult audience it feels like a great distinctive move.
Only a few months into their mission, they’ve amassed a huge amount of PR coverage and landed deals with the likes of Selfridges, selling for £4 a pop. Keep an eye out for it at boutique coffee shops too, but don’t expect to see it down your Tesco Express – Sandows is a finely crafted coffee and deserves a seat in retailers who appreciate that.
Next time you see the bottle, grab some and pour over ice to enjoy a new coffee experience. For more information visit the Sandows site here.
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Words by – Jo Delaney