Black Founders Link to Develop Plant-Based Cocktails After Tweet Goes Viral
Photo Credit: Phreshly
Manifestation is powerful. Just ask business owners Tai Applewhite and Paul Owusu. The two founded plant-based adult beverage company Phreshly after Applewhite’s belief in a distant dream and Owusu mixed Prosecco and vodka per advice from “Insecure’s” Issa Dee.
“I had been making cocktails at home to pass time after my wife and I were both laid off due to COVID-19,” he explained to AfroTech about his viral tweet. “Two days after the tweet garnered some traction, I developed the idea for Phreshly.”
Similarly, Applewhite was doubling as a makeshift mixologist in her Atlanta home when she saw Owusu’s fleeting thoughts, but it stuck with her. She instantly messaged him to discuss a possible collaboration.
“Our shared goal is to create tastier and healthier drink options,” she said.
Phreshly’s lineup of forthcoming cocktails are made with honest ingredients: seven times distilled sugar cane vodka, sparkling water, agave from minority-owned farms, and considered blends of fruits, teas, and botanicals. As a result of their all-natural cocktail, consumers will most likely avoid pesky hangovers from a boozy night of overly processed in-home concoctions.
In addition, the duo is utilizing data mining to target millennials with names like Issa Virgin, First Love, and Bay Lemonade, all relatable branding they hope their customers will enjoy.
“We’re creating a ready-to-drink cocktail, that makes you feel good, rested, minus the risky texts,” Applewhite says.
It’s no secret that Black entrepreneurs often struggle to fund new ideas. With that knowledge, Applewhite and Owusu are focused on “organic growth, traction, and building products people want and love.”
“We’re currently bootstrapping the business and also running very lean,” Owusu said.
Now, with a recent resurgence in the Black community to buy strictly from Black-owned companies, Phreshly has a fighting chance to be the next popular brand in the spirits biz.
“Whether it’s H&M’s unsound marketing, Starbucks’ removing people from its store, or Facebook’s hiring diversity problem, Black people and other POC often bear the brunt of corporate and systematic racism,” Applewhite said. “When you choose a Black-owned business, you vote with your dollars by divesting against this practice and hold people accountable. You empower successful minority-owned businesses to implement equitable policies.”
Phreshly is set to be available at the end of 2020. Follow updates here.