Six Barrel Soda Co. makes natural sodas and specialty soda syrups in Wellington. Joseph Slater chatted with the team about growing the company from a love of classic sodas and soda fountain culture and bringing out a new range of bottled sodas in August.
What is your company background, how did you start the business?
We opened a bar/diner in Wellington in 2010 and wanted to offer a range of natural and interesting soft drinks as well as use them for simple but innovative mixed drinks. I couldn’t find anything decent out there so started making my own. A couple of years and a lot of recipe refining later we started Six Barrel Soda Co in 2012.
What are the current product range and variants and how do these products stand out in the market?
We have a permanent range of 11 specialty soda syrups and five bottled sodas and a limited edition of both which changes quarterly. Soda Syrups aren’t all that common in New Zealand, there are plenty of cordials, but not many specifically for making sodas. Many of our flavours are unique, and we differ from most other soda makers in that ours are handmade from real ingredients rather than being made from the nasty stuff. It’s the same idea as people looking for craft beer; they want a quality product from a company they identify with.
Has there been any recent company news?
We have a new range of bottled sodas coming out in August in classic flavours, and we have recently released our new syrup branding which has been really well received by retailers and other customers.
What are the plans for the business moving forward, is there any expansion on the horizon?
We are growing nicely, and looking to build our team to keep up a solid level of product and service quality. After we get the new bottled soda range, we won’t be adding products for a while except for limited releases and custom sodas. We have a lot of export interest so will see if anything comes together here.
Where are your products currently available to buy, and are you looking at or wanting to expand your availability? If so, where would you like to see the product situated?
We supply a lot of cafes, restaurants and bars around New Zealand and are always looking to work with new venues. In terms of retailers, we are available in Farro, Nosh, Moore Wilsons, Commonsense Organics, Fresh Choice, Raeward Fresh and some New Worlds. We are also stocked in Father Rabbit, Paper Plane and a few other top design stores. Our syrups and sodas are selling well in retail, especially with our new syrup branding, so we’re on the lookout for good retailers too, especially in new towns and cities.