Alexandra Chappate: The Founder Of Kenyan Originals, An Alcoholic Brand Inspired By ‘Muratina’

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Alexandra Chappate is the CEO and founder of Kenyan Originals, an alcoholic beverages brand. The company makes craft tonics, fruit ciders, ice teas and craft spirits. The brand was founded in 2018 and was interestingly inspired by ‘muratina’, a traditional brew made from fruits.

After ten years of working with big brands like Kit Kat and Stella Artois in the UK, Alexandra moved to Africa with her husband. She first moved to West Africa, living in Ghana and eventually moved to Kenya five years ago. In Ghana, Ms Chappate worked with Pernod Ricard, a French Alcoholic beverages brand in West Africa. Pernod Ricard is the owner of premium alcohol brands including Jameson, Chivas, Martell, Regal among others.

Local production

Kenyan Originals products are all manufactured at their Baba Dogo factory in Ruaraka which has employed over 100 youth. The company also sources all the ingredients locally, empowering local farmers. These include bitter orange leaves, lemongrass, bay leaves, roses, hibiscus, baobab, peanuts, mint, Ginger, mangoes, and Chilli.

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Kenyan Originals

The Pineapples that are used to make their pineapple and mint cider are sourced from Kisii and Thika. Mangoes used to make their mango and ginger cider are sourced from Makueni. Limes used to make their lime and ginger are sourced from Garissa with the passion fruits used in their passion fruit and lime are sourced from Nyahururu.

The company also has a gin, which is distilled with botanicals that are sourced from different parts of the country. This includes bitter orange leaves from Kilifi, lemongrass from Kabati, bay leaves from Kinangop and roses from the Mt. Kenya region.

Business growth

Kenyan Originals has built a cross category portfolio in three key categories; ciders, mixers, spirits.

In terms of growth, the company doubled in size in 2021 with direct distribution in over 1,500 outlets in Kenya including leading retailers Carrefour, Shoprite, Naivas, Quickmart and Chandarana.

Alex Chappatte

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Achievements

The company has been acknowledged by receiving a number of awards for their work and standards. These include the following:

2019 – Product of the year by African excellence awards
2020 – Finalists for the world innovation beverage awards for ‘Best Botanical Drink’ and ‘Best Alcohol’
2021 – Best Kenyan craft beverage at the Kenyan beverage awards
– New product of the year for ‘KO honey Cider’ at the African excellence awards

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