Eoin Flinn is the CEO and founder of Booch, a Kenyan beverage company making organic kombucha tea since 2016.
Kombucha is tea that has been fermented by a culture of yeast and bacteria, and an healthy alternative to soda, coffee and alcohol.
Flinn describes the invention of Booch as a story of personal passion that was turned into commercial adventure.
Here is his story as told by WoK.
In an interview with How We Made It In Africa, Flinn noted that he started making kombucha in 2016 as a hobby.
However, having experienced its health benefits and realizing its scarcity, he decided to introduce it into the Kenyan market.
Flinn developed Booch and started selling his products to local restaurants, and later to different grocery chains.
“I was working as a consultant at the time but became more and more passionate about Booch. Eventually, I left the consulting world and my wife and I went all in with the business,” he said.
To introduce his products to the local market, Flinn explained that he had to get the required licenses and a production unit.
“We still have a very long way to go but getting licensed was the first big milestone
“That allowed us to get into retail, and then last year we moved production from a small residential space into a proper food manufacturing facility,” he said.
Flinn noted that they mostly sell their products to gyms and yoga studios as well as people who have been advised to look for kombucha by their doctors.
“We sell a lot through word of mouth and our only marketing is the product itself on supermarket shelves and what we do on social media
“We’re not big enough yet for above-the-line marketing, but with persistence, we will get there,” he said.
The entrepreneur pointed out the cost of production as one of the biggest challenges that he has experienced in his venture.
“Our commitment to glass bottles, fresh fruits for flavouring and not pasteurising the product in a very price-conscious market all make life very difficult
“But this is the product we want to be making and our dedication to that quality wins us loyal supporters,” Flinn explained.
However, Flinn hopes that Booch will become a mass-market product in the coming years.
“We see lots of opportunity for lowering unit costs without sacrificing quality as we get more economies of scale,” he stated.
Booch kombucha is available in restaurants and cafes around Nairobi, and select retail outlets including Carrefour, Chandarana, Healthy U, Zucchini, Artcaffe Market, Onn the Way and Fresh2Go.
It is also available online at GreenSpoon, Chupa Chap Kenya, Kalimoni Greens and Grounded.
Flinn is also the CEO and co-founder of 254 Brewing Co, a processor of unfiltered and unpasteurized craft beer.
He also served as the director of Burn International Limited, which makes the popular Jikokoa, from October 2015 to February 2019.