A lot of you may know about our products but we think it's about time you learn a bit about our co-founders!
In this interview, we get to know the feelings behind the fizz, the brains behind the bubbles, the purveyors of pop themselves: Bon Accord co-founders, Karen Knowles and Nathan Burrough.
How would you describe your job to your children?
Karen: I make and sell delicious, natural fizzy pop. But, in the words of my kids, I ‘do’ Bon Accord??
Nathan: I get the juice in and out of the warehouse to make sure that the people who want it, have it!
What's the weirdest job you've had?
Karen: One summer, most of my uni pals were off doing summer jobs like bar work and internships. Instead, I spent my summer working for a commercial pea farming company in the northeast of Scotland. I loved it! I spent most of my time outdoors chatting with farmers about their crops. My dad is a farmer and my mum's side of the family ran Bon Accord, so I guess I was destined for a career in the food and drink industry.
Nathan: I had a temp job working in a factory moulding wax. I did a week of night shifts and that was enough!
What values are most important to you?
Karen: Family and feeling good are two of my core values. It’s also important to have flexibility and a work/life balance when you've got a young family.
Nathan: Working hard and keeping quality high, whether that’s customer service or product quality.
We love a good book recommendation at Bon Accord! What are you currently reading?
Karen: I'm currently reading The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki. I'm only on the second chapter but I’ve heard such good things so I'm looking forward to getting stuck into it. I've started using the Goodreads App on the recommendation of Toni. It makes it easier to track what I've read and I’m able to give friends and family recommendations if they're after something new.
Nathan: I tend to read one fiction and one non-fiction. I recently finished Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari, which was an eye-opening read about how we evolved. I’m now reading Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro. It’s a brief dip into a world where children have AI companions, which feels like a futuristic extension of Siri!? I’ve already lined up Doughnut Economics by Kate Raworth, an exploration of how and why economies should move away from being solely focused on growth.
What has surprised you the most about founding a soft drinks company?
Karen: The warmth and connection that so many people have with Bon Accord is really touching. It was such an iconic brand for so many people growing up in Scotland. I love hearing all the old stories about Bon Accord, and I'm really proud of continuing my grandfather's legacy!
Nathan: How complicated making the product is. Karen and I met while working in the seafood industry. I think we assumed it would be just like making a salmon paté! 😂
Is there anything about the soft drinks industry that you’d like to change?
Karen: The soft drink industry is still dominated by global brands. I would love to see smaller, more innovative products break through and win shelf space in supermarkets, much like how the craft beer market has boomed over the past 10 years.
Nathan: Nothing. I love it 😉
Bon Accord's future is looking pretty sweet! But what are you most looking forward to?
Karen: I'm just really excited about all the opportunities we have to grow the brand. I love seeing our products on the shelves in retail stores and on menus in cafés, bars and restaurants. I'll never tire of the pride I feel when I spot people drinking Bon Accord when we're out and about!
Nathan: Getting the bottle in more and more people’s hands. We really believe that our drinks bring a little bit of happiness to someone's day!
There you have it, all the goss behind Bon Accord's founders!
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(Reposted from Nov 2022)