Back in 2015 after getting laid off and struggling to pay student debts we decided enough was enough. We need to set off on our own if we really want to make it in the world of food and drink. We both got jobs in catering to pay the bills and began testing our first recipes. The first batch of Ginger Beer Mix was only 20 litres, sold exclusively to restaurants. We used that money to fund the next slightly bigger batch and dreamt about a bigger stock pot. Now, 4 years later, we make five products sold across BC, have a small facility in Esquimalt and a big shiny 2,000L tank. Thanks to everyone who’s supported us along the way! We couldn’t have done it without you.
Most of our production equipment we custom built ourselves; a walk-in cooler, bottling line and our pasteurizer. That means when something breaks (and it does!), we know how it works and can fix it right away to ensure our product is always made well. Every bottle that goes out the door is filled and labeled, by hand, one at a time. We use a mix of ingredients that are fresh, whole, local and organic. We use the variety of ingredient that tastes the best. For us, taste is king. It’s what makes our mixers the most delicious products available. Every ingredient is grown or made by producers just as passionate about flavour as we are. The farmers who grow our tonic’s lavender, on Vancouver Island, focus on nothing but that single ingredient. It’s grown to perfection. Just like the forth-generation family business that grows our organic lemons in sun-drenched Sicily. Everyone we choose to work with is an expert in their field. Literally.
Along with Rootside, in 2019 we also started the Esquimalt Wine Company, a winery focused on aperitif style wines. This was a project we’ve been chipping away at for the last 3 years; learning how to make wine, perfecting a vermouth recipe and getting our winery licensed. Our first product, Rosso Vermouth, is a Italian style sweet Vermouth. This will quickly be followed by a Dry Vermouth and many other herbal wine styles.
Thanks again so much to everyone who have made this possible. Every customer that comes to our farmer’s markets, it’s because of you that we’re able to do this. We’ll always be grateful.
- Quinn & Michela