What is your name and position? What were you doing before launching the business and when did you launch?
Hi there. My name is Ian O’Donohue and I am the founder of Tudor Drinks which includes brands LOVEAU and Harry Bromptons. I founded Tudor Drinks back in 2014 and before this, I was a derivatives broker in London and New York. Two very different professions I know!
Tell us a little about your business/brand. How did it come about?
For Harry Brompton’s, my inspiration came from my Grandfather, Harry “Brompton” Cobb, a Londoner born and bred, who worked as a Waterman on the Thames from 1926-1994. I remembered his stories of sailing and unloading the heavily laden ships carrying wonderful foods, fruits, spices and teas from all corners of the world to the London docks. And how he would never be without a large mug of tea, hot or cold, keeping him on go, even during the dark days of the Blitz. So that is why I launched my brand Harry Brompton’s!
For LOVEAU, The idea came when myself and my colleague at the time, Simon wanted to create a drink free from sugar or sweeteners because Simon’s son Ollie was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 8. We then decided to make a great alternative to sugary fizz – something that could be a positive choice for anyone… It’s called LOVEAU as a fusion between LOVEAU and Water and is pronounced Love-oh!
Was there a turning point when you thought ‘yes, I’m now really onto something’?
Well, firstly for Harry Brompton’s London Ice Tea it was seeing people holding it on the tube twice in one day! That’s really a proud moment when you see your product out in the “wild”! We’ve sold many millions of bottles now but every time I see someone drinking it I feel really proud.
For LOVEAU, when we hit the big 1 billion calories saved was a huge milestone! It’s amazing how a small change can make a big difference. Just by making that switch from sugary soft drinks to LOVEAU people really have made a big difference for themselves and others too. We are also proud to make a donation to the JDRF to support Children affected by Type 1 diabetes.
What has been your proudest moment in business?
Good question! I think for sure getting our drinks listed in most of the top supermarkets such as Waitrose, Coop, Tesco, Sainsburys and more! I love nothing more than knowing there are lots of people out there enjoying our drinks that are so readily available to purchase!
What advice would you give to other people thinking of starting a business?
1000% just do it! It will be a challenging journey but an amazing one for sure. You will learn so much on the way, from both the good and the bad. Never give up.
What does an average day look like to you?
BUSY. Lol! Lots of calls, lots of emails but very fulfilling!
What’s your top tip when it comes to launching a business? read?
Learn everything there is to know about the area you want to launch into. Learn about your competitors. What is your niche? What is your speciality? WORK HARD! Persevere. It pays off.
What’s your top parenting tip?
Make time for your kids always. Family first, business second. If you keeled over tomorrow your company would be advertising your job by the end of the month!
What or who inspires you?
My grandad, was the reason I started Harry Bromptons.
What’s next for you and the business?