Ipswich friends launch smoothie business with a difference
- Credit: Suffolk Smoothie Company
Some moments in life are serendipitous. The stars align. It was meant to be. Mates Katie Brooks and Kessia Willoughby, who’ve just launched the Suffolk Smoothie Company in Ipswich, can relate.
The duo, who worked together for nearly 12 years in a digital solutions agency, always said they’d end up running a business with one another. Something that harnessed their combined passion, energy and drive. Something based around food.
Life, though, had other plans, and with the pair of them eventually taking different jobs and moving... the ladies drifted apart.
“We ended up on different paths and in different parts of the UK,” says Katie. “My family and I moved to Suffolk around five years ago. We loved it immediately - it’s a perfect balance of country, coastal and town living. Imagine, then, my delight when Kessia called to say her super-talented eldest son had been offered a scholarship for rugby at a private school in Ipswich. They were moving to Suffolk – hurrah!”
Imaginative booze-free cocktails and smoothies have long been part of Kessia’s packages via her events business, and it was while unpacking boxes over a cup of tea, discussing the hell of trying to get fruit and veg into growing kids (and adults) that the pair came up with the idea of starting their own smoothie company.
“I’m constantly trying to find ways to sneak good stuff into my family’s diet,” laughs Katie. “We talked about how we could take smoothies as the basis for simple, honest-to-goodness, no-nonsense fruit injections. Something perfect for a busy family. Something convenient. And Suffolk Smoothie Company was born.”
Katie and Kessia managed to snap up an innovation kitchen at Suffolk Food Hall near Ipswich, where they researched and tested ingredients and blends – even sampling multiple types of strawberry until they found a variety they felt packed “a real strawberry punch”.
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“Fruit and vegetables are selected for quality and taste,” says Katie. “And we often keep the skin on the fruits to retain the vitamins and minerals. All the apple juice we use is Suffolk grown and never from concentrate.
“And we do things a little differently. All our drinks are handmade and cold-pressed in small batches using a vacuum blending technique that’s scientifically proven to lock in more nutrients. And to preserve them we were keen not to use harsh chemicals or environmentally-poor processes, so were delighted to discover High Pressure Pasteurisation (HPP). More common in the US, it uses cold water, at high pressure, to neutralise any nasties or bacteria. The result is our drinks have a very long shelf life, and each bottle tastes as fresh as the moment it was blended right up to 30 days and beyond.”
Initial flavours include Yellow Peach & Strawberry, Mango & Passionfruit, English Pear, Kiwi & Green Grape, and All The Berries, with more to come, including vegetable blends.
The 330ml grab-and-go bottles can be found at Suffolk Food Hall, Hog & Hen Farm Shop, Fork deli in Hadleigh and many more. You can also purchase these, and larger freezer pouches of smoothie online at suffolksmoothiecompany.com.
“We hope you’ll agree if they’re good enough for our family, they’ll be good enough for yours,” adds Katie. “We’re not on a mission to convince the world that Suffolk Smoothie Company smoothies are the best. We think they are, but we invite you to try one and decide for yourself.”