At the age of 21, Paul Simon wowed South Africa with his concept store, Young Designer’s Emporium (YDE).
Now, 20 years on, this entrepreneur is on to yet another brand in his stellar career of start-ups: Uber Flavour, a fresh, new, iced tea brew, intended to put South African flavour on the world map.
Tell us briefly the story of Uber Flavour?
Being a serial entrepreneur, I am constantly looking for new ideas. Considering our weak exchange rate I have been looking for a product that can be locally manufactured and sold abroad.
It was on a trip to Europe that I found myself looking for a healthy beverage for my four-year-old daughter and came across a rooibos-based iced tea. I investigated and found that rooibos has taken off overseas, so I set out employing a food developer to help me develop a healthy rooibos iced tea that fitted the basic principles of the overseas market. Uber Flavour was born.
Where is it available?
Uber Flavour is currently available in about 70 venues in Cape Town, and launches in Joburg towards the end of March.
How has your experience in fashion and business shaped this new business plan?
Basically being an entrepreneur and having been involved in numerous start-ups, the principles of start-up businesses remain the same.
I have what I call my three times rule: It takes three times longer to develop, launch and be successful than you think it will; it takes three times more money than you initially budget for, it takes three years to gain traction in new markets.
What has the response been like?
The response has been exceptional. Our first batch of 10 000 bottles sold out in three weeks! People love and appreciate the fact that there is nothing in our Uber Flavour Brew other than real brewed tea and fresh fruit.
What can we expect next from the brand?
We are hard at work developing a new flavour. We also have a number of other products in the pipeline that are being developed along the same principles as our Uber Flavour Brew. We hope to have our product available nationally within the next few months and then take the world by storm!