Atlanta tech veterans launch new line of canned cocktails, Phreshly
Like many of us, entrepreneur Paul Owusu spent the early days of the pandemic taking up new hobbies, including making cocktails. He shared his creations on social media, eventually connecting with local cocktail enthusiasts and now business partners Tai Applewhite and Ama Marfo.
Alumni of tech companies like Mailchimp and Twitter, the trio decided to leverage their start-up smarts and passion for fancy drinks to launch Phreshlya new range of canned cocktails.
“Our cocktails have a distinct sense of place,” says Owusu of the drinks, which draw inspiration from the flavors of Ghana and Louisiana, places where he and the other founders lived.
The team tested over 100 drinks on family and friends before landing on the final recipe for the herbal and tangy G’iddem: a rum-based drink made with blueberry, pineapple, agave and lemongrass. It is inspired by Sobolo, a traditional Ghanaian juice with berry hues. The cocktail lineup also includes the fresh and floral Bay Lemonade, an aged bourbon infused with strawberry, lemon and lavender.
Owusu and his team hope to capitalize on the ready-to-drink (RTD) market, a category that, according to wholesale beverage app Drizzly, grew by more than 100% in 2021.
“Consumers are looking for convenience and a modern twist on cocktails,” says Owusu, who believes Phreshly’s sourcing, quality ingredients and distinct flavors will help the brand stand out in a crowded market. “[They] care about where and how their products were made. Phreshly’s vegan ingredients are sourced from minority farms located across the country, including strawberries and blueberries from Applewhite’s great-aunt’s property in Mississippi.
Applewhite says the team plans to work with SAFONa regional network of black farmers in the South East, which develops and markets new flavors, with four more planned by the end of 2022
4-packs of 12-ounce cans of Phrehly — with 152 calories and 6% ABV — can be purchased for $21.99 online at phreshly.co and will soon be available at the Bellyard Hotel in Atlanta and select package stores across Georgia. The brand also plans to expand distribution to other states by the end of the year.