Wednesday, May 4, 2016

NSBW Spotlight: Wheel Lemonade

I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Rob from Wheel Lemonade this weekend at the Old Elk Grove Farmers Market.  I've been following their Wheel Lemonade Instagram account and I'd been really looking forward to trying their unique flavor combinations.  They use 100% real FRESH fruit, not frozen or canned and nothing artificial.

I was floored by these lemonades!  The flavoring offerings for that weekend were Blueberry Lavender, Guava Strawberry, and Tangerine Carrot.  These lemonades are SO delicious with bold pronounced fruit flavor yet subtle sweetness and tartness.  I have no idea how they do it!  I taste the fruit, I taste the tartness, and it's not too tart for my palate.  It blows my mind that the natural fruit flavor is so bold without being too sweet or too tart.  I don't know how they do it and I'm pretty sure they use magic.

My favorite was the Blueberry Lavender which I was very skeptical about before I tried it.  I have no idea.  Rob has this magical way of mixing flavors where it's so pleasant and bold but not overpowering.  I thought that lavender would taste like soap and I got none of that.  It was just a pleasant finish.  My 3 year old's favorite was the Guava Strawberry which had that same unique balance of that guava hitting you first, then you finish with strawberry but you still get the subtle tartness and sweetness from the lemonade.  I need to stop blabbing on.

Here are some words from Robert about his business:
Our mission here at Wheel Lemonade is to redefine the lemonade industry. We understand it is a grand and perhaps unattainable goal, but we sure are going to try our best.

Even though the company officially began in early 2015, the idea came about a few years before while we were living in San Bruno CA. We had served 2 flavors, original and mint ginger, at a baby shower for our to-be- born daughter. Family and friends loved them!  They had never tasted a classic lemonade so full-flavored yet not overly sweet before.  And the mint ginger was a flavor combination so unique that people kept drinking it until it was all gone. Everyone loved that it was not too sweet.

We then moved to Elk Grove after my daughter was born because we wanted to be able to provide her with more room to roam around, and bay area homes were just out of our budget. Myself being a graduate of UCD and my wife already having family members inElk Grove, our move was an easy transition as we knew the Sacramento area well.

Turning my lemonade into a business never became a serious idea until after we moved to Sacramento, where the summers can be unbearably hot and a good lemonade can hit the spot. After getting all the permits to startup, we encountered some challenges in finding a place that would allow us to serve our lemonades. We were asked what else do we sell and were told they are not looking for a lemonade vendor as there were other vendors already selling beverages (even though it wasn't lemonade). I believe the whimsical and childish image of the lemonade industry had something to do with this.

So when Unseen Heroes took a chance on us and gave us an outlet at the Midtown Farmers Market to serve our lemonade, we were extremely grateful. Our first weekend, we sold out 6 gallons. Next weekend, 8 gallons. Soon after, we began introducing our flavored lemonades. By summer, we were consistently selling between 15-18 gallons every Saturday at the market.

What we love about selling at farmers markets is people's reaction when they try a sample. People would directly tell us or tell whoever they're with that they like how the lemonade is not too sweet. Hearing people's reaction that "this is really good" just reaffirms that what we're doing is worthwhile.

The lemonade industry suffers from a bad image. Everyone associates lemonade as a grossly sweet beverage that is so easy to make that even a kid can make it. We at Wheel are trying to show a level of sophistication not typically associated with lemonade. We provide a new-generational lemonade using real fresh fruits & ingredients with just the right amount of sweetness. We are attempting to redefine how lemonade should taste!





You guys HAVE to go sample these lemonades at Old Elk Grove Farmers Market, Midtown Market, Gather, and Sactomofo 9.  Just go TRY them and let me know what you think!

1 comment:

Gail said...

I tried the guava strawberry lemonade last Sunday and it was so good!!! You are right it's not too sweet and you can taste the flavor of the fruit very well.