From Leamington to Nigeria: success story for trail-blazing brothers
Two brothers who achieved their lifelong dream of producing and selling a drink they enjoyed as children in Nigeria are already making waves in their former homeland and across the globe.
Mike and Garry Robinson, from Leamington, brought Ikoyi Chapmans to the UK market in the spring and have already seen its popularity soar.
The launch of the drink, a soft, fizzy beverage made with citrus fruit and bitters, featured in the Leamington Courier in May and the story was immediately picked up on news websites across Nigeria.
This led to a raft of enquiries from Nigeria, Dubai, Australia and the United States about the product, which is now shipping all over the UK.
The brothers have since signed a distribution deal with London-based Ades Limited, which specialises in African Caribbean produce and the drink is now stocked all over the UK, including at the Hilton Hotel at Birmingham Airport, the upmarket Baraset Barn in Stratford and The Cotswold Cheese Company in Moreton-in-Marsh and Stow-on-the-Wold.
“We’re so happy with the response we’ve had since we launched Chapmans and it was wonderful to see an article in our local newspaper travel across the globe,” said Mike.
“We’ve spread our wings far and wide since the spring and we are continuing to grow. It certainly helps having a product which we know is unique and we’re excited about what the future holds for Chapmans.”
The drink’s origins can be traced back as far as 1960, where it was mixed by a barman at The Ikoyi Club in Lagos. The brothers both said they had never tasted anything like it and, after moving back to the UK to board at Warwick School, they would often return to Nigeria during the school holidays and enjoy the drink again.
Mike and Garry became professional squash players in the 1980s and continued to mix and drink Chapmans, also discovering it blended well with gin, vodka and prosecco.
“The drink is gluten-free, vegan and is exempt from the sugar tax so we’re really confident we’ve got a product which not only tastes great but also has a wide appeal,” added Garry.
For more information on Ikoyi Chapmans, visit www.ikoyichapmans.co.uk or search for Ikoyi Chapmans on social media.