DISCLAIMER: The views expressed here are of my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Forever.
I am writing entirely from my own point of view, as I genuinely love a good discussion about black businesses in the UK. Often leading me to spark dialogue in my local barbershop, barbershops and hairdressers are usually a centre point for talking about matters that are close to our community.
If you've visited the JOURNEY page, you may have seen my summary of our experience within the drink industry. As well as, why we may not see many black-owned rums.
The main challenges for upcoming drinks in this industry:
Gaining enough funding
Retaining ownership of the product you are building
Very few upcoming drinks have been able to keep hold of the two.
You may gain one, but lose the other and vice versa.
The more potential your product has, the harder it becomes to gain enough funding and also retain ownership.
I've had experiences where funding partners went as far as proposing the opportunity of Forever receiving a retail store listing, in exchange for handing over complete ownership after a number of years down the line.
Would you take the deal?
I call them "gatekeepers" because they have the clout and means to decide which drink will advance and which will stay behind.
Forever is small and new. Faced against giant odds in this industry.
The affects of the Covid crisis hit Forever at the worst possible time, that moment became an opportunity for "gatekeepers" to shoot their shot at another attempt to entice Forever with so-called big opportunites.
I'm talking about emails and phone calls (from people I have never met in person), all making the same request.
Promises of "this" in exchange for "that". Ever since we started raising funds to help Forever bounce back and be able to make its first release, we have been avoiding potholes and jumping barriers without compromising on our values.
All in the hope of one day, together, being able to provide opportunities to avoid black-owned businesses encountering a similar experience to ours.
Who owns what drinks?