From weddings to funerals, homemade ginger beer is a beverage that is traditionally enjoyed in most family gatherings. Commonly known as gemere, its refreshing delicious taste which is a blended contrast of sweetness and tartness is a unique experience for the taste buds. While some only encounter it at functions, to others it’s an opportunity to be inventive. This has become true for Lebogang Mmono, owner of ‘Just Ginger Beverages’, who has grown her hobby of making homemade ginger into a small business.
“My mother taught me how to make gemere some years ago. I used to make it for my family and close friends until a friend, Mpuleng, who has since become my business partner, suggested I develop my interest into something profitable. That was when I decided to turn what was an enjoyable hobby into a business,” explains Lebogang. “The story behind the name ‘Just Ginger’ is that we decided to make ginger the constant ingredient in all our products,” she adds.
Instead of limiting her product offerings to just one flavor, Lebogang and her partner incorporate different ingredients and other beverages such as lemonades and iced teas. “We produce and supply homemade beverages and we ensure that our customers have a variety to choose from. We have flavours such as raspberry mint ginger, lemonade with a hint of ginger, roiboos ice tea and others,” says Mmono. On packaging and branding, their logo stickers, paper straws and biodegradable clear cups blend well with the summer feel of these refreshments.
“Gemere takes the longest because it has to ferment for about three days. As for the rest, we prefer to deliver them on the same day, such that the quantity required dictates the time it takes to produce them,” details Lebogang on their creative process.
An interior designer by profession, she says their experience so far in making homemade drinks has been exciting: “We have decided to concentrate on bulk orders for events to make the business profitable. However, we recently officially started running the business so we are still exploring our client base. So far the response has been overwhelming. We provide services to corporates, private functions and other gatherings.”
A major challenge they have encountered is trying to balance their day jobs with the enterprise. Lebogang mentions that it is sometimes conflicting as some deliveries require regular delivery hours. However, she states that only one of them is able to fulfill orders at any given time. Going forward, Mmono says they aspire to venture beyond beverages: “Although we are laid back with our business, we plan to eventually grow into small scale manufacturing and bottling. We also want to establish other product lines such as homemade soaps and body products.”
For more information and to make orders, contact them on 72793591, their email is [email protected] and on instagram they are justginger_