Roots Beverage Co. Buzzing with Shoprite listing


Jamie Blair and John Speakman portrait website story


Roots Beverage Company, which sells a range of locally produced fresh drinks, is the latest Isle of Man food and drink company to secure a listing with Manx food retailer Shoprite. 

The company’s range of premium quality healthy drinks, brewed and bottled on the Isle of Man, includes a fiery flavoursome ‘real’ ginger beer, a ‘proper’ lemonade and a ‘cold brew’ coffee.

Local entrepreneur Jamie Blair, who recently won Shoprite’s Startisan initiative to identify local food and drink producers, founded the company in 2015 and secured a guaranteed listing with Shoprite, as well as marketing support, as part of his prize.

Jamie has worked for progressive Douglas venues bath & bottle and 14North, who both promote goods from local food and drink producers, which fuelled his passion for creating local artisan products.

He’s also using his knowledge of the fitness industry and nutrition to ensure that everything that goes into the drinks supports a healthy lifestyle. He has set up beehives and uses honey in his drinks as a natural sweetener. The company recently launched a crowd funding appeal on to raise funds for a bee farm which Jamie not only sees as integral to the production of his range but fundamental to the world’s eco system.

He explains:

“We founded Roots Beverage Company in order to help the world’s bee population which is at risk from Verroa Mite, Herbicides and Pesticides, to name a few hazards. As Albert Einstein said 'no more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.’

We are incredibly fortunate that the Isle of Man has been granted a Verroa Mite free status by the European Union. Additionally, our farmers use very little herbicides and pesticides and we were recently recognised by UNESCO as the first Island nation to achieve an official World Biosphere Region status.

Our mission is to set up a bee farm on the Isle of Man to produce honey to sweeten our healthy low sugar drinks. We will allocate 10% of our annual profits to be re-invested in all things related to the well-being of bees.”

John Speakman, Senior Buyer, Shoprite, who was one of the judges for the Manx Startisan award said:

“Like Jamie’s Roots Bev Co, many of the established local Manx food producers that are stocked on Shoprite’s shelves started out from the grain of a good idea.  They are all linked by the common factor of passion in their product and a commitment to quality that makes their product stand out.  In my job one of the things that really stands out is the quality and potential for the local food market.  Shoprite, as a local retailer, is committed to the local market.

He continued:

“We stock a wide range from local producers on our shelves and are always happy to discuss any ideas with local producers and are keen to help them to establish themselves in the local market. Jamie epitomises that quality and we are all really looking forward to working with him on growing his drinks business.”

Roots Bev Co’s range of drinks is now available in larger Shoprite stores Island-wide priced at £1.95 for a 250ml bottle. 

The company intends to export to the UK later this year and is developing a long-term strategy for international distribution.