The life of a beverage entrepreneur – with all its wonders and warts — will be on display for attendees of the upcoming Beverage School this December 7 in Santa Monica, Calif.
NOTE: Space for Beverage School is extremely limited. If you’d like to register, call Jeff Hyde at 617-715-9673.
Hoby Buppert and Christina Staalstrøm, the CEO and COO of Hobarama LLC, will discuss the mix of planning and dreaming that went into the launch of Hobarama’s signature product, BAWLS Guarana, in 1996, and where the entrepreneurial road has taken them in the years since their first case rolled off the filling line.
As part of Beverage School’s mission to provide a complete immersion in all aspects of the beverage business to potential entrepreneurs, Buppert and Staalstrøm will provide a ground-level view of the day-to-day and month-to-month flow of their business and their lives, and how it has compared to their expectations over the years. The discussion, complete with attendee questions, will be the first event in what will be an exciting and informative day of educational programming.
About Beverage School: Beverage School is presented by BevNET as an adjunct to its BevNET Live event on December 8. Using real-life examples from working beverage companies, as well as discussions with suppliers, branding consultants, marketing and distribution experts, as well as BevNET’s own staff, Beverage School will arm its attendees with the real-world beverage industry knowledge that it can take years of trial-and-error to accumulate.
Attendees will learn the key steps to drink manufacturing and marketing, from hiring a flavor house to arriving at the distributor with an exciting product. Lessons for the day will cover the key points in brand development, packaging considerations, pricing, and marketing strategies including sampling, “guerilla” tactics and sales support.
About Hoby Buppert: Hoby Buppert founded BAWLS Guarana – a premium, non-alcoholic, carbonated beverage made from the guarana berry – in 1996. During his last semester of college at Cornell University, at the age of 22, Hoby wrote the business plan for what would become BAWLS Guarana, named for the caffeinated “bounce” the product would pack. Within one year, Hoby designed the product’s signature bottle, created the drink’s formula, located factories and secured capital. By fall 1996, Hoby launched BAWLS Guarana in the heart of Miami’s South Beach neighborhood.
Soon after its conception, BAWLS Guarana began to enjoy a cult-like following among video gamers who needed a rush of caffeine to play through the night. Today, the multi-billion dollar videogame industry has embraced BAWLS Guarana as its drink of choice and the company continues to sponsor over 1000 gaming events every year. BAWLS Guarana products are widely distributed to local super markets, convenience stores (7-Eleven, Sheetz), Microcenter stores, Target and other retailers and gaming venues nationwide.
About Christina Staalstrøm: Christina Staalstrøm is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Hobarama LLC, the makers of popular energy drink BAWLS Guarana. Born in Bergen, Norway, Christina grew up while traveling the world, having lived in Norway, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, England and Germany. Shortly after graduating from the Cornell School of Hotel Management in 1995, Christina’s entrepreneurial spirit took her to Miami to complete the development and launch of BAWLS Guarana in 1996. Christina has supervised the growth of BAWLS Guarana from an annual production cycle of 12,000 cases in 1996 to exceeding production of over 1 million cases in 2008. She has also managed the expansion of distribution into national retail chains including 7-Eleven, CompUSA and Target Stores.
Christina serves on several national and local committees including the CEO Forum of The Commonwealth Institute and the Advisory Board of the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE). Christina is also the Chairperson of the MAM Contemporaries – the young professionals’ organization of the Miami Art Museum.