It gives great satisfaction to the entrepreneurs to create something that will increase the joy of their customers. By combining one’s passion along with adapting scientific approach, entrepreneurs like to deliver something that enhances the experiences of the customers. Along with this, their background also plays a significant role. The Dutch background of Raissa de Haas and her twin sister Joyce de Haas gave them an innate love for quality drinks which united with their scientific training to produce a twin powerhouse of innovation and extremely good taste. Therefore, they started Double Dutch Drinks in 2015. At Double Dutch, the finest ingredients, the latest scientific research, and the craft of mixology are combined to create soft drinks that intensify the flavor of spirits and thrill the palate when drunk alone.
Doubling People’s Enjoyment by Delivering Highest Standard Drinks
Drawing on their Dutch heritage of creating great alcoholic drinks like gin, the twin sister’s ambition is to double people’s enjoyment by bringing their soft drinks up to the standards of the world’s finest spirits. Double Dutch is a brand built on a belief of maximizing flavorful drinking, creating unexpected pairings that enhance every adult drinking occasion – whether served with premium spirits or savored solo. The company continues to position itself as the key challenger brand in the tonic water & premium mixer category, offering a fresh, healthy, and innovative proposition to the market.
Having Innovation as a Core Principle
Double Dutch was the first mixer brand to launch quinine-free tonic, to focus on double paired flavoring for mixers and use the art (and science!) of molecular gastronomy for recipe development. Since it has launched with its Cucumber & Watermelon, and Pomegranate & Basil, it has expanded its range to 12 flavors including an Indian Tonic Water which has been awarded best tonic globally, a spicy Ginger Beer. Recently, it has launched its cocktail soda range with a Bloody Mary and Cucumber Margarita soda. Its entire range is low in calories and uses natural flavorings. With innovation at its core, Double Dutch is proud to have won over 40 awards to date.
Having Faith, Passion and Perseverance
Any successful company usually starts with an idea, which developed from a passion and Raissa thinks this is hugely important. She states that passion will help entrepreneurs through all the hard times and every entrepreneur will need to make the sacrifices in their journey. She says, “Greater the passion leads to stronger the perseverance. As an entrepreneur you have to believe in yourself and your product. Being convinced of yourself, your passion, and your idea, also ensures you can inspire others around you.”
Learning from Mistakes
Raissa states that in any leadership role it’s important to inspire and encourage everyone in the team to be their best self and believe in the bigger picture of what one’s company is trying to achieve. She says that it starts with listening carefully and creating a culture where mistakes are allowed to happen.
Raissa personally believes very much in trial and error whilst building any company. She thinks, at Double Dutch Drinks, they have learned a lot more from the mistakes they made in the past than they have from their successes. In terms of leadership style, being a Dutch founder of a UK-based company Raissa thinks there are certainly some challenges to be overcome. Most importantly they both (Raissa and Joyce) are naturally quite direct whilst their experience of working with the British is that they tend to be a little more diplomatic, so that’s definitely something they’re working on!
Striving for Highest Quality Product
Double Dutch is reliant on its suppliers, all the way from its raw ingredients to its final packaging while striving for the highest quality product. Finding the right partners that can grow with Double Dutch, but also offer the best level of quality, has been challenging for the company. Raissa feels that this is something she needs to monitor, adapt, and improve upon. Besides, other challenges have been growing the production itself, finding new and better partners that can bottle and produce its drinks to the standard it expects, and that are able to grow with the company. As a smaller company Double Dutch was lucky to be nibble and implement quick changes during the pandemic. For example, it was able to launch its direct-to-consumer web shop within 4 days of the announcement of lockdown in March.
Driving Sustainability by Being Carbon Neutral
As a company, doing business the right way is an important principle for Double Dutch and it is trying to build a culture that helps to make change. It has a strong female representation at all levels in the business, and a clear policy in place to support diversity. They both (her sister Joyce and Raissa) feel strongly about the fact that women need to support women – but without excluding men. They have recently launched a scholarship and mentoring programme for female bartenders to support women looking to build a career in the industry.
Double Dutch is also exploring new ways to drive sustainability through its supply chain. For example, it is looking to leave a positive impact on the environment by ensuring the brand is carbon neutral by the end of 2021.
Prioritizing Validation and Feedback from Customers
Raissa advises aspiring entrepreneurs to get out and start selling quickly, get real market validation and then tweak their business based on real market feedback. She advises them to not commit a mistake of postposing market launch of a new product by attempting to make it perfect. She also adds that the customer is always right and therefore, it is valuable to get direct feedback from customers than rounds and rounds of internal discussion.
For female entrepreneurs specifically, Raissa thinks there is so much positive changes happening with lots of incentives and events for female entrepreneurship and encourages them to make the best use of this. She believes that hard work really does pay off!
Sparkling Sociable Drinking Occasions
Double Dutch’s vision is to be the flavourful drink of choice for spirit savvy sippers as well as no/low enthusiasts and become known globally as the mixer brand for creative flavours and sparking sociable drinking occasions. To achieve this, the company is putting a large focus on international expansion. It is now available in over 35 countries and is building plans for its core 10 markets, as well as a US expansion planned for later this year.