Oguz and Erin, the folks behind Temple Soda, are Vancouver-based inventors, makers, and purveyors of a new line of fabulous, fermented botanical sodas! As they say on their website, unlike commercial sodas, these handcrafted, lacto-fermented sodas contain enzymes, probiotics and actual nutrients—they're refreshing, tasty, and low in sugar. For all these reasons, we're super happy to have recently launched Temple Soda taps at Pomme Poco so you can fill up your growlers and keep your fridge stocked! (And you can also find their pre-filled bottles at both Pomme Poco and Pomme Nanaimo.) Oguz found a precious few moments in the hectic small-biz schedule to share a bit more about himself, and the Temple Soda Story.
Temple Soda Mini Interview
Share your story with us in a 150 words or less.
We actually started our business after I was downsized out of a job, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to start something new. Erin was really into making fermented drinks and I had experience running a business in the food industry, so we had the two pieces to make it work. There were a few things that inspired us to offer this type of drink. There are a lot of kombucha companies out there, so we knew people were interested in fermented drinks, and we wanted to create something a little different. Ginger cultured sodas have a different, lighter flavour than kombucha. Considering Vancouver’s love for brewed bevies but also for health products, Temple Soda seemed like a perfect union of those two scenes. Of course we can’t forget to give credit to our family and friends who encouraged us along the way!
Getting from an idea to a small business is a lot of work! When did it first sink in for you that ‘this is really happening’?
Small business is a lot of work. We have to do everything by ourselves, brewing, bottling, packaging, marketing, accounting, sales, deliveries etc. Once we started bottling, it did really sink that it was happening. Although I must say, we were very happy and excited when it did first sink ! Also, when we got the branding done that really helped materialize the vision that we had for our product.
Out of all your products, which is your personal favourite and why?
It’s a very hard question that we have to answer very often. It was very hard to narrow down to 3 flavours for us but I will say Blush is my favourite because it’s perfectly sour and I love pomegranate so much. My summer favourite is Spry (our lemonade) and in winter I drink way more Revive (turmeric ginger) because it’s a drink made with roots. Even though it’s refreshing, it warms you inside.
What motivates you on a day-to-day basis?
Definitely hearing or seeing the great feedback from our customers. You know who you are :-) It’s also a great feeling to know that we make something good for people.
What’s your favourite thing about the town or city you live in?
I've lived in Vancouver more than 15 years now (I was born in Istanbul), so Vancouver is my city now. There are so many good restaurants and cafes in our city. I love East Van a little more because I've lived in this part of the city the longest. I also love spending time outdoors, so our parks like New Brighton, Stanley Park, and Kitsilano are my favourite parts of the city.
Describe your ideal Sunday morning, including your breakfast.
My ideal Sunday morning means no rushing. Putting some nice music and having a big breakfast is essential. Then I like to go to a favourite coffee shop and get my coffee (always in my mug!). Depending on the weather, I love to go for a nice walk or a little hike.
What are your personal top three tips for feeling awesome?
- Definitely a healthy but delicious meal with family and friends.
- Discovering a new piece of art.
- Being in the nature and disconnecting from the rush of the city.