It’s time to grab a cocktail and enjoy a Q&A with Andrew King. Find out how he turns ordinary into extraordinary as Funkin’s Chairman and what he recommends to really get a party going...
1) Who started Funkin, when and why?
Funkin was started in 1999 by Alex Carlton. He wanted to supply juices and smoothies to hotels to allow them to create fabulous cocktails. In those days, I ran a business called PJ Smoothies, and supplied fresh juices and smoothies to Alex.
2) What was your background pre-Funkin?
I’ve worked in fruit for many years; first in a business making fresh fruit salads for the big supermarket chains, then running a smoothie business called PJ Smoothies. Fruit and drinks is pretty much all I’ve ever done.
3) What's your day-to-day role now?
I work with the team on lots of different aspects of the business, but I enjoy new product development and working with customers and consumers best. I also can’t help myself getting involved with our fruit growers, particularly at harvest time.
4) What do you feel is key to Funkin's success?
We go the extra mile to make sure our fruit ingredients are the best, and if you start there, you have a great chance of producing a standout product. For 17 years we have been producing 100% natural fruit purees and cocktail mixers, so I think we ought to be good at it by now.
5) What's been Funkin's proudest moment?
There have been so many. From the gold awards from Drinks International to feedback from our consumers who say they love the products – it sounds like a cliché, but we spend every working minute trying to do things better, and when someone spots that and says well done, it’s a proud moment.
6) Where do you see the company going in the next five years?
We are looking to help bars and consumers drink better cocktails, as every cocktail should be an amazing taste experience. We would like to think in five years we will be doing more of the same, but in more countries.
7) What's your favourite Funkin product?
Personally I love the Bramble Mixer, however I was quite taken by the Passion Fruit Martini I had the other day with an added dash of the Funkin Jalapeno Syrup.
8) What's your favourite cocktail?
Whilst it is difficult to beat a great Margarita (and ours is great), I do love a Porn Star Martini.
9) Do you have a top tip for cocktail making - or drinking!?
The tip I would give for cocktail making and drinking is the same – mix it up. Don’t be afraid to try something different or put an unusual twist into a cocktail, after all, it is how we’ve made all these new drinks we now love.
10) Do you have a top tip for making a party extra special?
Pre-make pitchers of cocktails, and prepare your garnish and ice, that way you can simply add ice to a glass pour in the cocktail and garnish – focusing on partying yourself rather than slaving away.
11) What's your party trick??
Always turn up with some Funkin cocktail mixers – it really seems to make you popular and creates a great impression! The less said about my dancing and singing the better…
12) How do you like to spend your time off?
I have four lovely dogs who I spend lots of time walking with my wife and I enjoy all sorts of sports including cycling and even managed a game of rugby last year!