Nostalgia, local ingredients key to organic soda's appeal

Nostalgia, local ingredients key to organic soda's appeal

November 18th, 2011 by Casey Phillips in Business Around the Region

Matt Rogers, Tiffany Rogers and Shawn Clouse, from left, of Pureworks Soda look at ideas for their Kickstarter at Everyday Eclectic. Kickstarter is a way of raising small amounts of capitol for business ideas that gives investors incentive based on the amount of money they are willing to give to a small business.

Photo by Alex Washburn /Times Free Press.

• What: Handcrafted organic sodas

• Company: Pure Sodaworks

• Website:

• Telephone: 299-3219

• Owners: Matt Rogers, Tiffany Rogers and Shawn Clouse

• What's special: Pure Sodaworks' sodas are handmade with infusions made from all-natural ingredients purchased locally whenever possible. "When you drink one of our sodas, you're getting a simple, in terms of construction, but complex, in terms of flavor, all-natural soda," Matt Rogers said.

• How long does it take to make: Preparing a several-gallon batch of syrup takes about an hour.

• Origin story: Rogers and his wife, Tiffany, also run Everyday Eclectic, a local organic bath and body product store. Earlier this year, they began researching other consumable products that would take advantage of their knowledge of plants and settled In March on organic soda. Soda offered a chance to use local ingredients and introduce new, unlikely flavor combinations. Sodaworks' first cup was sold July 3 at the Chattanooga Market.

• Where it's sold: Chattanooga and Brainerd markets, as well as at events such as Main x 24. On Wednesday afternoon, a soda cart is set up at Everyday Eclectic, 3210 Brainerd Road.

• What it costs: $2.50 per cup; $4 mug with $1 refills.

• Expansions planned: Initially, Pure Sodaworks was a side project to provide a presence at local events, but Rogers said customers and restaurants quickly began asking about bottling. Despite not being in their initial business plan, bottling their soda is the goal for early next year via funding from an upcoming Kickstarter fundraising campaign.

• Lessons of the trade: "Not to limit ourselves," Rogers said. "Maintaining flexibility and creativity has been a big lesson for us. It's easy, as a business owner, to have one picture in your mind and stick with it and not react to changing times, but you can't be that way."