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Kelowna fruit growers expanding line of beverages

Farming Karma is expanding from fruit sodas to fruit vodka sodas

A family-owned Kelowna fruit beverage company is ready to expand, despite the challenges they faced in 2020.

Farming Karma started as a family-owned fruit farm, mainly growing apples. But the family’s younger generation Avi and Sumeet Gill, with Avi’s wife Binny Boparai, decided to grow their parents’ business by turning their fruits into drinks.

It has now been a full two years since Farming Karma’s first apple soda first launched and despite a global pandemic, they were able to launch four other flavours — peach, berry, cherry, and pear — and now, they are ready to do more.

“I think we are ready now. There’s still so much to learn and just to journey we’ve been on for the last two years has been amazing,” Avi said.

“But we’re more ready than ever, more ready than we were two years ago.”

Ready to bounce back with more offerings, that is. The Gill family will soon be adding something new to their line of products: Farming Karma Spiked.

The new line will be available in apple, peach, berry, cherry and pear, with vodka. The new line isn’t ready yet, as the team is still working on the right taste, but they said it’s just about ready for everyone else to enjoy.

“We’ve made our first batch of vodka apple soda and we’re working on some of the other flavours. We’re just getting through some of the logistics,” he said.

“We haven’t put it on our shelves yet, but I would say we’re about seven days from doing that.”

Binny said they never thought they’d venture into alcoholic beverages when they started with fruit sodas but as with everything, they pivoted when the pandemic hit the Okanagan, thinking outside the box to survive.

“When the pandemic hit in March, just like every other small business, our sales tanked… but with no customers, we had so much downtime, so we started working on different flavours and that’s how we first launched peach and cherry,” Binny said.

“There was some silver lining. (The pandemic) made us think outside the box and do some things we might have never considered.”

Avi and Binny said being innovative with the products they offer is only one part of the story: they have been able to thrive during difficult times because the community continued to support them.

“We can’t thank our community enough for all the support they’ve given us,” Binny said.

“Especially here at our location, when nobody knew what Farming Karma was, the residents from around here stopped by and supported us and it’s word of mouth that travelled and got the ball rolling for us. So thank you to all of you who have supported us.”

READ MORE: Kelowna runner goes for gold at the Olympics, 17 years after her first try


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Twila Amato

About the Author: Twila Amato

Twila was a radio reporter based in northern Vancouver Island. She won the Jack Webster Student Journalism Award while at BCIT and received a degree in ancient and modern Greek history from McGill University.
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