REBEL Pi: Jackie Fast
Ever wondered what ice wine is? Well, let Jackie Fast tell you as she quite literally brings something new to the table and shares the story behind her new start-up business, REBEL Pi.
Tell us what your business does:
Ice wine is a form of wine production where grapes are left on the vine past harvest until they freeze. This highly concentrates the liquid to produce the most intense notes developed through a higher acidity balanced by sweetness.
One drop of ice wine is equivalent to the yield of ten drops of table wine creating a taste that is unlike any other dessert or sweet wine you have ever tried. Due to the risks involved in producing such an exquisite wine, little of it exists in the world and those “extreme winemakers” that do produce it reserve it for locals as it doesn't make financial sense to export a production with such little yield.
REBEL Pi was launched with the sole purpose to bring this incredible product to the world – specifically making it available to those people who are searching for their next experience and want to share their amazing discovery with friends.
We scoured the icy cold vineyards of the expanse of Canada to bring Britain the best ice wine in production that year. And each year we are determined to do the same so that our clients know when they pick up a bottle of REBEL Pi, they are drinking the best.
No longer stored in the deep cellars of a far away country, the best ice wine in the world can now be delivered to your door in Britain.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
It originated through an in depth tasting experience I had while I was on my honeymoon in Canada!
How did you know there was a market for it?
I didn't, this was a risk; however, there is an opportunity for a brand to own the moment after a dinner party is over that is typically reserved for scotch. We aim to get everyone talking about, drinking and serving ice wine in that moment instead of a typical digestif.
What were you doing before starting up?
I ran a global sponsorship sales agency Slingshot Sponsorship, which I sold in 2016.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
Yes, I would find it pretty impossible to work for anyone else!
How did you raise the money?
I launched REBEL Pi using some of the money I made through the sale of my last company Slingshot Sponsorship.
Describe your business model and how you make money:
My business model is through direct sales and a limited amount of on-trade sales with restaurants and retailers.
Because of REBEL Pi's high price point, we are limited to how much distribution we can accommodate and that is realistic for everyone to make their margins.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
REBEL Pi is a completely different business and different sector than my previous business. I went from running a service-based B2B business, to running a product-based B2C business. Therefore, EVERYTHING is a challenge!
What was your first big breakthrough?
We are still in our early days, but have had amazing feedback on the product itself from some of the world's leading Michelin Star chefs – so we at least know we have something truly amazing to bring to market.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
I always tell people to just start. Stop thinking about starting a business and just start doing. Everyone is so scared of starting out and have so many concerns, but taking the leap was the best (and hardest) thing I ever did.
So go and do it!
Where do you want to be in five years' time?
Hopefully within five years, REBEL Pi will not only be a household name, people will be regularly drinking ice wine – maybe not even our ice wine, but ice wine in general. That would be our ambition!