Young entrepreneurs: Karina Sudenyte and Maciek Kacprzyk, Wonky Drinks

With an inspiring social purpose at heart, these award-winning young entrepreneurs have saved 175 tonnes of ‘ugly’ fruit from going to waste…

Names: Karina Sudenyte and Maciek Kacprzyk
Company: Wonky Drinks
Ages: 22 and 25
Website: getwonky.co

Karina Sudenyte and Maciek Kacprzyk are the entrepreneurs behind Welsh social enterprise Wonky Drinks and its juice brand, Get Wonky. Their aim? To reduce food and plastic waste by creating drinks from ugly – but edible – fruit that would otherwise be thrown away, and selling them in recyclable glass bottles.

Both founders gained a taste for entrepreneurial endeavour at the tender age of five, with Kacprzyk attempting to sell shoes made of paper to his neighbours while Sudenyte helped her mum to sell household goods, observing as she negotiated with wholesalers.

But it was in May 2017 – when Kacprzyk had gained two masters degrees in law and Sudenyte was studying for a BA in business management – that the pair launched Get Wonky, aged 23 and 20 respectively, following a successful crowdfunding round.

Less than a year later, Get Wonky has saved 175 tonnes of fruit from landfill. By buying unwanted produce for 70% of the market price, the business helps 17 disadvantaged growers to sell fruit that would otherwise be chucked.

Impressively, the business has been profitable from day one. Driving revenue from B2B sales, Wonky Drinks’ customers include KPMG, Bank of America, HSBC and Merrill Lynch. The enterprise has also secured a deal with caterer BaxterStorey – reaching the likes of Visa, Manchester City and Microsoft – and works with over 20 universities.

Not forgetting that the business regularly gives drinks to charity, donating 7,000 units in December 2017 alone.

A testament to their success, the founding duo have been celebrated nationally, taking home a Young Entrepreneur of the Year trophy at the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2017.

Now, as they “put the finishing touches to a £200,000 angel investment”, plans are in place to roll out a range of canned drinks and break into supermarkets.

Over the next five years, the social enterprise aims to save 10,000 tonnes of produce and donate one million drinks – and we’re excited to watch as it becomes a prominent name in the fight against food waste.