A DRINK company are using flowers to create healthy yet delicious soft drinks.
Calyx, based in Burnley, are a drinks manufacturer who mix flowers with fruits to create natural flavours.
Raphael Ogunrinde thought of the idea when he was still in his hometown in Nigeria, where his mum used to make him drinks using the hibiscus flower.
He said: “I can remember my hands, stained red with hibiscus flowers.
“I used to collect them with my mum and turn them into drinks. It would take several days for the red to wear off, and then we’d do it all over again.”
Since then, the 38-year-old who lives in Manchester, opened a factory in Burnley.
On why he chose Burnley as the home of Calyx, he said: “Burnley stood out for us in Lancashire because we went around and looked at things we could identify with, such as the singing ringing tree.
“It’s nature, and we think it’s the home of flowers, and it gave us the idea that we could also plant flowers around the town.”
Calyx currently have five flowers, including, apple and camomile, apple and hibiscus, strawberry and lavender, pineapple and hibiscus, grape and hibiscus, and a new flavour will be released next year incorporating the Lancashire rose.
Despite the natural products being sold in London, Mr Ogunrinde admits it is yet to take off in Burnley.
He said: “I think people do not know we exist, and they do not know they can have this flower drink at the doorstep.”
The former food quality manager came up with the idea in 2014 and presented his idea to professors at Chester University, who helped develop the drinks into a product.
In 2017 he took the plunge to work full time on the business.
Mr Ogunrinde said: “It starts by picking a flower and looking at the meaning of it, before we find fruits to pair together.
“We also follow the traditional flower brewing process, which is not used today.”
The company use UK lavender, but some fruits like strawberries come from Spain.
He said: “We are vegan approved, 100% recyclable and are in testing to use the flowers as horse feed.”
The drinks are now sold in John Lewis stores in London and Mr Ogunrinde is in talks with Boots North West for plans in 2020.
All of the drinks are non-alcoholic, but they can be used as mixers for cocktails.