Rootside Bitters & Mixers
In 2015, Rootside had its humble beginnings in a small apartment in Vancouver. Michela and Quinn, facing the challenge of job loss and seeking their own path in life, decided to embark on an entrepreneurial journey in the food and beverage industry. The inception of Rootside represented their determination to establish themselves in this competitive world.
To support themselves financially, both Michela and Quinn took up catering jobs, all while experimenting with their initial recipes using makeshift DIY equipment in their apartment's kitchen. Their first creation, a batch of Ginger Beer Mix, comprised only 20 litres and was exclusively sold to restaurants. The proceeds from this initial venture served as seed money for subsequent, slightly larger batches, and the dream of expanding their production capabilities became a driving force. Now, several years later, Rootside boasts a diverse range of Bitters & Mixers available throughout British Columbia, with a growing presence in the rest of Canada. They operate from a small production facility in Esquimalt, equipped with a substantial 2,000-litre tank. Rootside owes its success to the invaluable support of its loyal customers.
Rootside's core philosophy centres around flavour, meticulously tailored to individual preferences. Their products, ranging from concentrated syrups to botanical extracts, empower customers to customise the intensity of flavour in their beverages, cocktails, and even culinary creations. Rootside is all about the versatility of flavour, allowing each person to express their unique taste preferences.
The majority of their production equipment remains custom-built, including a walk-in cooler, bottling line, and pasteurizer. This hands-on approach ensures that when something malfunctions, they possess the knowledge to rectify it promptly, guaranteeing the consistent quality of their products. Each bottle is painstakingly filled and labelled by hand, exemplifying Rootside's commitment to quality. They source their ingredients from local and organic producers who share their passion for exceptional taste. These dedicated producers focus on perfecting individual ingredients, such as the lavender for Rootside's tonic, grown to the highest standards. Rootside collaborates exclusively with experts in their respective fields.
In addition to Rootside, in 2019, Michela and Quinn ventured into the world of aperitif-style wines by establishing Esquimalt Vermouth & Apéritifs, a honey winery specialising in mead. Their three-year background efforts included mastering wine production, refining vermouth recipes, and securing winery licensing. Their debut product, Rosso Vermouth, is reminiscent of Italian-style sweet Vermouth, followed swiftly by a Dry Vermouth and a range of other herbal wine styles. In 2023, their Rosso Vermouth received the prestigious titles of World's Best Semi-Sweet Vermouth and World's Best Dry Vermouth at the 2023 World Vermouth Awards in London, UK.
The accomplishments of Michela and Quinn Palmer and the success of Rootside and Esquimalt Vermouth & Apéritifs are made possible by the unwavering support of their customers, especially those who frequent their farmer's markets. Their gratitude to their supporters remains ever-present.