Business in Focus

Meet the Makers – Bader from Big Island Organics

So while I was in the beautiful island of Kauai, my friend Allie introduced me to her favourite drink called “Gingerade”. Now I’m not normally a fan of ginger, I find it super strong, however the moment I tried it the Big Island Organics Gingerade, I immediately became a ginger fan ha!

I must also explain what Gingerade is, yellow ginger and organic lemon juice with filtered water and sweet agave nectar – bliss!

Greg Petersen & Kristal Roach started their first brew of Big Island Organics in 1996, and originally it was brewed on the Big Island in Hawaii.

After sharing multiple (heaps!) of images on social media, I connected with Bader, the President of Big Island Organics, and just knew he had to be part of my Meet the Makers series. I’m so pleased he said yes!

Image Credit –

R. Thank you Bader for joining this little blog, produced all the way over in Australia. I am OBSESSED with your product and must start an urgent petition for you to bring it here! 
Jokes aside, lets start with what any given day looks like for you at Big Island Organics HQ?

B. We wear many hats here at Big Island Organics, which is sort of the nature of the beast with a small business. Some days we’re out there pounding the pavement – presenting to retailers or sampling our products in grocery stores. Then there days where we get hands-on with production and are tasting fresh batches of Gingerade Maté to ensure quality. Whenever we find free time (which isn’t all that often!) we’re tinkering around with recipes and trying out new product ideas! Never a dull day at BIO!

R. Taste testing the Gingerade? Where do I sign up, any positions vacant haha! 
What lead you to joining Big Island Organics?

B. I wanted to do something different.  Ideally something that gave me independence to be creative and pioneering while working with the masses.

R. That’s the small business dream isn’t it – independence. I know I’m chasing that.
If you weren’t running Big Island Organics, what would you be doing?

B. Spending more time at home with my family.  Traveling for pleasure instead of for business, and spending more time with my plants!


R. Well, that’s the downside with running a business. The need and want to spend more time with family, especially in this online world we live in.
Any tips for those planning on starting their own business?

B. It’s a marathon and not a sprint.  Be patient and prepare.  Try to talk to people in the business before deciding what exactly you want to do.

R. That’s a valid point, chatting with those in the industry or even family and friends. Even finding someone you trust to bounce ideas of can help too.
What do you find the biggest challenge in business is?

B. One thing that we keep seeing is small companies getting bought out by the heavy hitters of the beverage industry, and with good reason. The competition is crazy these days and on top of that, every milestone comes with a huge financial burden. The growing pains are real, but we’re committed to the process. I don’t think we’ll ever lose that small business spirit.

R. It’s easy to see why small businesses can sometimes feel the need to sell out, like you mentioned with growth comes the need to search for additional resources.
Who has been the most influential person to you and your business

B. My father was a great businessman and a wise human being.  I still feel his effect on me and on a daily basis.


 R. That’s beautiful, it’s lovely to hear he still inspires you on a daily basis. 
Where do you draw inspiration from for recipe/drink ideas

B. We have always been inspired by the powerful ingredients that we use. We carefully test every batch of Hawaiian Gingerade to ensure that all our flavors compliment the delicate floral notes and spicy burn of the freshly-juiced ginger that we use.  No two crops of ginger are the same and we’re practically obsessed with making sure that every bottle of gingerade packs that “Wow!” punch. We love it, our fans love it, and it’s what keeps us going. 

R. Oh my, you have me thinking back to my first taste of Gingerade and how I would go searching at the shops for it ha! 
How important is the use of organic ingredients to your brand

B. Quality is, and always has been, paramount for us. Using anything other than 100% organic ingredients was never even an option for us – so much so that we put it into our name! We believe wholeheartedly that organic ingredients not only create more flavorful and healthful products, but they also provide a sense of ease to our customers. Being certified organic means that we’re proud of everything that goes into our bottle. It’s like a promise.

R. Being certified organic is wonderful!! I love that commitment you are making to your customers and also your brand.
Are you working on anything new or exciting?

B. Yes, we are! This past year has monumental for us in terms of expanding both across the Mainland and around the world! We’ve entered into the Asian market; Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan to be exact, all of which we’re really excited about! We are about to launch a special 10oz line in Japan and we hope to bring those items to the U.S. as well. More things are coming down the pike that we can’t talk about quite yet, but we might be expanding out of the beverage space and entering a new section of your grocery store!


R. Please, please put Australia on you list next for expansion!
Outside of running Big Island Organics, what are some of your hobbies?

B. I was a decent athlete when I was in school so I try to maintain that aspect of my life as much as possible.  Spending time with my family and friends is very valuable for me, and I do like to discover new places.

R. Exploring opens the heart to so many adventures! Have you worked out what your purpose is?

B. To some degree but it’s work in progress!

R. It’s funny you say that, as we often have so many “purpose” driven goals pushing and pulling us in different directions. I like you’re committed to continually working on yours.
What’s your favourite part of the day?

B. Very early in the day when things are slow and work is less hectic


R. Walk us through how you practice gratitude in your day-to-day life.

  • I always see positives in everything.  Challenges are a given in a meaningful life so let’s deal with them.
  • Everyone has their own problems.  I smile often and I try not to judge people.
  • Give people a lot of credit.
  • Take care of “your people”
  • Help other people starting their own businesses.
  • Be thankful and content with what you have.

R. Yes! “Take care of your people”, I couldn’t agree with this more. It blows my mind that there are leaders (I use this term loosely) that don’t care about their people, when they are vitally important to any operation!
Where do you draw inspiration from each day?

B. The wonderful team that surrounds me.  We all enjoy seeing growth in our little company.

R. Being so busy with running the business, how do you practice self-care?

  • Enjoy what you do and have fun!
  • Balance your time between work and home.  It’s sometimes not easy but you must!
  • Forgive
  • Stay positive
  • Spoil yourself every now and then.
  • Don’t overthink things!
  • Helping others brings satisfaction and helps build confidence


R. I need to work on the over thinking, it’s one of my goals for this year.
What would you do if money was no object?

B. I am really not sure.  This can be great and this can be a problem.  We’ll have to see who or what needs it at that time and then decide.

R. Finally, if you could create your own drink what would be in it, and what would it be called?

B. I can!  You’ll just have to wait for this one 😉


R. Ha! You can’t leave the interview hanging like that, we need to know. Hopefully we can see “your” drink on shelves very soon! 

Thank you for joining us on Meet the Makers, I have loved hearing a little more about Big Island Organics and the importance of looking after the team around you.

If you would like to check out the range, you can do that here or via instagram @bigislandorganics

Also, if you are in Hawaii I recommend you try this drink ASAP – GAME CHANGER!


P.S Thank you dear friend Allie for introducing me to this!


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