By NAN STAFF WRITER
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. Dec. 12, 2022: A Caribbean American entrepreneur is making a ‘Vincy’ ginger beer that includes ginger, turmeric, lime, Scotch Bonnet pepper and mineral water, more widely available this holiday season.
Karl Franz Williams, aka ‘Vincy,’ whose roots extend to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, is a mixologist, restaurateur and owner of Harlem’s 67 Orange Street and New Haven’s Anchor Spa. He has announced the retail and online expansion of Uncle Waithley’s Vincy Brew.
The non-alcoholic small batch carbonated ginger beer is inspired by Franz Williams’ grandfather, Uncle Waithley, who lived his entire life on the island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Uncle Waithley was a ginger farmer, beloved by his family and community, who was committed to making the lives of those around him better. He was passionate about health, made his own ginger beer and lived to be 100 years old.
“After years of looking for the right ginger beer for my bars: one that tasted fresh and natural but with a nuance that I had only tasted in the Caribbean, I decided to make my own,” Franz Williams was quoted by bevnet.com/ as saying. “My team and I spent real time iterating and developing until I felt we had a ginger beer that would truly honor its namesake and my inspiration: my grandfather, Uncle Waithley.”
Uncle Waithley’s launched in Whole Foods Market Harlem in January of this year, and quickly became a top seller, outperforming other ginger beers 10 to 1.
As a result of its impressive performance, Whole Foods Market recently expanded the “Vincy Brew” to most of its New York City locations. Uncle Waithley’s can be purchased in four packs of 12 oz. bottles or individual bottles at these Whole Foods Market locations.
Uncle Waithley’s is also available at Boisson and on-premise at 40+ bars and restaurants in the New York tri-state area.
Uncle Waithley’s was also recently added an Amazon store, allowing the brand to go national. Not content to stop there, Franz Williams also signed a deal with Vintages Bequia to take Uncle Waithley’s to St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
“It is no surprise that Uncle Waithley’s is having such a great reception right now,” said Franz Williams. “Consumers are looking for authentic products and the pandemic has increased the interest in healthier food and beverage products that are still tasty and fun. Ginger has long been prized for its benefits in treating digestive health, nausea relief, diabetes, and many other ailments. It also has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties and antimicrobial potential, which can help in treating infectious diseases.”
Uncle Waithley’s, a Black and Caribbean-owned business, will begin raising capital through a StartEngine equity crowdfunding campaign in this month. Caminus Ventures, the first accelerator program for Black entrepreneurs in food, beverage, and adjacent industries is an early investor. It’s partners include John Rigos and Andrew Stern, founders of Aurify Brands and celebrity chef, restaurateur, and entrepreneur Marcus Samuelsson.
Williams spent a decade working in the marketing and brand management departments of Procter & Gamble and Pepsi Cola. While working with Pepsi, he began collaborating with noted mixologists and eventually left to open 67 Orange Street, rated excellent by Zagat in every category.