Name: Kristen Threatt & Brian Burkett Thompson
Business Name: Gorilla Lemonade
Year Business was started in New Haven: 2022
Why did you start your own business?
Gorilla Lemonade Lemonade was powered by Eat Up our food catering business. We started Eat Up in 2019 and we never sold beverages until 2022 and the rest was history. We got tired of hearing our customers say “ When are y’all going to get some drinks?” We didn’t want to resale other beverages when we can sale our own and receive complete profit.
Why did you choose to start your business in New Haven?
New Haven is where we are at. New Haven birthed our business and its only suiting to stay right here with our vision. Kristen is from New York City who also lived in other various cities and states through the years. Brian is from New Haven and has been here his entire life. For Brian this is a blessing for him to be that change in the city he is from and also building generational wealth in his city.
What challenges did you have to overcome in starting your business?
The challenges Gorilla Lemonade faced in the beginning stages of our business was understanding how to do real business. Yes, making a product is apart of the business and sales is apart of the business. However, understanding bookkeeping, profits and losses, managing an efficient inventory, building a team and putting the right people in their perspective positions that allows them to do their jobs efficiently. Let us not leave out marketing dollars and we can go on and on but just know it was a roller coaster that makes you feel overwhelmed but we never got off the ride because we understood that its all apart of the growth of the business. Entrepreneurship comes with so many different emotions and challenges. We are grateful that we are Men and understand we are built for this purpose.