The Brains Behind SuperJam and Beer52 | A Q&A with Entrepreneur Fraser Doherty
The former ‘Global Student Entrepreneur of the Year’ who took ‘SuperJam’ from his Gran's kitchen to all the major supermarkets, Fraser Doherty (MBE) shares the ups and downs of his fruitful ventures as a popular keynote and motivational speaker.
Since launching SuperJam years ago, you’ve also founded Beer52. What were your motivations behind launching another business?
I've always been passionate about trying out new ideas and creating businesses and about six years ago I got the chance to meet James Brown. He had the great idea to launch a beer club - the idea was that we'd visit a new country each month, try all the beers and pick the best ones for our members. It sounded like a lot of fun and a product that we'd want to buy ourselves, so we gave it a go and have since become the most popular beer club anywhere in the world.
What were the similarities and differences you found when creating Beer52 over SuperJam?
When I first got started in business with SuperJam, I really didn't know about how to create a brand, for example, and went round in circles until I got it right. Now, when we launch new ideas, we're able to get things done a lot more quickly because we don't make the same mistakes all over again. Every idea is unique, but there are definitely lessons that are common and that I’m able to share with other businesses that I speak to.
What are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learnt being an entrepreneur?
I've learned the value of creating great packaging design, telling a story in your marketing and also how to attract and motivate a great team to help you develop your business. Probably the biggest lesson is that most things don't work first time around - you've got to be willing to give your idea a shot, listen to feedback from customers and then make changes until you have something they love.
If you had one message that your audience could take away from your speaking, what would it be?
I think if my story shows anything, it is that a great idea doesn't have to reinvent the wheel. I have been able to take an everyday product like jam and make a business out of it. With Beer52, we've created an exciting new way to deliver beer. I guess my message is that you can make something extraordinary, even from something as seemingly ordinary as jam or beer.
What can we expect to see next from you?
Beer52 is growing very fast, we've got a team of 30 and more than 60,000 subscribers in our club. We're visiting very interesting places in search of new beers - recently I visited North Korea to take the first every brewery tour of the Hermit Kingdom. We created a 'One Day, One Korea' beer to symbolise all Koreans hope that one day there will be peace on the Korean Peninsula.
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