Breann Bowman is no Instagram amateur. Her roots in the blogosphere include her own photography blog and her contributions to the beauty section of another popular lifestyle blog where in a past life, she published shareable content like PSL body scrub DIYs and “Lash Extensions 101.” Whether it’s a travel shot, an #ootd, or a photo of her new baby girl, Isla, Breann’s photography is dreamy – a holy trinity of the right coloration, content, and composition to make you want to double tap.
That’s why when she and her husband, Ben Bowman, began their start-up Simple Soda Co., she told him, “Listen here, this Instagram has to be fresh.” Fresh may be just the word; a scroll through their feed of bright-white, minimalistic photos evokes the taste of their punchy citrus sodas. It’s no wonder that even in few months since they’ve started their business, the Bowmans have picked up a small (and growing) cult following on social media.
While Ben is working toward perfecting a root beer and a cola by the end of the year, Simple Soda Co.’s plan has been to highlight simple ingredients: local Arizona citrus juice, water, and sugar.
“Our logo and our bottles are clear. We don’t want to hide anything,” says Ben. “We are what we are, and it tastes great.”
Simple Soda Co.’s three current flavors are Just Lime, Arizona Orange (creamsicle-like with a touch of vanilla), and Toronja, or grapefruit (Ben draws inspiration from his childhood growing up in Chihuahua, Mexico).
You can order limited quantities of bottled soda from their website (local deliveries only), but Ben and Breann recommend trying the soda on tap at the sandwich spot Worth Takeaway in downtown Mesa. “There’s something special about having soda on tap,” says Breann. “I can’t quite put my finger on it [...] but it even tastes different.”
Ben agrees. “It’s an experience rather than just popping a top.”
Perhaps the presentational aspect of pulling a tap over a cup of ice makes something as simple as Simple Soda feel indulgent, but whatever it is, it fires up a set of pleasure sensors that you just don’t get from a run-of-the-mill soda fountain.
The Bowmans are also working on a mobile kegerator cart so that they can bring Simple Soda on tap to events like markets, weddings, and work parties. Think of it as a family-friendly mini bar. A keg of Simple Soda would also make an excellent tool for mixology in any actual bar. (Imagine Palomas made with Toronja.)
Right now, Simple Soda Co. uses Worth Takeaway as its commissary kitchen, but the Bowmans hope to be in their own production space with a retail storefront in the next year, hopefully in downtown Mesa as well, where they live.
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“There’s something about Mesa that we really like,” says Breann. “There’s a lot of character that’s just waiting to be uncovered. It’s just a matter of the right people coming in and fixing it up again. Places like Worth Takeaway are making it that way.”
“Mesa is going to get cool really soon,” says Ben. "We want to invest in Mesa."