Exactly 3 years ago, without knowing it, my life was going to change forever. On February 3rd in 2018, a small miracle was about to happen. At the time I was a cartoon producer, but my life got turned upside down by a co-producer that stole 3 years of work from me.
A few months earlier, tired of having to drink alcohol at all of the social events I had to attend, I invented a drink made of herbs and ginger. It was meant for personal consumption only, but my wife Sylvie and our friends quickly became a fan of the drink. Although I was broke and mentally and physically exhausted, I therefore decided to invest my last ounces of energy and euros into the production of 25 bottles. GIMBER was born! It was produced in my kitchen and labels were cut with scissors and glued on with an old tube of my daughter's Pritt glue.
Then on that particular day of February 3rd, Sylvie decided to display 25 bottles in her beautiful concept store called “Mamuli”. Around 11:15 a.m., a miracle occurs. Overflowing with enthusiasm, she had told a customer about her husband’s new drink and she let her taste it. It was an immediate success and that day, 4 bottles were sold! It was the first time in 7 years that I gained a little bit of my confidence back. I could see the pride in Sylvie’s eyes.
We made a deal: for each bottle sold, I would give her a 3-minute massage. Two weeks later, I already owed her a 15-minute one. I then hired my mother who is 78 years old! We produced GIMBER well into the early hours of the night and during the day, I roamed the towns and villages of Flanders with my GIMBER bottles in the trunk. Our crazy GIMBER adventure was about to begin.
I could have never have imagined what was going to happen that February 3rd, nor that 3 years later GIMBER would be sold in the most beautiful stores all around Europe. From Helsinki to Milan, from London to Vienna. It’s surreal to think that our bottles have now become an elixir, used by celebrities and the greatest (French) chefs. Someone even said to me: “You sell sunshine in a bottle”.
However, I never could have done this without the wonderful community of shopkeepers and the thousands of awesome customers, whom were open to a new concept and had the courage to drink something alcohol-free with pride.
So here’s to all of you! I want to express my eternal gratitude for allowing me to regain my energy, health and confidence. Thank you for going on this adventure with me. You can’t imagine what your support means to me.
I wish the same to all of you. And if ever you find yourself feeling low, remember this: “as long as there is a tiny ember in the ashes, a great bonfire is possible”
Your proud GIMBERMAN
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