Mine AVKIRAN NUR
Lemonade, the traditional drink of Cyprus, is a popular drink not only for hot summer days but for trouhout all four seasons. It is also possible to find this natural drink, obtained from lemons and tangerines as its done by our mothers and grandmothers, on the shelves of the market. Followed by many markets in the north of Cyprus, it has become easier to reach these vitamins packs in the exclusive hotel chain in Turkey and grocery stores and restaurants in the UK by the name "Lemonadda" brand.
The young entrepreneur Ahmet Tokatlıoğlu, who brought the Lemonadda brand to the Turkish Cypriot community, talked about the birth and goals of his brand.
Delmona Global Ltd. Director Ahmet Tokatlıoğlu, became very successful in the business world from the beginning, he is very active in his social life as well. Tokatlıoğlu, who was in the founding stage of the People's Party, is the president of the party's Kyrenia District.
He got a double degree abroad and started a business in Cyprus
He is educated in Global Politics and International Relations and holds dual degrees from METU and New York State University. Ahmet Tokatlıoğlu had the opportunity to work at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Although there are job opportunities, the young entrepreneur who has the love of Cyprus in his heart has returned to the island to realize his goals. Ahmet Tokatlıoğlu decided to establish a company out of the homemade lemonade that his parents were producing and selling at a small amount and he opened a facility and went on this journey.
The young entrepreneur, who took the first step of making Lemonadda a trademark through the EU Grant Program, established a facility in Çatalköy in 2011 with EU standards. It also has ISO 9001 and ISO 22000 certificates, which demonstrate the quality standard.
The two product varieties lemon; and tangerine and lemon syrup mixes, glass bottled products are offered for sale. The Lemonadda brand also offers ready-to-drink products.
Exporting lemonade to the UK
The young entrepreneur who stated that they were aiming to become a brand in the domestic market for the first 3 years since 2010, also added: “We aimed to introduce natural lemonade to the world, as it is for ‘Cyprus Halloumi’. Lemonade was known in Cyprus but was not commercialized. We have targeted it and we have worked on it. We aimed to touch people at the personal level. In this context, we have announced our name in the domestic market with social media, in-market promotions and creative advertisements”. Ahmet Tokatlıoğlu stated that they started to export to the UK after the domestic market in 2016.
Lemonadda, can be found in the Turkish markets in the UK
Ahmet Tokatlioglu, stated that in order to to take place in the UK market as the Lemonadda brand, they have created a partnership with Ozan Yenilmez. Tokatlıoğlu stated that Lemonadda brand has taken its place on the shelves of Turkish markets in London capital city, and some of these markets are Turkish Food Center and Yaşar Halim. Tokatlıoğlu also mentioned the fact that the export process is a laborious issue and that the UK does not recognize the health certificate prepared in Northern Cyprus, and the products are subject to second sample testing before their enterance to the country. Tokatlıoğlu pointed out the importance of the state support and the incentives given by the TRNC government and the payment of the freight charge against the customs tax received from the exporter in the entrance of the UK were very important in terms of the competitiveness of the product in the market.
He chose outstanding enterprises in Turkey
Ahmet Tokatlioglu explained that they managed to enter the market in Turkey and Engin Akkaya from Turkey became the distributor of their product under the name of "Limonada". Tokatlioglu clarified as; this refreshing drink is known as "Lemonadda" by Cypriots, therefore in TRNC ‘Lemonadda’ as a brand has easily recognized therefore they used the "Limonada" name in Turkey, so that the market can easily relate and they can enter to the market with the brand. With this initiative, Ahmed Tokatlioglu said that they create a natural lemonade market in Turkey; "Contrary to the lemonade artificially produced by citric acid in Turkey, we are producing domestic products with domestic lemon and tangerine". Explaining that the brand can be found in many hotels restaurants and cafes in Turkey, young entrepreneurs noted that they are working with major brands such as the Hilton Hotel chain, the Concorde group, Green Salads and Cook Shop.
A project for young people is in the agenda
Underlining the fact that they use only 10 percent of their production capacity, and annually exporting five trailer to the UK and Turkey, Ahmet Tokatlioglu said they are aiming to increase the figures gradually.
Tokatlıoğlu stated that they observed a decrease in the production of domestic mandarin, although they didn't have any product shortage for Lemon, and that they were in the process of preparing a new project together with GİGEM so that the young people who want to make mandarin production would be given the guarantee of purchase guarantee.
Target is to become an object lesson
Noting that the input costs are increasing and they have to adjust their marketing price accordingly although it is exceeding the usual market prices, in this context Ahmet Tokatlioglu, said they are trying to close the difference caused by foreign exchange inputs with exporting.
Ahmet Tokatlıoğlu, at the end of his words, emphasized that their goal is to become a model brand in the countries where they operate.