Made in Hackney: Square Root Soda has ‘taken on a life of its own

Square Root Soda's soft drinks.

Square Root Soda's soft drinks. - Credit: square root soda

Each week, the Gazette takes to the streets to unearth something being manufactured right here in Hackney. This week we visit Square Root Soda’s HQ in Hackney Downs to hear more about the unusually flavoured soft drinks they produce.

Square Root Soda soft drink Artemisia

Square Root Soda soft drink Artemisia - Credit: square root soda

Robyn Simms set up Square Root Soda in her kitchen five years ago with her partner Ed Taylor.

Now they’re based in the Railway Arches near Hackney Downs station and employ 14 staff.

“Both of us were working in beer at the time and wanted to set up our own thing and not do what everyone else was doing,” the 27-year-old told the Gazette.

“People were getting really excited over beer with nice flavours and I thought it’d be nice to do the same with soft drinks.

They are currently producing 14 different flavours of handmade soda, but they release around 20 around the year depending on what’s in season.

“Cucumber is one people think is unusual,” said Robyn. “I’m not sure how we arrived at doing a cucumber soda, but it was one of our first.

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“We are always really interested in working with British producers, and cucumber was around sooner than the summer fruit like strawberries, and during the gap after rhubarb ends, so we thought we would give it a try. People enjoy mixing it with gin.

They won best drinks producer at the BBC Radio 4 Food and Farming awards two years ago, and Robyn finds it both “exciting and terrifying” how it’s taken off.

“It’s taken on a life of its own - it’s a nice feeling,” she said.