Founder Andrew (Drew) Fulton got his start working with his partners at Peach Street Distillery. While working to create a better cocktail mixer to elevate their mixed drinks, a brewery down the street was selling their bottling equipment. This fortuitous event lead to more formulation of flavors and the development of the Rocky Mountain Soda Co. brand to pay homage to the local flora and fauna of the Rocky Mountain region.
Fulton took his passion for creating “great tasting beverages that you can feel good about drinking” and expanded into the CBD market to offer more options to their discerning drinkers. The two new product lines, Colorado’s Best Drinks and Lifted Libations, are a perfect example of Fulton’s continued drive to create the best products for consumers.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you share with us the story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I had been making Rocky Mountain Soda for ten years and was looking for a way to bring two of my passions together. I was one of the first to make legal cannabis beverages in Colorado, and have consulted for many other name brands, so working in this industry has always been in my heart and on my mind. When the Farm Bill passed, I felt good enough about the legalities of operating nationwide. Luckily, I had already been working for a couple of years testing different ‘water soluble’ hemp extracts, so we were ready and able to properly launch Colorado’s Best Drinks when the time came.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
It has been interesting from the start, but one of the most interesting things was finding out that our original factory was in an old brothel with secret passages and mirrored walls. Biggest lesson learned was that you really never know where people set up shop for all sorts of crazy things!
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I don’t know how funny it was, but I killed all my tropical fish when I was first working on crafting hemp extracts. I learned not to evaporate alcohol into a small space where there was a fish tank. The tank acted like a giant lung that absorbed the alcohol vapor and killed all my fish. Hopefully they got drunk first…
Are you working on any exciting projects now? How do you think that will help people?
I am a notorious creator always working on new flavors and projects. We are developing a few adaptogenic drinks as well as some other functional beverages that I hope will be beneficial to people.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
No question, my dad, Big Bob. He has always been there for me in every way possible. Be it financially, as a sounding board, or even doing hard work whenever it was needed. He still even delivers soda for us.
This industry is young dynamic and creative. Do you use any clever and innovative marketing strategies that you think large legacy companies should consider adopting?
For sure, but I want to keep those for ourselves! The big guys can figure it out on their own…
Can you share 3 things that most excites you about the Cannabis industry? Can you share 3 things that most concern you?
I am always excited by great new products, innovative ideas, and increased quality. What worries me most are lack of standardization, regulation, and of course, banking issues.
Can you share your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started Leading a Cannabis Business”? Please share a story or example for each.
That it’s not going to be easy, even if you have a great product.
That it’s not a good way to make a quick buck, especially if you want to create a lasting brand.
That it’s way more hard work than you expect, and then some.
That there are always new obstacles to overcome, so stick with it.
That even when you are successful, you will always need to keep getting better.
What advice would you give to other CEOs or founders to help their employees to thrive?
Do the groundwork to ensure you have great products first, then have a solid game plan in place to focus on your goals. Then you need a great support team to implement your strategy.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I think all cannabis should be legalized federally and regulated like alcohol. If people could get quality products easily with the assurance of knowing exactly what they are consuming, it will no doubt be a huge benefit to everybody.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
You can always see what I am up to on Facebook @sparklingCBD or Instagram: @sparkling.cbd
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!