Nate Charles rolls Minne-Soda Beverage Bikes into town

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Photo Courtesy of Nate Charles

Senior Nate Charles remains hopeful for the future of his Minne-Soda Beverage Bikes business. / Senior Nate Charles prepares for the incoming success of his business, Minne-Soda Beverage Bikes.

Senior Nate Charles’ RED project revolves around his bike, the lakes, and entrepreneurial spirit.

The Minne-Soda Beverage Bikes business all started when Charles was influenced by a tour guide at a college visit in Chicago over MEA break last year. The tour guide spoke about a current student at the college who had started a cold brew bike business. “My dad said I should make a business around a bike, and I decided that I would use Minnesota’s best resource––the lakes––as a hypothetical market and a bike to deliver cold beverages to people,” senior Nate Charles said in an email interview.

I knew this would be the perfect opportunity for me to make this idea a reality.”

— Nate Charles

As this idea was sparked, Charles was working on his Business Professionals of America (BPA) club events. One of those events was to create a “fake” business plan. “Little by little this fake business seemed very do-able, I presented this project and went to state for BPA,” Charles said.

As juniors were applying for classes and learning about all the different classes they were able to partake in for their senior year, engineering teacher Ms. Anne Dougherty informed students about the new class called RED Capstone––a student-run class that presents a unique chance for students to carry out ambitious projects. “I knew this would be the perfect opportunity for me to make this idea a reality. I explained my idea, and she loved it,” Charles said.

As Charles was piecing together his idea, he looked online for bikes he could get for his business. He found one and bought his current bike in June. He also spoke with some local business owners that helped him understand the business life more clearly. “Over the summer I searched the web for bikes and found some mentors in Mr. Lothenbach and Mr. Gallivan who offered great business advice and legal help,” Charles said.

Charles plans to travel with his bike to different lakes in Minnesota. “The idea was that a lot of Minnesotans work out at lakes and sometimes would want a cold drink, along with people who just lounge around at the lakes might want something cold and refreshing,” Charles said.

He took his beverage bike out for its first ride on October 14, 2020 to French Park in Plymouth. Since this was his first sale it was hard to predict how it was going to go. “The weather and the lack of awareness of the business made it less than ideal, but I am very optimistic about this spring and summer,” Charles said.

Charles has a variety of cold beverages he plans on selling. “Currently, I am planning on selling an assortment of drinks from water, sparkling water, Gatorade, and an assortment of sodas,” Charles said.

Going forward, Charles plans on finding an alternative for the Minnesota winters. He plans to create a winter bike that he would hopefully have by next winter. “The winter is going to be a great time for me to plan and raise awareness for the upcoming spring and summer where I really hope to blow up,” Charles said.