Made in Samoa, by Samoans: SBC launches new soft drink
Created from artesian water found over 100 metres underground at the Falelauniu Aquifer, Taxi, a new carbonated soft drink has rolled out onto the market.
Managing Director of the Samoa Beverage Company (SBC), Taimalie Charlie Ah Liki is the proud owner of “an original Samoan product”.
Launched yesterday, Tamalie told guests that included students from Robert Louis Stevenson School and St Theresa’s Primary School why “Taxi” was chosen as the name.
“This land were SBC is located was our first learning centre,” he said. “This is were the Germans had plantations in the past. This is where I learned to plant, dry and market cocoa. This is also where I learned to plant cabbages.
“My father, Mani Westerlund, had a cocoa and coconut plantation and he also ran a taxi stand which opened in 1968.
“By 1970 he had thirty taxis and it was around this time when Government Ministries and departments did not have vehicles.
“My father’s stand had many taxis compared to other stands and so the Government gave him the priority of transporting these Government employees.”
As a youth at the time, Taimalie helped to service the taxis that needed repairs.
“I would look after the taxis and fix the old cars that were run down,” he said.“I would go to school at 6am and at 5pm in the evening, I would help out in repairing the taxis.
“By the time I reached High School, I continued to do repair work on these vehicles but would finish around 2am the next day.
“When I went to school, I would be sleepy in class and so I thought to myself, if I do not pass my University Entrance exams, I will be fixing taxis for the rest of my life. This was an incentive for me to study hard at school to gain a scholarship for further studies.
“From that experience I learned engineering skills and how to identify car problems and was adapted to heavy work and the importance of education. These were lifelong skills learnt and I would encourage you students to do the same if you want to become successful in life.”
About the new soft drink, Tamalie said statistics show there has been an increase in the amount of imported soft drinks during the last couple of years.
SBC, he said, was proud to enter the market with a product that is made in Samoa by Samoans.
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