Loxion Fruit Beverages: A tribute to Dobsonville With only R800 in their collective pockets, Lungelo Mgaga and Patric Thokkie started a juice-making business in Mgaga's kitchen. The business is meant to embody the vibrance of Dobsonville culture.

Lungelo Mgaga, co-founder of Loxion Fruit Beverages. Photo: Supplied/Stokvel talk
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Based in Gauteng, Loxion Fruit Beverages soon became a three-man outfit when Mgaga and Thokkie were later joined by Thabo Twala. The brand is based in Dobsonville in Gauteng and started out as a passion project.

Mgaga has 10 years of retail work experience, and says his studies in public relations are what helped him get the business off the ground.

“[Our juice business] started in the streets of ‘Dobsi’, between two guys ba se kasi, coming together with an entrepreneurial spirit. [We had] a vision that was inspired and motivated by a passion for business in the beverage industry and food.”

When they started, the pair bought purified water, and low-cost materials like water bottles and packaging. They purchased their ingredients and started making their juices in the kitchen. Mgaga explains that their first sales were made when they went door-to-door in Dobsonville, and he says they continued experimenting with the taste of the juices. 

“We [started] Lifeway Imphatho Brands, a 100% black-owned food brand and beverage entity. Loxion Fruits is a 100% fruit juice blend that tells the story of a kasi drinking culture.”

Reflecting kasi vibrance

For Mgaga, creating a drink that appealed to the Dobsonville market was essential. He says they wanted the juices to be reflective of the culture and tradition of the people there, something with “a vibrant, fruity juice taste”.

The Loxion Fruit Beverages ingredients, says Mgaga, are all locally sourced from farms in the area.

“[We extract] the natural liquid [from the fruit]. And [with] the fruit-flavoured pulp, we produce high standard [juice] with purified water. We use a juice-mixing machine right down to [the] bottling, capping and labeling.”

Like all small businesses, Loxion Fruit Beverages also has its share of hurdles. Mgaga explains that accessing the retail market has been a very challenging issue. Expansion of the business is also limited because of a lack of finance, and sometimes, they have also experienced losses due to non payment.

“Trying to find a strong team that will carry out the vision [is also a challenge], but some of the greatest rewards [come] from seeing satisfied customers. Growing [our] brand amongst the community and the people, [especially] when they call you by the name of the brand.”

Despite these challenges, Mgaga explains that his vision for the Loxion Fruit Beverages brand is big. He is not just limiting his plans for the brand to South Africa, but hopes to take the brand global in the future.

“[Our vision [is] seeing Loxion Fruits in major brand retailers and wholesalers, and one day, to spread it internationally into [the rest of] Africa. It’s a juice of the people, or ijuice ya se Kasi.”

For future juice manufacturers, Mgaga’s advice is simple: “Don’t sleep on your dreams, respect your vision, have an action plan, give it your best, and don’t give up.”

Story originally published on Food for Mzansi