Pearl Hanson’s Ambitious Plan to Revolutionize the African Liquor Industry

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Pearl Hanson's Ambitious Plan to Revolutionize the African Liquor Industry

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Pearl Hanson’s Ambitious Plan to Revolutionize the African Liquor Industry

Pearl Naheema Hanson, Managing Director of AA Food and Beverages, Ghana is a 2005 graduate of University of Manchester with a Bachelor of Science [Honours] in Chemistry, with Business and Management.

Her wish has always been to start her own business back in Ghana, and so she visited home often to assist her mother in her wholesale and retail business in cosmetics, ladies’ handbags and suitcases in Accra.

She returned to Ghana in 2016 after practicing alcohol distillation in Liverpool.

“My partners and I wanted to produce premium spirits to match those produced in the UK for a good price, at a time the government wanted to help young entrepreneurs to start their own businesses,” Pearl explained

Pearl established her own laboratory at her home in East Legon, Accra, to produce all of the ingredients needed to launch two products: the pouched 250 ml Spice Rum, an upgrade of the local gin on the market, and the bottled Sahara Solace, a butterscotch schnapps-flavored liqueur.

In 2017, AA Food and Beverages took off in earnest with Pearl in control. Soon after, one of the company’s products, Sahara Solace, won ‘New Beverage of the Year’ at the Ghana Beverage Awards.

The company participated in the Ghana Investments and Opportunities Summit, which was held in London in January 2020 and most recently in Lagos, Nigeria. “Already, the future for our business, locally and internationally looks so bright and we will soon introduce other products,” she stated.

She confesses that her success did not come on a silver platter, but the single mother of two is very proud of her birthplace Kwahu-Akwasiho and always proud to tell anybody who would listen that she was born into an entrepreneurial family.

Pearl comes from a strong lineage of entrepreneurs; her mother is a smart businesswoman with decades of experience as the owner of Vidal Bags at Georgina Stores in Accra; grandmother was a big-time trader at Makola at the Central Business District and her grand uncle, Joshua Siaw, was a former Managing Director of Tata Brewery.

”So it runs in the family, and I am thankful to my mother for supporting all of my business endeavors,” she says. Pearl’s knowledge has helped her to perform admirably as a mother and an industrialist.

She noted that the acceptability of her products have paved the way for more investment opportunities as her company; AA Food and Beverages is registered with the Association of Ghana Industries [AGI] and Ghana Export Promotion Authority [GEPA]; and they are export ready; as well as the African Continental Free Trade Area [AfCFTA], to take advantage of the single market across Africa.

Sahara Solace Butterscotch Schnapps Liqueur and Spice Rum are excellently packaged to clearly distinguish them from other products in the market and have all become the choice of guests at cocktails, funerals, weddings, and other social gatherings across Ghana.

Pearl hopes that her products will one day make their way to West Africa and other African markets, where they will be accessible in both quality and variety.

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