Recently, the East Africa Entrepreneurs Association visited K Roma Limited, the producers of Bella juice and wine located on the outskirts of Kampala city amidst vast greenery, which is an impressive sight. The factory has a spacious layout and a well-maintained infrastructure for the beverage industry, with the sweet fragrance of fruits, juice, and wine.
K-Roma Limited started producing juice and wine about 25 years ago by Mrs. Prudence.
“I started producing wine in my kitchen, producing only 5 liters of wine, later moved to the garage, and kept on moving up to where I’m today”. Mrs. Prudence added that she was inspired by her late son to start wine production.
She started by producing wine from different types of fruits, like pineapple, hibiscus, grapes, and mangoes, which was an invention in wine production since wine was known to be produced only from grapes.
Later, the factory started producing Bella Hibiscus juice, which, due to its nutritional benefits without any chemicals, has become one of the most award-winning juices in Uganda and other countries like Malaysia and South Africa.
The factory is spread over an extensive area, where different stages of the production process take place, producing different types of wine ranging from red to white and juice.
K-Roma Limited says they sell their wine and juice under the trademark name “Bella.” Mrs. Prudence added that she takes her wine to supermarkets in Kampala, Mukono, Jinja, and other urban areas and exports it to Malaysia, Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa.
However, the company also sells to individuals who go to their premises. A 750-ml bottle of wine goes for Shs22,000, and a 500-ml bottle of Bella Hibiscus Juice goes for only Shs3,000.
Lastly, she says that due to the availability of cheap imported wines and chemical drinks, the market is still small, and she wants to look for more outlets to sell her product.
K-Roma Limited’s biggest challenge is the small market given that most people have not embraced drinking wine from different types of fruits other than grapes.
Another challenge is the high cost of fruits since the factory has to buy from farmers.
Mr. Denis the head of quality control said that farmers take over-ripe and damaged fruits to them yet these fruits cannot be used in wine production as farmers think, this reduces their supply quantity after fruit sorting.
“Producing high-quality wine and juice without chemicals can be a challenging and complex process, but with dedication and expertise, as K-Roma we have managed to overcome everything”. Mr. Denis said.
As a successful wine producer, the company has built a strong brand that is recognized and respected in the wine industry, creating a loyal customer base.
K-Roma has greatly contributed to the local economy by creating jobs and supporting local farmers and agricultural industries., both through direct employment and through the purchase of supplies and services.
In Mrs. Prudence’s office, you can see several high-quality awards and accolades from industry experts, which help to increase brand recognition and sales.
How to make wine
The first stage of the wine production process is the extraction of juice from the fruits. Fruits have to be cleaned, sorted, and crushed first. The extracted juices are then fermented, where they are converted into wine. Mr. Denis added that there are various techniques and different types of yeast used in the fermentation process, which affect the taste and quality of the wine. The absence of oxygen plays a crucial role in the fermentation process.
Next, the wine is taken to the wine production section of the factory, where it is stored and matured in large tanks. Mrs. Prudence said that all Bella Wine is taken to market when it’s two years old because wine maturation enhances taste and aroma.
Also, in the juicing section, Bella Juice is extracted from hibiscus without adding any chemicals to make the juice safe and healthy for all family members.
The company has a lab where the quality of the products is tested regularly. Mr. Denis explained the various tests carried out to ensure that the products meet the quality standards. It was fascinating to see the level of attention given to quality control.
After the wine is of the desired quality, it is taken to the packaging and bottling processes. He said the importance of proper labeling is to help consumers identify and purchase products they prefer.
Lastly, packaged wine and juice are taken to the storage area, where the finished products are kept before being dispatched to the market. The company has a well-organized logistics system, with trucks loaded with crates of juice and wine ready to be transported to various destinations.
The tour gave us a deeper appreciation for the effort and skill required to produce good-quality juice and wine. East Africa Entrepreneurs Association is grateful for the opportunity to have visited such an innovative and forward-thinking company.
Bella wine is carefully crafted using the finest fruits, resulting in a rich and complex flavor that is sure to please even the most discerning wine connoisseurs. Whether you prefer red, white, or rose, K-Roma has a variety of options to suit your taste. Plus, their bottles make the perfect addition to any dinner party or special occasion.
If you’re in the mood for something non-alcoholic, Bella Hibiscus juice is a perfect choice. Made with only the freshest fruits, Bella juice is packed with vitamins and nutrients.