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This 23-year-old Created a Six-figure Business Out of a $150 Home Beer Brewing Kit

At just 10 years old, Anushka Purohit witnessed a Starbucks barista throwing leftover cakes and sandwiches into the garbage, leaving a lasting impact on her. A decade later, Purohit and three university classmates launched Breer, a startup that turns surplus bread into craft beer. The idea came to life during the Hong Kong protests and subsequent pandemic lockdown, prompting the team to experiment with a beer brewing kit they purchased on Amazon for $156. Despite initial challenges, they realized the idea could work. Breer officially launched in 2020, offering a range of beers, including pale ale, hibiscus sour, egg tart, and bolo bao (pineapple bun).

The startup collects leftover bread from local restaurants, bakeries, and Hong Kong-style diners, known as cha chaan tengs, for free. The collected bread is then sent to contract breweries to produce beer. Breer, in collaboration with local businesses, aims to reduce bread waste and create a sustainable model. Purohit emphasizes sustainability without sacrifice and believes in providing consumers with a more sustainable option.

Despite being a young entrepreneur, Purohit faced challenges in gaining trust from bakeries when initially seeking leftover bread. Persistence and passion played key roles in building relationships and overcoming skepticism. Breer has not raised external funding but has secured about $6 million through startup and entrepreneur competitions without giving away equity.

The startup focuses on the local market and emphasizes sustainability before considering overseas expansion. Breer’s business model aligns with environmental goals by addressing food waste issues, particularly bread waste in Hong Kong. The startup not only repurposes excess bread for beer production but also donates leftover bread to the elderly, the poor, and for animal feed. Purohit shares tips for young entrepreneurs, emphasizing the importance of passion, taking calculated risks, and careful financial management. Breer’s success demonstrates how a sustainable and purpose-driven approach can turn surplus resources into innovative solutions.

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