Inspiration came from perspiration when the pair found themselves in a hot Birmingham nightclub.”Lee and I were hot and intoxicated,” said Hirschfield, “and we wondered, how about an alcoholic icepop?”
The pair, who prefer alcopops to warm beer, tried to freeze the sweet beverages without success. “We experimented at home but found alcohol acted as an antifreeze, making the icepop difficult to form,” said Hirschfield.
They continued researching the idea while studying for law degrees at Birmingham University, where they met fellow law student Edward Jackson.
He obtained venture capital from an investment bank and paid a laboratory to continue the experiment and establish Realice as a private limited company.
During the next year all three studied the legal practice course while buying an office in Kilburn, North London, where Sheldon worked as the managing director of four employees.
In spring 2001, Hirschfield used his intellectual property knowledge to patent the company.
A design team from Cambridge was assigned to create packaging that met the trio’s requirements. Hirschfield said: “We wanted to produce something that did not appeal to kids.” The product was made wider, shorter and darker than non-alcoholic icepops.
The team hope to introduce the product into the European club scene and are waiting for European trademark protection.
He said: “The project has really helped us. We expected a lot from those we did business with, but found we were the principal decision makers. Now we know a lawyer is more than a legal adviser, they are business advisers too.”