Teens Learn About Business from the “Ginger Shot Man”

By Amanda Moses

Do you know the Ginger Shot Man?

While we are very much used to the childhood story of the Gingerbread man, members of Spring Creek Teen Central (TC) got to learn about a different type of individual during their entrepreneurial workshop—the Ginger Shot Man.

“Catch me if you can, I’m the Ginger Shot Man,” Mark Forde said, as he introduced himself to the teens on July 7th in the TC lounge, located in the lower level of the Brooklyn Sports Club (BSC).

What began as a healthy passion for ginger, blossomed into an entrepreneurial business for Forde over the past two years. He sells small glass bottles with an assortment of ginger shot blends. This vegetable has long been hailed for its ability to help reduce inflammation, increase antioxidant levels, and lower the risk of heart disease.  Some may take this one a day for a quick boost to their immune system, while others may occasionally drink it before exercising.

“If this is what you really want to do, you have to be brave and go for it,” Forde said, describing his experience creating a business from the ground up.

Forde did a lot of research prior to creating his business, scouting his potential competitors for product price and packaging. He noticed that many juice bars sell ginger shots in a plastic container for $5, so he thought why not invest in purchasing glass bottles and creating his own ginger shot recipe. He learned that it’s important to purchase in bulk since numerous small portions was not cost effective. From there, Forde concentrated on marketing and the laws surrounding selling a product.

“Because, again, life is all about competition and playing basketball has been a big driving force for me. So, it comes down to you as a person. Are you in it just for the money or are you in it to make a difference? I believe I’m not just selling ginger shots; I’m selling a lifestyle. So, my slogan is ‘Take the shot’, obviously from basketball. So, what happens when you shoot a basketball? You either miss or get it in.  We live in a world where a lot of people want change, but they’re afraid to shoot because there is a 50/50 chance, that you’re gonna make it or miss. So go shoot it again. But a lot of people are so scared to fail they won’t even take the shot. It’s all about you as a person, and your character,” Forde said, explaining the secret behind his business strategy.

Developing and owning a trademark was difficult for Forde to obtain and took time to understand since a patent differs from agriculture product to clothing merchandise.

“From my basic knowledge from business class in college, I know about trademarks and copyrights. But it’s not as easy as you would think, ‘Oh I have a name. I’m just gonna get paid for it. And that’s it.’ There’s a process to having a trademark, it took about almost a year to actually go through the presentation,” Forde shared.

Earlier this month, Forde was able to take his business to the Brooklyn and Harlem night markets, selling out his product. Both night markets garnered a clientele of close to 8,000. The next big event he is looking forward to is the Vegandale Festival on September 24th.  But these venues didn’t magically appear on Forde’s calendar, he had to work hard to reach out to organizers and secure his spot.

“You have to, you have to want it as a businessperson. You have to go out, no one’s gonna come to you. It may happen once or twice, but you have to go get it,” Forde confessed.

The teens inquired about gains, losses, product expenditure and what is recouped, merchandise, and the difficulty of obtaining a patent.

“It feels great to actually give back and to see they care. It’s like me helping them with what they want or may want to do in life. It’s a great feeling,” Forde said.

Photos by Amanda Moses

Amanda Moses