What’s your story? How did your business start?
My business started because of a few reasons, I had a background in natural botanical flavour extraction techniques.
I had already made and overseen the manufacture of gin on a small and large scale.
I was no longer enjoying the travelling time and distances involved in fulfilling the requirements of my last employment role, also I felt like I had no work-life balance!
My wife was in full support of me starting the business and supported us financially whilst we got the business off the ground.
How many people are in your team?
we currently have 2 full time employees and 5 part-time employees and we are looking to recruit two further full time people in the near future.
Where are you based?
We are based in our new purpose-built distillery (Munros Barn) in Stoke-by-Nayland in Suffolk, in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
What makes Suffolk Distillery a cool place to work?
We are a family run business and we treat any new employee like a member of the team.
What makes your products unique?
Our products are all made in hour to our particular formulation; this along with my Chemical background allows us to maintain a consistent level of high-quality product (We are also SALSA certified).
Just for some context:
SALSA is a food safety certification scheme designed for small-scale food producers and suppliers. It is a recognized and accepted standard that exceeds the minimum requirements of enforcement authorities. To be approved, suppliers must demonstrate their ability to produce and supply safe and legal food and maintain SALSA’s high standards. The scheme is overseen by the Institute of Food Science and Technology and is a non-profit joint venture founded by three trade associations representing the UK food chain. The certification helps suppliers demonstrate their commitment to safety and quality while providing assurance to customers.
Inspiration behind Suffolk Distillery?
We try to use locally sourced suppliers whenever possible in areas such as branding, marketing, label and box sourcing, web design and ingredient sourcing (local strawberries and rhubarb).
Best business moment?
Holding the first bottle of Gin made by myself.
A valuable lesson you have learnt?
To keep a very close eye on your cash flow and also if you can get a second use out of something (such as a cardboard box) do so!
What’s your favourite product? What do you pair it with?
My favourite product is my Bolivian Chocolate Spiced Rum, which I pair with ice because that’s all it needs!
How many products do you make?
We create 10 currently.
What’s your inspiration?
I am inspired by the countryside around me and everything Suffolk stands for. It is a beautiful county and my distillery is set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Making it a great place to work.
What’s next for your business?
We are looking to export our products this year! Oh and a collaboration with SFH soon too, but shh, we should probably keep that a secret.
Name one thing you couldn’t live without..
I know it sounds corny, but I’d have to say my wife, Melanie.
If you could have one superpower? what would it be and why?
The power to give people good health and happiness.
Favourite song and why?
‘Perfect’ – Ed Sheeran (because he’s a local boy) and ‘You’re the one’ – D Train.
What’s your best joke?
What sits at the bottom of the sea and twitches?
A nervous wreck.
You can find lots more about Suffolk Distillery on their website below, and look out for the blog of SFH on tour, when a group from the Food Hall took a trip to the distillery!