Building a new life (on a shoestring)
We built the building ourselves from scratch. Putting my architectural and project management skills to use, we drafted friends, family and founders to pitch in and help us complete the project. It was a steep learning curve, but an amazingly rewarding process to watch all our hard work materialise into a fully-fledged, working distillery.The official launch event in June 2018 was a wonderful day, with 200 guests joining us to consume our gin and officially open the venture to the public. Abbie and I gave a speech, and I was hard pushed to contain my emotions that day! We’ve had national press coverage in the Guardian and the Financial Times, and are currently working with chef Tommy Banks and his Michelin-starred restaurant.
Since the official opening 9 months ago, our gin has won two international awards, is being sold in over 100 stockists across the country, and has been described by one critic as a game-changer. We’ve had national press coverage in the Guardian and the Financial Times, and are currently working with chef Tommy Banks and his Michelin-starred restaurant The Black Swan at Oldstead to develop a range of spirits for them, using fresh produce grown just 20 minutes from the distillery. Abbie and I have been working flat out on our business for three years, and have many years of hard work ahead to ensure its success and longevity.
Our time at university, the skills we learned, the people we met and the experiences we had, have without a doubt shaped who we are, and have enabled us to strike out on our own, creating and working on something we both thoroughly enjoy. It is incredibly fulfilling, and I look forward to seeing what the future holds.’Chris’ enthusiasm, energy, intelligence and altruism make up an enlightened individual and it has always been a pleasure to spend time with him. Listening to his account of life so far, it is impossible to come away with anything other than a sense of hope and excitement. I wish him the best of luck for the future. And will raise a Cooper King gin and tonic to that sentiment!
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