7. Chance encounters
We had decided upon our move into the world of gin production, largely as a result of our Flaming Sugar Cubes encounter combined shortly afterwards with a trip to a Distillery. It would have been easy to leave things at that and let our idea drift into the world of forgotten Daydreams. But sometimes you just have to take the hint when circumstances conspire to reinforce your paths.
For example, as part of our anniversary celebrations we decided to visit a local health spa. We hadn’t been there before but had heard great things and so booked in for an Indonesian massage. Part of the treatment was the option of feedback on what our bodies where presenting (no not our shape and look, rather the indications of health and wellbeing!). It was an amazing experience and the feedback on our state of mind, deliberations as we transitioned into another phase of our life’s/careers couldn’t have been more helpful. Amazingly the timing was also coincidental. The Spa were in the process of expanding and loved our idea of a bespoke Gin and encouraged us to reconnect once we had our licence approvals. Encouragement indeed :)
Probably the most random encouragement came whilst standing in an airport queue. We were, as usual making a nuisance of ourselves, overloaded with cases and kids and requiring a little assistance down the air bridge stairs. It’s here that Ray Woolhead and friends stepped in to lend a hand down the stairs with a case. We got talking as you do, and it turned out he runs a small batch distillery down the road - Divine Gins. He went to pains to shuffle seats and talk gin over a flight to Barcelona. Invaluable input and a further encouragement that we were on the right track.
It didn’t stop there! We’re beekeepers too and in the early stages needed to get hold of a “bee smoker” rapidly. Unbelievably the source of our bee “smoker” was a local chap with years of experience, anecdotes and experimentation in gin production.
Less random but equally as supportive have been our fabulous group of friends who we fondly refer to as the Culcha Club. There a fun bunch and we always start out with the intention of putting a bit of culture into our various get together but mostly we just like to appreciate the finer things in life like, well Gin! Cath and Dave are our afficionados with a gin bar bigger than the Old Bell in Delph (worth looking up!). They’ve reluctantly (lol) helped with a bit of tasting and given us some great pointers.
Gillian and Paul, amongst other things have trail blazed on the gin front with the establishment of their Gin Bar business - Copa Fizz. We’ve followed their exciting journey and success, taken their pointers and gratefully received their assistance through our journey.
Nige & Debs are on our doorstep and so have had to bear the burden of our regular productions and tastings, their encouragement and feedback has in no small part driven us on to keep going. We’re looking forward to collaborating through some local bars as we display our wares to unsuspecting potential clients!
We’re going to take these encounters as a sign that we’re on the right track, let’s hope our prospective customers share the same view 😁