As we all know, we a have a little more time to read, watch, drink and spend time with loved ones. Let’s focus on those local businesses that need support and help in these uncertain times.
It was a number of months ago that we spent an afternoon with Abbie and Chris at Cooper King Distillery. And this is no exaggeration…their gin literally puts a spring in your step. Ideal for those early Friday finishes while working at home.
I must be honest, I had a whole blog written and almost ready to go about Abbie, aptly titled ‘A Woman in a Whisky World’. A blog that I have tried to finish for the last 5 months in the midst of preparing a new collection and showcasing for the first time at Paris Fashion Week. – Now seems the perfect time to support a fellow new business couple who are making waves in their industry.
Driving through the idyllic Sutton-on-the-Forest, just outside of York; we discover the quaint setting of an award-winning Gin and Whisky distillery powered by 100% green energy. With sustainable resources & practices. Another sustainable business akin to AVIE.
Adding to thier sustainable aspect, Cooper King are the first distillery in Europe to join 1% For the Planet (a global environmental Alliance), planting a sqm native English woodland for every bottle of gin sold. Amazing they recently hit a milestone and planted their first hectare. That’s £10,000 pounds donated to Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust to plant 10,000 square meters of native English woodland, all thanks to all their loyal gin customers.
Architecture and Biomedical science are not the ‘typical’ backgrounds to become a distiller; having gained degrees and PHD’s they both decided to strip themselves away from normality and try and discover something new.
Living the backpackers dream in Australia, while sleeping in a car; picking fruit to fund their travels; and on those special evenings they would share a pizza and beer under the stars, thinking what would be their next adventure.
A twist of fate or serendipity enabled them to discover Tasmania’s best whisky distillery; who opened their doors and gave them the help, tools and knowledge to one day create their own brand.
With a new understanding of whisky, raw passion, hard work, open mindset and attention to detail Abbie and Chris came back to Yorkshire and morphed their talents into a thriving gin and whisky business.
Focusing on green energy, local resources including their dad’s beehive, Yorkshire lavender, in addition the whisky is matured in ‘casks’ made by one of the UK’s last master coopers, a local Yorkshireman; they had all the tools and knowhow to create something truly special that rivals any product on the market.
They also have a wonderful gin that started their buisness rolling. A multiple award-winning vacuum-distilled gin. Distilled with fresh flowers and plants such as marigold, fennel pollen and verbena for bespoke spirits for TV chef & Michelin-star restaurant owner Tommy Banks – a wonderful collaboration.
It was a real pleasure getting to know Abbie and Chris; the similarities of our journeys in life are parallel, it warms us to know most new businesses have the same starts, ups, downs, victories and challenges. Abbie summed up the roller-coaster ride with a wonderful quote
“Don’t take it personally, not everyone will love your product, but many will. Just keep going through the highs and lows. It will all work out in the end.”
I recently spoke to Abbie to see how the business was doing and how Covid-19 had impacted them; it was wondferful to hear her response and shows what local businesses are doing for the community.
“…when covid hit we quickly responded to the national shortage and repurposed our skills and equipment to make hand sanitiser. For us it made sense to do it, because we’re not just focussed on our enviro responsibilities but our social responsibilities too. We’ve supplied numerous organisations free of charge, including A&E departments, intensive care units, care homes, schools, royal mail, mental health trusts, and even Mountain Rescue. It has generated a lot of goodwill for the business, with many people sending really heartwarming – and sometimes heart-wrenching messages of thanks. A take home message from all this is that there’s many positive stories of people going good for their communities, and the more we focus on and share these stories, the more we will inspire others to help – and the smoother the ride will be over the coming months…”
A brilliant couple and a strong business with a product we will be stocking in our cabinet for a long time.
Head over to https://www.cooperkingdistillery.co.uk/ and discover them for yourself.
Hope you all stay safe and well.
Liam & Sonya