An Opportunity for Change

It is quite hard to pin point exactly when the idea for opening a gin distillery changed from a dream to an actual goal, but I suspect it was around the time our second child was born and I realised that commuting to London everyday with two small people at home was going to be a very difficult thing to pull off and be good at my job and at motherhood. My husband Ed (we’ll come onto his role in all of this later) travelled (a lot) for work, and I had a demanding job in Banking - it wasn’t going to be easy…

We moved house in December 2015 from a chocolate box thatch cottage in a South Cambridgshire village to a huge project in the East Sussex countryside and this move gave us not only the location for our new project, but also the impetus to do it quickly.

All of a sudden, building a Gin distillery was something we were doing next year rather than something we’d like to do. This change in the way that we started talking about the project (and we talked everyday about it!) gave us a huge rush of excitement about the opportunities and experiences that lay before us, but also a huge anxiety on whether we would actually be able to do it. It would mean such a massive change in our lives and loss of the security of good jobs – it was a massive leap of faith, but we knew that this was the right time for us.

I said goodbye to the City in June 2016 and straight away starting learning about the drinks industry. This did not involve just going to lots of bars (although that bit was really fun!) I learnt about Spirits and Gin researching and reading and going on courses and taking exams. We made our first ever Gin at the City of London Distillery, such an amazing place and venue for those who want to have a go at making Gin, or just having a quiet G&T in their fantastic bar right in the centre of the City.

By January 2017, I felt pretty smug and knew lots about Gin, but having the idea and the knowledge isn’t quite enough to get a startup off the ground. I needed to

get a plan together, and start to focus not only on the product, but also the business side of the project – there was a huge amount to do!

Photograph S George