You join us for another of our popular blog series where we chat with one of our customers and learn more about them and their business.
In this addition we talk to Sarah over at Goose Foot Gin. A small batch gin company based in Preston. They specialise in infused small batch gins which are really tasty. We were lucky enough to try a selection of their delicious gins. Which you can read more about at the end of the interview in our first ever customer review!
But first lets learn more about this small gin company.
Hi Sarah, thank you taking part in our customer spotlight and also for entering (and winning) our first ever competition!
I like to start these blogs with a simple yet very important questions. Why did you start Goose Foot Gin? And where did the name come from? I hope no geese were harmed in the making of your gin!
I have always had a passion for creating infused gin, from hand picking my own organically grown fruits, together with the excitement of foraging for ingredients, taking advantage of the abundance throughout the seasons, ensuring the best quality and flavours possible. I am constantly experimenting and developing gin flavour combinations, sharing and enjoying the end results with family and friends.
Comments and feedback were always amazing and requests to purchase were frequent. So it was a natural process to evolve into a bijou business. Researching and developing my skills and knowledge was and still is important to me and continues to be a key influence to my ethos.
The name was easy - wanted it to reflect the origin of the gin, give it locality and relevance so as I live on Goosefoot Lane, there it was.
There has been no harm to any geese trying to land in the fields nearby.
How long have you been infusing your own gin? And what makes yours unique to others on the market?
I have been rectifying for about 3 years, although I have been infusing gins for around 15 years.
Rectifying is the process of taking neutral alcohol, adding the botanicals and the magic is then created through a copper pot still.
Infusing is the process of adding gin, fruit and sugar and leaving to age to develop into a liqueur.
My business philosophy is bespoke, offering a unique product, with each bottle of gin being individually handcrafted, from the growing, selection and hand picking of the botanicals, to the actual process in creating a one-off product each time. The exclusivity of customer’s ideas and flavour combination requests, with my suggestions and guidance, plus my experimentation keeps the Gins distinctive.
The individual production process ensures the Gin is always exclusive to the last drop!
The distinctive monochrome Goose Foot Gin logo is always available to use in single and an all-over-pattern designed in many combinations. Customers can add a personal message, name the gin, add an image; this personalization combination is an outstanding opportunity for those Gin geeks and for those special gifts.
How many flavours of gin do you currently stock and which is your favourite?
I produce an abundance of flavours from both infused and rectified gin. Currently I am working with approximately 20 rectified and 10 infused flavours.
If I were to choose my favourites that I would scale up to batch production, it would be Damson, infused, and rectified, Holy Island Sea Mist and Citrus Zing, although the Hint of India is fabulous too. All are very diverse to suit my extensive and inquisitive palette.
The infused Gins are usually aged for at least 6 months and I retail them at 30% abv, although this can be adjusted.
I see from your Instagram page that you do custom gins for people. What gave you the idea to offer this service? And how does it work?
The customised service is the Goose Foot Gin ethos/principals/philosophy, and a niche market within the world of Gin. The idea was a bright light moment one evening enjoying the gins at a Gin Festival, I wanted to be part of the exciting world of Gins exploding on the market, however realizing the gap which suits my bijou business.
The customer can either talk though flavour ideas and I can suggest combinations or they can select up to 5 additional ones from the botanical menu I send out or they can adapt available successful recipes or they can purchase stock, though this is generally limited in type and choice. The customer can also customize the label, and the final ABV can be personalized too.
Prior to using Instagram as a platform, leg work and direct contact was the mode to promote Goose Foot Gin, knocking on doors, leaving samples, meeting with the bar owners and managers to establishing partnerships to create and develop their gin, using their logo/trade mark as a their brand on the shelf.
What were the challenges of starting your own business? In particular a spirit based business?
Time - As I am a bijou business i.e. a one person band! With family support as and when, plus I currently work a four day week as a Design & Technology teacher too. So I am always re-prioritizing and juggling time!
Sourcing - The initial preparations and decision making on components like bottles!
Spirit business requirements - ensuring that you meet all the legal requirements; initially it was finding out what was required then subsequently completing the courses and registrations.
How has the last year and the global pandemic affected your business?
During 2020 I was planning to launch myself onto the local Food and Drink festivals. Thankfully this avenue is now opening up again so the opportunity is there. Otherwise business did continue to develop and grow. It also gave me an opportunity to continue to experiment more with flavour combinations
I’ve had a look online and I can’t see a website for your business. Is there a reason for this? Do you have plans to set one up?
Initially I did start to set a website up, however time was an issue and I was concerned that I would not be able to manage the website efficiently and effectively; it has to be the soul of the business and you cannot get this wrong. Whilst my time commitments are split, the quality assurance of the business is viewed through the eyes of a website. I will look to add this to our portfolio at some point in time.
What else is in the future for Goose Foot Gin? Where do you hope your business will be this time next year?
This time next year batch production! Using my three favourite recipes, which are tried and consumer tested. However it would be important to ensure I retain the botanical provenance ethos.
You recently won our first ever Instagram competition to win one of our photography packages. What do you think of the result? How would you rate our photography?
Amazing, I was so excited to receive the DM, and the results are wonderful. I particularly liked the fact that you communicated your ideas, plans and gave me some choices and an opinion.
The plain background in mono gives a classic feel and the photographs will not age, likewise the block colour backgrounds give me a Mondrian impression, and the lifestyles ones give a warm atmosphere, a feel good ambience, and tranquillity, I think you have fully encapsulated Goose Foot Gin.
Which bottles do you currently buy from Sen5es and what do you think of them?
Currently I purchase the 700ml polo, 250ml polo and 50ml mini spirit… Also 500ml amber beer bottles as part of a family home brewing hobby.