Project The little gin palace

What does Teesside mean to me? Teesside is home to me and where I have lived my entire life. I am proud to be a Teessider and want to shout about all the fantastic local businesses and products they create. 

Why do you think independent businesses are so important for an area like Teesside? Independent businesses mean that when people buy from a small local business more money stays in the area which is even more important now as ever. For example I always try to use small independent coffee shops rather than the big well known chains. I used a local business to build my website and I get the majority of my marketing material and personalised items created locally too. I work with 3 Distillery’s who are based in Skelton, Whitby and Darlington. They are create amazing drinks and we have formed a great working relationship with each other promoting each others businesses.Whats the story behind The Little Gin Palace? I got made redundant last year after 18 years working for a bank so I decided to take this opportunity to do something completely different. I have always been a Gin drinker and used to get frustrated when I ordered a drink from a bar and asked the staff which mixer and garnish was recommended and they couldn’t really advise me. My partner and I discussed it a lot and found a Vintage Horsebox bar online, we went to see it and bought it straight away and the rest is history really. We had some events booked in for the summer and were excited to start serving people. As to be expected these events have now been cancelled so I was worried that my business would fail before it had even really started so we got our thinking caps on and decided that if we couldn’t take our bar to people we could at least take the drinks.

What’s peoples reactions to our business? Since we have started our delivery service the feedback we have received has been amazing as has the support from our friends and family, most sales initially via Facebook so people sharing posts and recommending us had been invaluable. We have now updated our website so orders can be processed there and we have been added to the buyboro website too. We sell hampers with a local Craft Gin or Rum with includes 6 mixers and we do smaller bottle options with 3 mixers. We have recently launched our first bottled Cocktail, A Negroni, in conjunction with Daisy Distillery in Skelton which is proving very successful. We can deliver these all across Teesside and can even post to other parts of the country. Something that has been really success during this period of lockdown is that I can include a personalised card with a message in if the purchase is a gift, I have written out Birthday, Anniversary, Thank you and We miss you cards. its so lovely seeing peoples reactions and the feedback we get.

Where can people find us online?  www.thelittleginpalace.co.uk, The BuyBoro website, Facebook and Instagram.

Why do you believe that Teesside gets such a bad reputation in the media? Every town and city in the country has parts which come across badly in the media but for some reason people think that this is all there is to Teesside, they don’t realise we have the the Cleveland Hills, the beach and the countryside, these are such beautiful places. I have had many orders of Cleveland Way gin because it has Roseberry Topping on the bottle and reminds people of home. The with the Endeavour Gin from Whitby, both iconic pictures and I am proud to be associated with the products and be also to help sell them.

How did I come up with the name The Little Gin Palace? When we were thinking about how we wanted the Horsebox to look I just said I wanted it to be like a little Palace, modernish but with a vintage feel – cheesy I know – then she instantly became The Little Gin Palace.Advice to people wanting to start their own business? Work with as many local businesses as possible as we all want to help each other, local Networking groups are also amazing, the support I have had has been fantastic. I have businesses I recommend people to all the time and they do the same for me so that’s just great.

Advice to people wanting to start their own business?  Work with as many local businesses as possible as we all want to help each other,  local Networking groups are also amazing, the support I have had has been fantastic.  I have businesses I recommend people to all the time and they do the same for me so that’s just great.

Interview by Chloe Tempestoso

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