Celebrating the Success of Lytham Gin
Celebrating their second birthday last month during lockdown was not quite what they had hoped for but it gave them opportunity to reflect on just how far they have come in a relatively short space of time.
ME: Can it be just 2 years!!
The first time I spoke to you I had no idea just how quickly we would grow and how much has been achieved. From a single variety, I now have 5 different gins and also a rum. I also make gin for Royal Lytham Golf Club, The Rotary Club as well as contract distilling for other brands. We have a few exciting additions to announce soon, too!
ME: Do tell?
Our new distillery is up and running and almost ready to welcome visitors. Elsie, our new still arrived last week. She is much bigger and much more efficient than Edith and Ethel (the other Lytham Gin stills) and will allow me to make batches of around 300 bottles at a time. This is still a tiny amount compared to most other gins and means we are still very much an artisan micro-distillery.
ME: It’s a long way in a short time!
Right from the start I was concerned about how my gins would compare with other commercially available gins. I really wanted Lytham Gin to be something special to reflect just how special a place Lytham is. I wanted genuine feedback so the only competitions I have entered are ones which give awards to just a handful of winners rather than giving medals to pretty much everyone who takes part. The Gin Guide placed our Original Sandgrown Gin in their top 20 Traditional Gins two years in a row. The Navigator’s Navy Strength joined the list this year and we were absolutely thrilled to be named as 2020’s overall winner of their Old Tom category with our Bee’s Knees Gin, making it the best in the World!
Lytham Gin also won a Great Taste Award last year as well as a Silver medal at the London Spirits Competition. I’m hoping for a gold this year, but they don’t give out many. Only one English Gin won Gold last year!
ME: Wow. that’s pretty impressive!! Your head must be in a whirl!?
It’s also really encouraging to have been recognised for my achievements as an entrepreneur. I won the Enterprise Vision Awards New Business of 2019 last September, along with The Gazette’s Retail Business Award and came runner up to the wonderful Mrs Kirkham’s Cheese as Lancashire’s Best Food and Drink producer! I even met Theo Paphitis in February after becoming a #SBS (Small Business Sunday) winner on Twitter.
ME: I bet your feet have not touched the ground? I bet it’s hard to believe!
Yes, but Lytham Gin is still very much a family business. I do most of the distilling, helped by my son, Ben and my husband, Paul, who has a full time job helps out at weekends with events and has pretty much designed the layout of the new distillery. We have been very privileged to have taken part in many events over the last couple of years. One of the most exciting was back in July last year when we partnered the European tour with the PGA and sponsored the British Senior Open at Royal Lytham and St Annes Golf Club. Appearing alongside such big household names as Rolex, Emirates, Ralph Lauren and Calloway was a bit surreal. We met some lovely people and introduced Lytham Gin to a lot of new customers.
ME: What else is new?
My son has set up a separate company called Lytham Gin Events and we have a mobile bar available for hire as well as offering tasting events which can be booked to take place either at the distillery or in people’s own homes or garden.
ME: I know you are ‘BIG’ on ‘giving back’
I’m really proud of everything I’ve achieved but one collaboration is particularly special. Lytham Gin began making a gin for Rotary Lytham to raise money for the End Polio campaign. We’ve sold over 1100 bottles so far, raising enough money to inoculate nearly 112,000 children. We have just been commissioned by Salford and Swinton Rotary to make a version of our Bee’s Knees gin using honey from the city and it will be called a Taste of Honey. The money is going to the same charity so we hope to save even more lives this year.
Support Rotary causes as well as enjoying Lytham Gin HERE
ME: That is truly amazing Sara. I actually hate to ask, but What’s NEXT!?
The pandemic has prevented us from finishing an important part of the new distillery. We have plans to convert the mezzanine level into a tasting room but these will have to wait until we can resume the work and source the materials needed. When things return to normal we will be open for visits and will be welcoming guests to gin tasting events at ‘The Gin Factory’. So although 2020 hasn’t been very kind to the world, we are looking forward to the future and sharing our adventure with everyone who loves Lytham Gin!
ME: I cannot leave this without a mention for the moreish Lytham Gin Rum available from SandGrown Spirits
Sara, fascinating as always. Thank you & wishing you and the family all the best
Find all the links to Lytham Gin and SandGrown Spirits here on the LifeStyle Directory and cannot wait to visit the Distillery