North East entrepreneurs invest six figure sum in food and drink start-up

North East entrepreneurs invest six figure sum in food and drink start-up

NORTH EAST ENTREPRENEURS who launched a new start-up selling gin, rum and vodka boxes during Covid-19 have had sales from across the UK, as the nation’s habits become more home-based.

Valda and Paul Goodfellow invested a six-figure sum into setting up Taste Club Limited, with business partners Liam Goodfellow and Georga Spottiswood in April.

“We already had the plans to launch late summer but when Covid-19 hit it seemed like the perfect opportunity to hit the B2C market,” said Valda, who also owns Peterlee-based tableware and chef supplies business, G&G Goodfellow with husband Paul.

She added: “It wasn’t a high-risk investment, the shift in consumer behaviour towards online shopping, particularly for high-quality food and drink, was on the rise and this has continued even after lockdown restrictions have been relaxed. We’ve had sales from the North East, Wales, London, Manchester – all over the UK.”

The ethos is the business is that food + drink = happiness.

A Taste Club box contains all of the elements to create happy memories, from great nights in, to family celebrations.

“We are insanely passionate about food and drink and working with quality brands. Having lived and worked in the North East our whole life, Paul and I felt it was hugely important that we invested in our local economy to help some of our region’s younger entrepreneurs during this time.

“We have successfully built up and sold a number of businesses in our region – and are financially secure, so we wanted to help others not only survive but grow – as the future of the North East is in their hands,” said Valda.

They approached Georga Spottiswood, of Spotty Media Limited – which specialises in marketing food and drink brands and the hospitality industry, and as well as bringing her on board with Taste Club, they invested another six-figure sum into Spotty Media to help it scale up.

Together, they used their network of food and drink producers, chefs and mixologists to put together the premium boxes.

“Inside each box is a full bottle of carefully selected spirit. Nothing gets past our lips, we taste test everything and it is quality first and foremost,” said Georga, who also runs Gin and Spirit Schools at many of the UK’s leading food and drink festivals.

“With that route to market gone for the producers, it was imperative that we launched sooner than planned.

“In our gin box is a full bottle of Hepple Gin, which is distilled on the hills of Hepple in Northumberland. It’s a cracking juniper-forward gin and we work with mixologists in the region to perfectly pair the spirits with mixers. We’ve already secured mixer giant Fever-Tree as a partner, who loved the concept,” added Georga.

As well as a bottle of Hepple Gin, Holy Island Spiced Rum, Cloven Hoof Rum, or Durham Vodka, consumers receive ready-to-eat snacks.

“We found the most amazing brand called The Drinks Biscuits, and Andy [Murray] who’s originally from Sunderland has done a superb job at making savoury snacks that actually pair with spirits, wines and beers. It was a no brainer to put those in our boxes – and we have also set up and online shop so people can buy them time and time again,” said Valda.

Chefs such as Jason Atherton, Adam Handling and many more supply recipes for the boxes and the Taste Club team – who release a new box for sale every six weeks – are also working with North East and Yorkshire chefs on releasing their own spirits.

Valda said: “Our aim is to inspire the nation’s palates and engage them with the best craft producers out there. To help them have a great night in at home and to help them discover amazing food and drink.”

Taste Club Boxes are £40. To buy a box, artisan products, or to get cocktail ideas for mixologists and recipes from the top chefs, visit https://mytasteclub.com/

Source: Taste Club

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