The Bath-based business Sweet Drinks Ltd, founded by business adviser Rachel Sweet at the start of lockdown in March, is helping to keep independent West Country drinks producers afloat during the Coronavirus pandemic, which has devastated sales for many artisan producers.
Sweet Drinks was originally set up to promote and sell West Country drinks brands online, including gin, cider, rum and vodka produced by small family enterprises, however, since the arrival of Covid-19, many of the outlets that drinks producers depend on for their sales have closed and producers are so busy making their products that they don’t have time to market them or find new outlets.
The Sweet Drinks team responded by swooping in to the rescue, booking up market stalls and pop-up shops, organising online drinks parties for guests to taste the products and meet the makers, finding new sales outlets and even donning ‘Drinks Fairies’ costumes as they deliver emergency supplies of gin, vodka, rum and cider to customers across the region.
Mark Rees from Gotland Gin in Devon, named after the breed of Swedish sheep on their smallholding, said: “Rachel has put together a fantastic team of passionate ‘Booze Fairies’ who stop at nothing to provide an amazing selection of West Country drinks for the public.”
The Sweet Drinks team is a group of West Country businesswomen including event organisers, business advisers, a graphic designer, a solicitor, an ex TV director and a Bath Blue Badge guide.
The Sweet Drinks ‘fairies’ will be taking their converted horse box bar to Rainbow Wood Farm near Bath University from Fridays to Sundays until Christmas, offering local mulled cider to Christmas tree shoppers and selling presentation bottles of West Country drinks for Christmas presents.
Sweet Drinks’ award-winning brands include Beckfords Rum, Honey’s Cider and the Canned Wine Co. from Bath; Still Sisters, Friary Drinks, E18hteen, Harry’s Cider, Herby4 and Hullabaloos from Somerset; Exeter Gin, Venton’s Cyder and Gotland Gin from Devon, Road Green Wines from Gloucestershire and Viper Gin from Dorset.
Carl Hankey, founder of Viper Gin said : “The Sweet Drinks team has been excellent in representing our brand and promoting our products at various events. Their corporate Zoom tastings have been hugely beneficial in getting our product known further afield, leading to increased sales and brand awareness. We are extremely delighted to be working with them!”
To help support local West Country drinks producers, visit the Sweet Drinks website at www.sweetdrinks.co.uk or pop into Rainbow Wood Farm from Fridays to Sundays from 4th December for Christmas trees, West Country gifts, snow, animals and plenty of festive spirit!