We had a very busy but exciting 2018 at Slingsby HQ and after a weekend of reflection, it’s safe to say that it was our best year yet! We’ve compiled a list of best moments and highlights which have got us all excited for the year ahead.
The year kicked off with a new listing with travel retail giants World Duty Free in Leeds Bradford, Newcastle, Doncaster and Humberside airports. Our home county airport, Leeds Bradford also saw our London Dry and Rhubarb gin available in the lounge bars for holidaymakers to enjoy a pre-flight treat. We also made an impact with some impressive branding around the airports.
Continuing the travel theme, we also gained a new listing with fellow Yorkshire airline Jet2.com who listed our new experience box containing three of our award-winning mini gins as part of their inflight retail offering.
The annual road cycling race the Tour de Yorkshire was held in May and this year we decided to go big to celebrate. The Slingsby team formed part of the race but instead of hopping on our bikes, we were leading the way in our very own Slingsby Defender handing out goodies to the cheering crowds.
In Summer, we partnered with luxury hotel Hotel du Vin to create the Slingsby Ginspiration Suites. Working with award-winning Chelsea Flower Show gardener Matthew Wilson, we created a botanical wonderland across 5 suites in Wimbledon, Brighton, Birmingham, York and Harrogate. Those who booked to stay in the suites were also treated to a fully kitted out Slingsby bar trolley – a gin lovers paradise!
We gained lots of fantastic new listings across the UK including national listings at The Botanist, Gusto, Revolution de Cuba and the Malmasion Group agreed another two-year deal with us after our Slingsby Rhubarb Triangle became their best-selling cocktail! We are also now listed across 6 Michelin starred restaurants and are the bestselling gin brand in luxury retailer Harrods. We became one of the top 10 spirits within national drinks wholesaler, Matthew Clark and experienced a massive 102% growth across the on-trade sector too, so make sure you look out for Slingsby at your local bar, pub or favourite restaurant.
The lease of the property next door came up for grabs, so we jumped at the opportunity to make our store and experience even bigger and better. After months of hard work and a lot of dust, we officially opened the doors to our new and improved store and new experience in October. Visitors can now book on to our brand new experience and master the art of distillation by making their very own personalised bottle of gin. You can find out more information about it here
After some huge growth for the brand, we welcomed some new passionate members to the team.
We can’t tell you how proud we are to see our product on the shelves of many more fantastic retailers and independents. We still get all giddy when we enter a store and see Slingsby sat alongside so many incredible and well-established brands. To make sure, you can easily get your hands on our products, you can now purchase Slingsby nationally at Marks and Spencer, Tesco stores and Booths and our rhubarb gin gained further listings within Asda.
We were proud to support a number of charities to help raise funds for some fantastic causes. Last year, saw us hosting our own Tiki bar at the Firecracker ball to help raise funds for Children’s Charity Barnardo’s. (If anyone has a need for 300+ Tiki glasses, send us an email!). A few of the (fitter) team members took part in this years Abbey Dash 10K in Leeds raising money for Age UK. Spirit of Harrogate became sponsors of a new Sunshine Coach in partnership with children’s charity, Variety Yorkshire. We also supported a number of charity balls and events including Lee’s Smile, Michael Hospice Gin Evening, Marie Curie and the Logan Invitational in aid of Sparks.
The team travelled all around to spread the word and make sure that as many people as possible get to taste our products and discover our story. We had stands at a number of food and drink shows including BBC Good Food, Foodies and gin-tastic festivals such as Telegraph Gin Experience, Gin to My Tonic and Dublin Gin Experience. We were honoured to be part of some prestigious events and awards ceremonies including the Don’t Walk Fashion Show in St Andrews, Serpentine Summer Party, Attitude Awards and the British Fashion Awards.
In our quest for world domination we visited Paris with the Welcome to Yorkshire team where we introduced and sampled our gins at the embassy. Visited Japan with the Wine and Spirit Trade Association as part of a ‘British Drinks in Tokyo’ venture and exhibited at a trade show in Germany. We also secured a new listing in Denmark and our Slingsby miniatures even featured in a gin advent calendar over there!
The festive period saw us partnering with The Ivy Harrogate to transform its terrace into a magical winter botanical garden in celebration of the restaurant’s first birthday. Slingsby cocktails complete with festive foliage, cosy blankets and a roaring fire.
We teamed up with Fever-Tree to create the ultimate stocking filler just in time for Christmas. Fever-Tree crackers containing rhubarb gin and mediterranean tonic launched in John Lewis and were a huge success!
We would like to thank you for all your support – we couldn’t have done it without you! We have some exciting plans for 2019, so watch this space.