Suffolk gin maker looks to extend reach in ‘competitive’ market

Karen and Martyn Luke of Heart of Suffolk Distillery Picture: JUSTIN MINNS

Karen and Martyn Luke of Heart of Suffolk Distillery Picture: JUSTIN MINNS - Credit: Archant

A gin maker with a strong local ethos is aiming to extend its reach across the country.

Heart of Suffolk Distillery, based at Bacton, near Stowmarket, was launched by husand and wife team Karen and Martyn Luke a year ago and specialises in creating hand-crafted gins. It is now planning to promote the brand further afield.

“Our customer base is growing week on week and brand awareness is building. It’s taken a long time for us to get the look and feel of our brand spot on and we’ve made many changes along the way,” said Karen.

MORE – Grate news! Cheese store scoops Shop of the Year award“The gin market is incredibly competitive, but we feel we have something really special and customer feedback is fantastic so now’s the time to up the ante and reach new markets.”

The firm uses local neutral grain spirit from Witham in Essex, and sources bottles from Hadleigh and labels from Bury St Edmunds. Karen and Martyn set up the business after a gin distillery tour in Scotland.

“Martyn was fascinated by the whole process and I’ve always been a big fan of gin, so when we got home we bought a still and started experimenting. It’s been a real learning curve, but we now have three fantastic products,” said Karen.

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They produce three London Dry Gins – a signature gin Betty’s Gin, a fruity summer beverage called Rosie’s gin, and Ivy’s Gin, with wintry clove and cranberry.

“We’ve done our best to create a local gin that has real provenance,” said Karen, “With our distillery and shop also open to the public, and for tastings events, we are able to create a real story around our gin, which makes it very popular with bars and shops looking to stock something with a great back story.”

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