It’s Gin o’clock for the latest Everyday Interview. A self-taught distiller based in Cornwall, our latest interviewee Tarquin Leadbetter beat 268 other international entries earlier this year to win the award for the Word’s Best Gin at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2017.
Tarquin’s Gin, owned and founded by Tarquin, uses traditional techniques and equipment to produce batches of hand-corked dry gin and pastis in small runs of just 300 bottles a time. Tarquin recently answered our 7 questions over a Tarquin’s Gin cocktail:
What did you want to be growing up?
I thought for a while that I’d be a barrister, as both my parents had been. I guess booze wasn’t really on the agenda back then. Fast-forward a few years, and those plans were out the window! The dream to live by the sea, make gin and go surfing were ignited.
Where did the idea for your brand come from and how did you bring it to life?
I spent a good 18 months planning the distillery and everything that goes with it, including our Tarquin’s brand.
It was important to me for the identity to reflect the story of the distillery and my journey into distilling. That Tarquin is indeed a real person; crafting gin in tiny batches down here on the far-flung coast of north Cornwall. A far cry for the mass-produced, generic household brands that seem to dominate the market.
To bring this to life packaging has plays an important part, but social media is the best tool of all.
What has been the greatest challenge to your brand/work?
The greatest challenge has been to make great-tasting gin consistently. That is what we work hardest to achieve. And we’ve had some brilliant results along the way. Most recently we won Best Gin at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2017, out of 268 global entries!
Being the founder of a company also comes with its day-to-day challenges. You face problems constantly, and a large part of being the boss is to develop a sense of humour and learn to solve these problems, fast!
Who was or is your greatest influence?
I love the business and lifestyle philosophy of Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia. And would recommend listening to his podcasts and having a read of his book ‘Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman’. I can certainly relate him.
How would you describe your personal style?
I’m a pretty laid back person. I was never that keen on wearing a suit to work. These days it’s jeans and a t-shirt. And that’s the beauty of being the boss. You can set the rules, tone, and wear what you like!
Tell us something no one knows about you?
I am quite good at cooking Thai food.
7 words to describe yourself
Relaxed, conscientious, jokey, creative, thoughtful, friendly, hardworking.