An award-winning liqueur range inspired by Britain’s best-loved puddings is bringing growing success for its Barnsley creator.
Restaurant owner Andy Gardiner began experimenting with recipes two years ago and, with the help of business support organisation Enterprising Barnsley, has turned ‘a bit of fun’ into a thriving business – *Boozy Infusion*.
The taste of success is even more sweet for Andy as has pursued his plans despite suffering a heart attack last year, aged just 48.
Andy, who for the last decade has owned and run restaurant Beatson House, in Cawthorne, with chef wife Anita, started out with a Sticky Toffee Pudding flavoured liqueur which instantly proved a hit with diners.
He has since added two more flavours to the range ““ Jamaican Ginger Cake and Black Forest Gateau.
The liqueurs, sold individually and in a three-flavour stacking bottle, are now on sale at 15 farm shops in the region, including nearby Cannon Hall and Blacker Hall. A total of 1,000 bottles sold in December alone.
Since one-man outfit Andy cannot make the drinks fast enough, he is shortly taking on a full-time assistant and has a bottling plant on standby. The plan is to now take the product to national chains and supermarkets. Specialists from Enterprising Barnsley have been helping with brand development and marketing.
Andy said: “The response to Boozy Infusion has been amazing. People like the fact it’s a grown-up, all-natural drink and just love the taste. I know that bottles have gone as far as far afield as Bermuda and New Zealand and the catering manager at the House of Lords visited the restaurant and took a bottle back to London.
“We’re ready for rapid growth now and that’s partly thanks to the support I’ve had through Enterprising Barnsley as that made me realise I had a product with commercial potential and helped me to develop a strong identity for the business.”
Andy’s Jamaican Ginger Cake liqueur scooped two coveted awards at the Deliciouslyorkshire Awards for 2011/12, winning ‘Best Drink’ and the ‘Consumers’ Choice’ judged by members of the public. It was praised for its ‘knock out’ aroma and its ‘clean flavour and versatility’. Deliciouslyorkshire champions thousands of local food and drink retailers, suppliers and producers across the region so competition was fierce.
Last summer, just when his business was getting up and running, Andy suffered a heart attack following which he twice underwent heart surgery. He may need to be fitted with a pacemaker in the future.
He said: “I feel very lucky as some people don’t get another go at life. I feel fitter and sharper than I have for years and, whereas before I might have been tempted to plod along, I’m now really going for it with Boozy Infusion.”
Enterprising Barnsley is a partnership between Barnsley Development Agency, Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre and the University of Huddersfield’s Barnsley Campus.
The Enterprising Barnsley programme has attracted £2.89m investment from the European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme.