Interview: Will Edge, founder and distiller at Greensand Ridge Distillery

PUBLISHED: 12:27 23 June 2020 | UPDATED: 12:27 23 June 2020

Will Edge - from distillery to sanitiser manufacturer, in three days (photo: Manu Palomeque)

Will Edge - from distillery to sanitiser manufacturer, in three days (photo: Manu Palomeque)

Archant

We caught up with Will Edge, founder and distiller at Greensand Ridge Distillery to see how he has been coping during lockdown

Who did you miss the most during lockdown?

Apart from family, I missed the familiar look of our business. Things changed beyond recognition, with spirits sales very flat and our newly created sanitiser production going through the roof. My passion is making spirits so I’m looking forward to getting back to that and product development, but we’re just reacting to what is needed and what can drive our business forward for now.

Who did you speak to the most other than those you were in the house with?

I am literally on the phone all day talking with suppliers and customers and none of that has really stopped. At the moment, with our one-in-10 sanitiser gifting campaign I am getting huge amounts of calls from desperate charities and care organisations and it can be quite emotionally overwhelming.

What changes did you have to make to your business?

We pretty much went from being a distillery to a sanitiser manufacturer. It took about three days of very complex work – legal mostly, but also sourcing and pricing – and then we were up and running. As people are at home and drinking more, we are continuing to do well on that front. But 80 per cent of our business is to bars, pubs and restaurants, so that part of the business is quite slow when usually by spring sales would be rocketing.

What did you learn during lockdown?

I learnt that when push came to shove I could work all day every day! I did find some time to reacquaint myself with my chainsaw and bring destruction to some laurel, but the pace of work didn’t really let up for me.

Where will be the first place you go eat or drink once this is over?

Going for country walks and not stopping at the pub has been like a personal hell, so I will sit outside the Kentish Rifleman in Dunk’s Green and make up for lost time.

What positives can you take from this?

I’m an optimist and can see a lot of positives but I don’t think it’s really the right time yet to dwell on them when so many people are still struggling.

From a business point of view the ability to give something (sanitiser) to so many people for whom it is vitally important has been wonderful, and we are keeping that up for the foreseeable future. As a society we need to find a way of disengaging with the pursuit of endless economic growth as a measure of success and readjusting ourselves to wellbeing and sustainable living.

We’ve never had the incentive or ability to do that before, but it might be that we’re all a bit more receptive to it now.

www.greensanddistillery.com

Instagram: @greensand_ridge

Twitter: @GSRdistillery

More from People

Monday, December 21, 2020

So you think you know your county? Take our New Year quiz and put that local knowledge to the test | Words: Adam Jacot de Boinod

Read more
Sunday, December 13, 2020

Kent has always been noted for its rebellions, its involvement in the Peasants’ Revolt 635 years ago its most famous manifestation. But what were those other Kent rebellions?

Read more
Thursday, December 10, 2020

Kent Life spends a festive morning with Christmas Bake Off star Jane Beedle in her Faversham home. Article first published in Dec 2019

Read more

With light at the end of the Covid tunnel at last, we take heart from how Kent recovered from previous calamities, from the 1930s depression to two world wars and the credit crunch. Article first written in July 2020

Read more

We’re all familiar with blue plaques, but could Kent Life come up with 10 notable births in our county – avoiding the most obvious ones? See if you agree

Read more
Wednesday, November 25, 2020

How the sheep farming heritage of Romney Marsh, an area of great natural beauty but high unemployment, helped inspire the creation of Romney Tweed | Writer: Sarah Sturt - Pictures: Manu Palomeque

Read more
Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Who was your favourite doctor? Tom Baker regularly appears in the top two in Dr Who polls, is still acting and would never rule out a come-back | Words: Bernard Bale

Read more
Thursday, November 19, 2020

You might think you’re a bit of an expert on Kent but when the clock starts counting down, simple facts may start to elude your memory...

Read more

Pets are proving a lifesaver for many, providing companionship and consistency in uncertain times, as these Kent Life readers reveal

Read more
Thursday, November 19, 2020

Working closely with the most seriously ill of patients, Joanna Mitchell knows only too well the difference it can make when they are cared for at home.

Read more
Kent Life Food & Drink awards. Open for entries.

Latest Competitions & Offers



Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook


Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Latest from the Kent Life