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

A scream pierced the foggy night, then all was silent, save for the sound of scurrying footsteps. Murder had been committed. Dare you read on?

Read more
Thursday, October 15, 2020

Music superstar Kate Bush has always been something of an enigma, but one thing is certain – it all began in Bexleyheath | Words: Bernard Bale

Read more
Tuesday, October 13, 2020

On holiday in Ramsgate 185 years ago, Princess Victoria contracted typhus and ‘went missing’ for three weeks. Had she died, the future of the royal family could have been quite different | Words: Stephen Roberts - Photos: Manu Palomeque

Read more
Monday, October 12, 2020

Here are 10 tales to make you shiver as we celebrate All Hallows’ Eve | Words: Stephen Roberts - Photos: Manu Palomeque

Read more

Joseph Hewison on how his affinity with dogs led to a full-time career working with them every day

Read more
Wednesday, October 7, 2020

With a tradition of pioneering and inventiveness, Kent can lay claim to some of this country’s greatest inventions | Words: Stephen Roberts - Photos: Manu Palomeque

Read more
Thursday, September 17, 2020

80 years after the Battle of Britain, Richard Bates recalls the role his father H.E. Bates played in telling the stories of the famous ‘Few’ | Words: Richard Bates

Read more
Thursday, September 10, 2020

They were petty Kent criminals, sentenced to transportation to New South Wales, who became ‘Australian royalty’ as part of the ‘First Fleet’ | Words: John Wright

Read more
Friday, September 4, 2020

The Princess Royal, who celebrates her 70th birthday this month, reflects on her happy time at Benenden School near Cranbrook | Words: Bernard Bale

Read more

Kent Life meets some of the people working hard to save our historic vessels from the scrap heap

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

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook


Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Latest from the Kent Life

Share this article on LinkedIn