Country show visitors give new business the green light


AN ARTISAN drinks maker has turned her hobby into a business after trialling her venture at this summer’s country shows.

Rachel Ellis had been making fruit liqueurs for family and friends for years and was frequently told that she should turn her hobby into a business.

After researching the licensing and legal regulations for distillation, the 26 year old targeted the end of the year to launch her first range of liqueurs, but her business plan progressed rapidly and she decided to seek consumer opinion at a range of summer shows.

Rachel, from Harrogate, tested out her drinks - which are made from fruit sourced as locally as possible - on visitors to the Otley Show in May, the Ripley Show in August and the Nidderdale Show in September. The response was overwhelmingly positive and led her to launch The Little Red Berry Co.

With help from Harrogate Borough Council’s Economic Development Unit, Rachel found premises at the Sycamore Business Park just outside Ripon.

“I knew as soon as I went to visit Sycamore that it was the place to launch my business,” she said.

A member of Deliciouslyorkshire, The Little Red Berry Co.’s fruit liqueurs will be stocked in Fodder at The Great Yorkshire Showground, and are also available on Rachel plans to sell the liqueurs to restaurants and hotels, as well as through retail outlets, at country shows and online.

Rachel trained in catering in Newcastle before studying for a degree in International Hospitality Management at Oxford Brookes University. She began her career in Northumberland, working at Alnwick Castle and Gardens before moving back to Yorkshire to work at Bettys.