An expansive approach from Afterthought

It’s always interesting to connect with business people with an eye for opportunity. A few words with Doug from Afterthought…

Hi Doug, how would you describe your approach to business?

My background is primarily IT consulting. I spent about 18 years working in the US with small stints in Hong Kong. My jobs allowed me to travel extensively and I think that helped with some of the input on our gin and coffee flavours and designs. I’m fairly hands-on, making sure that standards and values are followed and have built a great team of around 35 people across all of the businesses that continue to make Afterthought a success.

You seem to have quite a range of businesses, from technology consultancy to coffee shops… what’s the thinking behind this?

We started out as and IT consulting firm and decided to diversify into other businesses, we spotted a coffee shop for sale and it’s been expanding ever since!

The Gin Story … how did that begin?

As for the gin, I started drinking it about 7 years ago and settled on Bombay Sapphire and orange juice. About 2 years ago I toured their distillery and thought to myself I can make this and add some flair to it.

What’s the market like for Gin these days? Seems to me it’s quite experimental, I’ve seen Sheffield Gin in a local wine bar. Are you looking to provide direct to drinkers, or to bars as well?

We are aiming for about 80% export markets as there are already quite a few local gins in the UK. So far we have created and released 4 gins including American, European and London dry gins. 

Do you need a license to make Gin? What’s the score with the law?

So to get a license to make gin you have to have already made gin, kind of a catch 22.  Luckily for us we worked with a distillery in Devon to create our recipes and first batches in order to get our own licenses which were recently granted.

What other horizontals are you exploring for the future?

We are moving our smallest coffee shop site to a much larger building that will also house the front of our gin distillery, this allows us to host a gin retail section, a gin school and evening events. Next year we are adding a much larger European style cafe which will incorporate our gin, coffee and soon to be added pizza business in a new Burgess Hill revitalization project.

Thank you Doug, all the very best, a toast to your ongoing success.

View the borrowing application here.

Search our blog...




Thank you
Your Bid's been
Placed...
7sdlazj04wDYBDhgDFOemAwZEv8gKkzHdznVAWhdoYY=