Made in Stroud, the shop that exclusively sells produce from the Five Valleys, is about to unveil two exciting new products born of partnerships with two other well-known Gloucestershire brands.
Speaking at the SoGlos Gloucestershire Lifestyle Awards 2022, where the shop was shortlisted for Independent Shop of the Year, owners Claire Honeyfield and Ry Gerbrands said they were on the verge of unveiling a new gin and cider, carrying the Made in Stroud brand.
The mother and son partnership also revealed that despite the pandemic denting its progress, the business continued to take on even more Five Valleys suppliers and is enjoying another year of growth.
‘Turnover has doubled in the last four years. We continue to get three or four enquiries a week from new suppliers, but are really choosy about who we take on,’ said Claire, adding that the Covid-19 pandemic had spurred a renewed interest in supporting local producers.
Ry added: ‘And we are on the verge of being able to unveil the results of a partnership with Sibling Gin and one with Dunkertons Cider, too. It will be branded Made in Stroud Cider and Made in Stroud Gin. It’s really exciting.’
Cicely Elliott-Berry, from Sibling Distillery, said: ‘When Ry asked if we’d make a gin for them I was more than happy to help.
‘We’ve worked with Made in Stroud as a stockist of Sibling for many years but what they’ve created is so much more than a shop.
‘They’ve built such an incredible community and there’s a reason why they have such a good reputation. Because they do what they say they’re gonna do. They support local, they are as sustainable as possible, they look after their suppliers and customers, they give back and they’re just all round good eggs!’
Sibling Gin captured the public imagination when it launched in 2012, not least because the four Elliott-Berry siblings who founded it were all aged under 22, with one just 17 years old.
Although founded in Herefordshire in 1980, Dunkertons Cider is now a major Gloucestershire brand, having been transplanted from Herefordshire to Dowdeswell Park in Cheltenham by son of the founder, Julian Dunkerton (of Superdry fame).
Made in Stroud started in 2000 and today stocks more than 160 artisan producers from all over the district, with a range of food also proving extremely popular.
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit the United Kingdom, Made in Stroud was forced to close its Kendrick Street shop, while the owners used the time to re-think, redecorate, re-assess, raise their social media game, develop their online store and invest. That is when the conversations began with prospective drinks producers.
Made in Stroud won the Independent Shop of the Year award, sponsored by Severn Wye Energy Agency, at the annual SoGlos Gloucestershire Lifestyle Awards 2021.
By Andrew Merrell