Andy Gardiner is developing a taste for success as he bids to keep up with demand for the award winning range of liqueurs he has created.
The Barnsley-based restaurateur began experimenting with recipes two years ago and, with the help of business support organisation Enterprising Barnsley, has turned what started out as ‘a bit of fun’ into a thriving business.
Now Andy, who owns and runs the Beatson House restaurant in Cawthorne, with his wife and chef, Anita, cannot make the drinks fast enough, so he is taking on a full-time assistant and has a bottling plant on standby.
“The response to Boozy Infusion has been amazing,” says Andy, aged 48.
“People like the fact that it’s a grown-up, all-natural drink and just love the taste.
“I know that bottles have gone as far as far afield as Bermuda and New Zealand and the catering manager at the House of Lords visited the restaurant and took a bottle back to London.
“We’re ready for rapid growth now and that’s partly thanks to the support I’ve had through Enterprising Barnsley as that made me realise I had a product with commercial potential and helped me to develop a strong identity for the business.”
The plan is to take the product to national chains and supermarkets, with the backing of specialists from Enterprising Barnsley who are helping Andy with brand development and marketing.
Andy’s first creation was a Sticky Toffee Pudding flavoured liqueur, which proved an instant hit with diners.
He has since added two more flavours to the range, Black Forest Gateau and Jamaican Ginger Cake, which won awards for best drink and the consumers’ choice at the last Delicious Yorkshire Awards.
Success hasn’t been without its challenges, however.
Last summer, just when his liqueur business was getting up and running, Andy suffered a heart attack and had to undergo surgery twice.
He may need to be fitted with a pacemaker in the future.
Andy is taking it philosophically, however.
“I feel very lucky as some people don’t get another go at life,” he says.
“I feel fitter and sharper than I have for years and, whereas before I might have been tempted to plod along, I’m now really going for it with Boozy Infusion.”