One of the UK’s leading distilleries has employed an industry pioneer to build upon its award-winning reputation and drive the business forward.
Sion Edwards joined the team at Union Distillers in Market Harborough as General Manager earlier this summer and has already introduced innovative practices to improve productivity and increase capacity to produce more spirits.
The Harper Adams graduate has also brought with him knowledge from his previous roles at Warner Edwards and Langley Distillery where he worked with brands such as Bacardi and Campari.
He said: “The first thing I looked at when I started was increasing productivity.
“Having worked in fresh produce, I have brought that production element into the business and am taking lots of little steps towards improving an already very successful business.”
One of the steps Sion has taken is buying a new bottling machine and larger stills.
Union Distillers, which was founded by Mark Gamble in 2013 develops, distils and bottles bespoke spirits on behalf of brands and independent retailers such as Fortnum & Mason.
While its signature brand, Two Birds Spirits, will still be distilled in small batches of 100 bottles, the larger stills have a capacity of up to 300 litres, more than trebling the current productivity rate. And it does not stop there.
“Every small distillery is making one-shot spirits and I think it’s very easy to do,” Sion added.
“It’s a far better and more traditional method to distil concentrate spirits and by doing so, you get a much more consistent flavour and that’s something I’d like to explore further.”
And it is not just Union Distillers that is benefiting from Sion’s new role. He was previously commuting to the other side of Birmingham every day and is already enjoying having more time to spend at home with his family in Leicestershire.
Sion said: “I spoke to Mark a lot as I’ve known him since the beginning of my career and saw Union Distillers were looking for someone to drive the business forward and we both have the same ambitions.
“I’m really enjoying it. It’s very different to Langley and it’s going to take me at least a year to learn everything there is to know about the business but we’re already making progress.”
Mark added: “Sion has already been such an asset to Union Distillers and that is clear from the methods he has introduced and the productivity of the team.
“As a result of his work we have already employed additional staff to meet demand and it’s only the start of better things to come.”