27 February 2019
Having a deep admiration for the Norfolk countryside and wonderful lifestyle it provides, coupled with their keen love for gin, husband and wife Jason and Nicky and their son Ethan, have created a fun and truly Norfolk-inspired gin business…WhataHoot! We were lucky enough to try their gin at the NEF 2018, which adding sparkle and fun to the festival! I caught up with the WataHoot family, who told me more about their local business venture.
When did you have the idea for WhataHoot?
Sitting out in the Garden summer 2017, drinking gin and tonic at the time, we thought to ourselves well it can’t be that hard! How wrong we were! But 9 months later we had learnt to distil and developed a recipe that almost everyone we knew absolutely loved! Our love of Norfolk, the countryside, all its wildlife and having fun inspired the name! A slightly cheeky play on words, it has worked out rather well and everyone seems to be sharing our vision!
Can you explain in your own words what WhataHoot does?
I always struggle to answer this question, because we don’t consider ourselves like any other distillery. HootFruit and the slogan ‘Create your own Hoot!’ see to that. In a sentence we make amazing Norfolk Inspired Gin, using as may local companies and ingredients as possible from our barn on The Sandringham Estate in Norfolk. But we have plans to push us outside this remit so I like to say, if we were a venue, we wouldn’t be a pub with the fire lit in the corner we’d be a brightly coloured bar, with lots of music and laughter.
Did you enjoy being part of the Norfolk Enterprise Festival (NEF) 2018?
YES! it was amazing! even to listen to all of the amazing speakers, to get to network with them in a different environment was crazy good fun! I came away inspired!
Did your business benefit from attending the NEF 2018?
Totally, I made loads of connections with new customers, other exhibitors and people who have since been able to guide me in there expert field, either marketing or sales, just getting to talk to other business owners in Norfolk who have achieved what you’re looking to achieve or know someone that has is invaluable! We got oodles of exposure and lots of valuable knowledge based gains from the event! If anything at all we came away from it feeling seriously inspired!
Do you think the NEF can help Norfolk based businesses grow?
Yes. They can help businesses grow by exposing them to the outside world beyond what they are conditioned to experiencing. Also to show them that by standing up and just talking in an open forum about what it is you might want in Norfolk for your business, whether its super fast fibre, or better roads for distribution or phone signal, or better opportunities to network, the festival helps to show businesses that the answer can be YES, in Norfolk you just have to ask first!
What main piece of advice would you give to anybody wanting to start a business in Norfolk?
Talk to everyone! Don’t be afraid of making a mistake! See how you can help everyone and anyone around you because they will want to help you in return!
You can find more about WhataHoot and their gin @ www.whatahoot.co.uk
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