MADE FOR DRINK. PREMIUM BAR SNACKS.
Inspired by different drinking cultures around the world, we make intensely delicious bar snacks that pair beautifully with a drink.
To make the snacks in our pubs, bars and hotels as interesting, tempting and delicious as the premium drinks now on offer behind the bar.
It's early days, but over the next 3 years we want to be trading in the top 1000 pubs, bars, hotels and specialist retailers across the UK.
In 3 - 5 years I'd like to think we would have been the driving force in establishing a new retail category. Just think how cool it would be to shop for your Friday night craft beers in your local supermarket and have equally as kick-ass, high quality snacks designed to accompany them on offer in the same place.
The dream I suppose.
I started Made For Drink in May 2016, but the idea came a couple of years before.
Quite simply I recognised the change that had happened in our pubs, bars and hotels across the UK. Just think about it, you walk into any decent pub and the craft beers, premium spirits and interesting wines on offer are boundless, all presented beautifully and served by somebody who really cares about their craft & profession.
But when it came to snacks, why was there still just a pack of dusty crisps served from a cut out cardboard box? Don't get me wrong, two pints of lager and a packet of crisps is a fail safe combo, but sometimes you just want something a bit more special.
To cut a long story short, I thought if I were to look at different drinking cultures across the globe I could find a rich world of tasty inspiration to tap into. If I could then learn how to make them, package them up beautifully and serve them up behind a bar then I had the starting's of something that made me excited about the future.
Like most people with what they think is a great business idea, the thought of quitting my job when I was supporting a young family (we have 3 children) wasn't really an option. So I decided to set myself a simple challenge (May 2016) of making something that aligned as perfectly as it could to my vision (Made For Drink; intensely delicious bar snacks inspired by different drinking cultures around the world that pair beautifully with a drink) and to bring that product to market in one perfect customer. At the time that one customer was one of my favourite pubs in the world; Heston Blumenthal's The Crown in Bray.
When I had a good idea of how this was shaping up; I had a plan and had spent hours in my kitchen making various products. I managed to get a meeting with the General Manager at The Crown. That meeting was and still is the best business meeting I've ever had. I spent two hours with the General Manger and Head Chef - they thought there was a big opportunity, they had comments but in all really liked my products and they agreed that if I could get these to a stage where they were ready for launch then they would trial them. I felt on top of the world and it gave me the confidence to move forward.
Over the next 4 months I learnt how to make the products (legally, safely and to the highest quality) and every month or so I would drop a batch of product into The Crown and Hinds Head (Heston's other pub) for feedback. They would be pretty open on what they did and didn't like.
In late September I dropped a final sample into Heston's pub - which got the nod for a trial and also dropped a speculative sample into The Observer Food Monthly (OFM), who then asked for 500 packs in 2 weeks for their awards ceremony (Oct 2016). I was then off!
At the OFM awards I met Rick Stein (a really lovely man) who the next day got in touch for samples and a pack from the awards ceremony also made its way to the head buyer at Fortnum & Mason who in turn got in touch.
At the end of Nov 2016 we started trading with Heston Blumenthal's 2 x pubs, in Dec 2016 we began trading with Rick Steins Pub & Deli and in January 2017 started trading with Fortnum & Mason. In May 2017 we attended Tom Kerridge's pub in the park, with huge success.
The uptake and rate of sale has massively exceeded all expectations and it gave me the confidence from April 2017 to focus 100% of my efforts on my own business.
Since then we've moved from making the products in our local village hall in Waltham St Lawrence, and into our own 2000 sq ft purpose built commercial kitchens.
I love what I do and I hope this shines through in all our products.
It’s a truly amazing feeling to make something yourself that is then bought, served & enjoyed in some of the world’s most famous establishments.
PLEASE GET IN TOUCH
I'd love to hear from you, whether its to chat food & drink or even to talk through a small business idea that you've wanted to run past someone for ages.
Cheers and enjoy!
dan@madefordrink / 07787759518
25th Nov 2016: The first ever delivery to The Crown in Bray.