Norfolk gin firm amazed by response to virtual event

Couple standing behind a gin with gins and tonics on display

Patrick and Sarah Saunders of Black Shuck hosting their virtual event from their bar at home. - Credit: Sarah Saunders

The owners of a Norfolk gin distillery say they were amazed by the impact their virtual tasting event had on people.

Black Shuck Distillery from Fakenham has hosted events across the county, including for 120 people at Wells Carnival.

The event would let people sample the gin, take part in quizzes and competitions, and learn more about Sarah and Patrick Saunders, the directors of Black Shuck.

Patrick and Sarah Saunders of Black Shuck Picture: BLACK SHUCK

Patrick and Sarah Saunders of Black Shuck Picture: BLACK SHUCK - Credit: Archant

The couple, who were making hand sanitiser from early March, were struggling without the social side of her job as a result of the lockdowns and wanted to provide something for the people of Norfolk.

Their two daughters suggested a virtual event, and she thought ‘what did they have to lose’.

The pair hosted their first event from their living room bar on November 28, with a further two planned.

“I think we underestimated the impact until the first night and hearing from people,” Mrs Saunders said.

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“Two couples enjoyed the event so much they sent us flowers thanking us for a safe social event.

“Everyone raising their glass for cheers is what we needed, people need to feel that connection.

“It was all very positive, heartwarming and such a great experience.”

A bar with alcoholic drinks on display

Patrick and Sarah Saunders of the Black Shucks hosted the event on zoom from their home bar. - Credit: Sarah Saunders

Mrs Saunders said this event ‘will not make or break us’, but serves a far greater value.

“We have had a lot of people signed up for it, but if only one couple signed up we would go ahead and hold the event as just to make one pair smile is worth it,” she said.

“Just to feel the connection and to be in touch with our customers is so great. It is far more important to stay in touch and have some fun nowadays.”

Anyone who signed up for the event receives a goody box in the post 10 days before the event along with some instruction about garnishes.

A present box wrapped with a red bow

Anyone taking part in the event receives four mini bottles of Black Shuck gin and other goodies in a gift-wrapped box. - Credit: Sarah Saunders

Anyone taking part in the event receives four mini bottles of gins, partnering tonics, Norfolk nibbles and material to make a cocktail at the end of the night.

Over the 90 minutes, the pair talk about the gins and their ‘fun facts’.

People are asked to have their cameras on, but leave their mics muted and share their thoughts in the text chat.