The story of Ledi Craft Gin began in 2018 when Naledi Goottsch and James Chirwa had a chat of owning a potential gin brand.
Whilst James was working for Woodstock Gin as their Sales and Marketing Manager, Naledi was hustling as a chef at a family restaurant. It was the former owner of Woodstock Gin, Simon von Watt that taught James everything there was to know about the gin industry; from types of gins, to best-selling gin on a national and on a global scale. At most of the events that James went to he would go with Naledi, and he’d teach her what he knew about the gin industry just as he was coached by the former owner of Woodstock Gin.
In 2018, both James and Naledi attended an event for the well-known local brand. It was at that event that James asked, “What if we had our own gin brand?” and Naledi started playing around with possible gin brand names. Berry-Ledi was then the first name and current trading name of the brand. With the fruit behind the name, the couple went out venturing for a recipe that had berries – strawberries, raspberries and juniper berries – a perfect Summer’s drink.
With not much capital, the couple did not give up on what was just an idea. The couple were coached by Simon von Watt on owning a business and owning a gin brand. Later they got in touch with friends and Architects Mbongisani Dube and Sanelisiwe, co-founders of “OURS”, a group of young and talented artists who helped design the brand’s logo and very first labels.
In Winter of 2018, Berry-Ledi was already collaborating with young event organizers, business owners, receiving invites to parties, and distributing to liquor stores. With the help of friends and family, the brand with just one infusion launched in September 2018 with a crowd under 200 people. Two weeks later the couple introduced the pineapple infused gin, Pine-Ledi. From then the brand started trading as “Ledi Craft Gin”.
In the year of 2019, Ledi Craft Gin had featured in local online magazines, had a radio interview with CapeTalk Radio, and has been interviewed by a local online TV station. The brand grew even more through gin tastings at local liquor stores that was stoking the brand, through private events such as conferences and birthdays. Within the year, Naledi and James started distributing outside of the province to Gauteng and Eastern Cape. Ledi Craft Gin got a chance to showcase their gin at one of the food/beverage stalls at a market called “GOODWoodstock” that was located in Woodstock, Cape Town.
Today, Ledi Craft Gin can be found in exclusive liquor stores, including bars, restaurants and hotels within the Western Cape, the brand is flourishing into a great local Craft Gin business.