The talented locals behind The Indie Store
As we gingerly step back into the real world, it’s more important than ever to support local. Here, some of our Indie Store businesses in Herts recount their journey and show what makes them special.
Caroline, Taste Treats
I love running my own business from our home in Tring, allowing my creative thinking to run free and being a truly flexible working mum of two beautiful girls. I set up my food and drink sampling-based events business in early 2019 after three years as a freelance consultant. I had forged a career in marketing in the wine industry prior to that, and my passion has always been helping brands and consumers find each other. After years as a brand manager I knew the kind of solution I wanted to provide for up-and-coming brands. When I found I couldn’t promote my clients’ products face-to-face anymore due to Covid, it was a real blow. The way we discover new food and drinks has had to change, and I’m so proud to have come up with a way of meeting this challenge. Taste Treats ticks all the boxes. Our foodies receive a themed box every month filled with a surprise selection of exciting food and drink samples carefully chosen from a variety of brands, artisan producers and independent creators.
Looking forward, I’m really hopeful for the future of my business. We are building something new and exciting with Taste Treats, but there is scope beyond that. When live events start again, and they will, we can take Taste Treats and build it into what we were doing before. I’m not quite sure what that looks like yet, but that’s half the fun – thinking it through and building the strategy.
Ben and Kate, Puddingstone Distillery
Creativity has always been behind what we do, whether it be design, photography, illustration, colour or, in the case of Puddingstone Distillery, all of the above – plus flavour and aroma. The creation of Campfire Gin was born of a desire to draw upon past sensory experiences. We also wanted to engage folks through a brand that valued the environment and spoke of the simple values of life, such as the campfire where friends, families and communities come together to share warmth, food, drink, stories and ideas. Above all though, we wanted to make incredible gin. That concept has evolved into a business – part supported by a local Crowdfunding scheme –that has become entrenched in the local community. Our collaborations with local wildlife and conservation trusts have not only raised money for these charities but also made a direct and positive impact on our local ecology.
Like many businesses, Puddingstone Distillery was hit hard by Covid. However, it also provided a catalyst for many positive and exciting opportunities, such as our hugely popular online cocktail events. It also marks the next stage of our journey, and we invite you all to join us for some very exciting developments in 2021.
Harry, Hide & Seek
When I was at uni, I suffered extreme anxiety. That’s when my father suggested I try CBD, and it transformed my life. I felt able to balance my anxiety and it made every day just that bit better. But it was difficult to find a product that was what it said on the label – there was a lack of trusted brands. So I made it my mission to research everything about CBD oil, which in turn led to me setting up Hide & Seek in 2019. The goal I set for Hide & Seek CBD is to introduce new people to CBD through simple education, sharing real-life stories and providing the highest-quality products.
I believe in combining the power of CBD with enjoying the simple pleasures in life to balance the body and mind. You can often find me walking my dogs in Ashridge or lifting weights at my local gym The Fitness Society in Berkhamsted, experimenting with fresh ingredients in the kitchen, or spending time with family. You’ll usually catch me at Fred & Gingers in the mornings getting the daily dose of coffee, too! At the end of the day, it’s life’s little things that make me feel the best version of myself.
Looking to relocate from London, my partner Jon and I, along with our daughter, started visiting potential places to live and open our boutique. We stumbled upon Berkhamsted by complete chance, as a result of taking the wrong exit on the A41. We absolutely loved it and decided to move there and start our business. That was 14 years ago and, as they say, the rest is history!
We offer a very personal experience at Amelie and know all our regular customers by name (and usually their husbands, children and dogs too). We’re really proud to have such a loyal customer base, which has continued to grow from strength to strength, especially during this past year. We can’t wait to welcome our customers in-store again and for things to return to normal – well, the new normal, which I feel will be even better than before. Time to appreciate what we have all missed – that all-important human interaction of chatting, sharing stories, laughing and generally getting back to living again.