On the 4th anniversary of North, Sally and Joanna announced to customers and friends their intention to launch their own gin. They would fund it through Crowdfunder and asked customers & friends to buy the gin in advance to support the launch of the product.
At the same time, to fund the project, Sally and Joanna launched their creation of a 5 Course Tasting menu paired with North42 and a gin afternoon tea that will also include the gin.
On the 14th February 2019, the crowdfunding campaign launched. Their target for the campaign was to raise £10,000 and within 24 hours they had raised £4225. (that number 42 kept showing up – like an omen!!).
One month later, the campaign had raised an astonishing £12,365 from over 103 supporters – in just 28 days. It was exciting and a little bit overwhelming but Sally and Joanna could now produce their first batch of North42 Gin.
Sally and Joanna quickly became near-celebrities in the Crowdfunding world and the Crowdfunder organisation invited them as guest speakers at the launch of a Nat West Bank initiative ‘Back Her Business’ to promote Women Entrepreneurialism.
After Alison Rose, CEO of Nat West Bank who wrote the government paper, had welcomed the delegates, a nervous Sally stood in front of 600 women to tell her and Joanna’s story. Sally, half-jokingly said in her speech, that she wanted only premium retailers to stock her product and she wanted to start with Selfridges or Harrods
Unknown to Sally, Sam Watts the General Manager of Selfridges Birmingham was in the room and immediately offered to stock North42 and do a pop-up event in Selfridges Birmingham
All this without even tasting the product – all on the strength of Sally and Joanna’s story and passion! It was an amazing piece of serendipity – on such strokes of luck, great businesses can be built!
With two weeks, Sally and Joanna launched a second Crowdfunder with a £5000 target to help fund the pop-up shop in Selfridges, and from a Cross Productions Expo Business Event, they raised £1,000 to achieve the £5,000 target. This was then matched by NatWest Business to fund a further £2,500. They successfully raised £7,811 with 53 supporters in 42 days (that number 42 again!).
North42’s grand launch was on 28th May 2019 – Sally and Joanna invited all their supporters. It was a great celebration at the restaurant with over 100 supporters attending the event to collect their gin with inviting local press to taste the gin too. This week they also launched their 5 Course Tasting Menu paired with gin at the restaurant.