My name is Mary and I am the founder and Director of Willow Tree Distilling.
My passion for experimentation with food and drink goes back to my parents living and working in Nigeria, my Dad as a teacher and my Mum in charge of a district hospital as a doctor. My Dad was a keen cook and especially loved creating recipes with unusual herbs and spices. I have followed in his footsteps; developing a particular passion for African and Indian flavours, which has been a guiding force in creating and developing my gin.
My distilling journey has begun with Willow Tree Gin, which is produced on our farm in Bedfordshire; our family’s home for the past 40 years. We moved from the main farmhouse to the renovated barns in 2012, retaining the land which I now use to grow the herbs used in my gin recipe.
Growing up on the farm with my 7 brothers and sisters is the influence for the name Willow Tree Gin. It brings back many fond memories of spending long summer days building tree houses and camps in the willow trees, as well as running a small farm in order to be self sufficient with our menagerie of animals.
Since deciding to launch Willow Tree Gin, I have been on a journey of exploration and experimentation using new processes, recipes and techniques to create a distinctive new gin. My inspiration for starting the business stems from my time in Detroit. As an adventurous twenty-something, I developed a love of travel and adventure and spent 5 years in the US. American’s love for risk-taking and entrepreneurship rubbed off on me and sowed the seed of starting my own business and so here I am, 3 children later, developing my own product and embarking on my own gin creating journey!
To fit in around family life, I have had a varied career, most recently working for Waitrose, where I was for 4 years. This job exposed me to new and interesting products and added to my inspiration to innovate and bring something new to the market in the form of my gin using smoked botanicals.
Willow Tree Gin is a premium spirit, lovingly handcrafted in small batches. We use a unique combination of 12 botanicals including freshly picked herbs from the family farm. Our process of selectively smoking botanicals gives Willow Tree Gin its distinctive flavour.
It’s officially the new year and as we reflect on 2018 we’ve realised how lucky we have been. 2018 was a fantastic year for us from Philip Schofield declaring his love for our gin to attending the Waitrose drinks festival on the Thames we really have had an exciting year. We’re looking forward to what 2019 […]
Christmas is in the air and we’re excited for all of our events this December! This month you can find us at: 1st December: Christmas Fair at Thornton College 12:00 to 15:00 2nd December: The Leighton Buzzard Christmas Festival 11:00 to 15:00 8th December: Christmas Fair at Lockers Park School, Hemel Hempstead 11:00 to 13:00 […]