Bone Idyll is a bar and distillery run by my husband Sam and I. Based in Kingston, we make small batch spirits and ready-to-drink cocktails: modern spirits distilled the traditional way. We’re serious about what we do but we’ve got a light-hearted side too.
We distil speciality gins, vodkas and rums, including a Barrel Aged Gin, Blushing Pink Gin and London Bone Dry priced between £30-£40, plus we sell a range of ready-to-drink cocktails. Pink Gin Cosmo, Margarita, Barrel Aged Negroni and an Espresso Martini are all £30.
Customers can drink in the steampunk-inspired bar, which has a relaxed, laid back vibe (we wanted it to feel a bit like a kitchen does at a house party, somewhere communal to meet new people), or buy their own bottles of Bone Idyll spirits and premixed cocktails to enjoy at home.
What do you think makes this company unique?
We’re 100% community-owned. When COVID hit and our restaurants (No.97, Cento Uno and The Hideaway in Surbiton and One One Four in Teddington) had to close, we decided to focus on developing a spirit and cocktail collection.
Rather than using some of the more popular investment platforms, we emailed 200 of the customers who visited our restaurants most frequently with details of our plans. Within three weeks total investment was £500,000 – £200,000 more than our target! So, now we have 50 investors and they all live between Surbiton and Teddington. It means they have a genuine interest in the project and want to and can be involved on a local level.
I still get goosebumps now at the thought that Bone Idyll happened because our customers believed in us and what we wanted to create. We’re lucky to be a part of such an amazing community.
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How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?
We only opened in June, but Bone Idyll is very much based on what we’ve seen happen in the industry in recent times. We felt some parts of the industry were getting a bit stale and it was time for something different, something fun.
Similarly, customers have enjoyed the gin boom but now they’re now looking for the next big thing. Our products may be traditionally produced but in every one we’ve injected some personality, from a tweak to the taste to the vintage characters on our bottles.
And this is how we see things continuing to evolve, by listening to the market, looking at trends and bringing customers what they want.
What can we hope to see from Bone Idyll in the future?
At the moment our focus is very much on nailing the local market. In September we’re opening our gin school, which is very exciting, and we’re also looking at new product lines. Looking further forward we want to expand the sales of our spirits and cocktails nationally.