In The Spotlight: Ginka

Kelly Miller, 43, Houghton, runs a local business called Ginka which specialises in artisan flavoured gin and vodkas. Kelly established her business in February 2018 after growing tired of working nightshifts in factories whilst also looking after her two children, “I started to sell my gins and vodkas to family and friends at first and then it grew from there”

Kelly said that the reason why she went into the business of gin and vodka was due to her experience in market trading and also her love of gin and vodka, “I love gin myself and it’s a very popular alcoholic drink.” Kelly then went on to sell her original small 11cl bottles to local craft fairs and markets and her profile began to rise. Kelly said, “I won a competition for free rent for my premises in The Galleries.” Kelly now sells 50cl an 70cl bottles of her alcoholic beverages in hundreds of flavours, her most popular being Sarsaparilla flavour.

Although they are usually based in the Galleries in Washington, Ginka have had to work hard to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic. Kelly said that “everybody told me to self isolate which we did for the first three weeks, but we needed to earn money to keep us going and so we started delivering instead, since we weren’t able to open the shop”

The delivery service has went really well for Ginka, “We’ve had 1,500 new likes on Facebook so our profile has really been raised since lockdown began. The delivery service has went so well that it is definitely something we plan on continuing.”

Kelly wasn’t sure if she would be entitled to the government £10,000 grant for businesses and so she contacted Nick Danks, Managing Director at Save The High Street Ltd, who told her that he didn’t see any reason why she wouldn’t be able to receive it, she said that “I had to contact the government about four or five times to get a hold of the money as I was told that I wasn’t entitled at first. I kept on at them and managed to get it but I had to wait three weeks for it to get into my bank account. Nick has been really helpful especially through his Facebook group, Save and Support Small Businesses as we can all help each other out.”

Thankfully, Ginka’s premises in Washington has been able to reopen as of Monday 15th June, “We’re definitely going to keep up with the delivery side of things and since we’ve been doing so well we are thinking about expanding into The Bridges in Sunderland as well. We are going to continue to attend markets, such as the one we are going to this Sunday at Winyard Hall.”

If you would like to get in contact with Kelly at Ginka you can do so via the following links:

Facebook: @ginkavodkagin
Instagram: @ginka_vodka_gin

Copyright: Becca Hargate / Save The High Street Ltd