Country Homes & Interiors

Alex gibbins, hurstwood Cider


W anting to set up a business in tune with her surroundin­gs was the starting point for Alex Gibbins when she began selling lightly sparkling bottled cider in 2015. Alex lives in the village of High Hurstwood in East Sussex, a prominent apple-growing part of the country, with husband

Mat and their three children, Ella, who’s 13, Billy, 11, and seven-year-old Lottie.

‘We had dabbled in homebrewin­g cider,’ says Alex. ‘We knew the market for it was expanding. When our youngest child started school, the moment was right to go for it.’ A core principle is that their product is pure and natural – ‘with no funny additions’, says Alex.

The couple borrowed equipment from an old school friend, and asked a local farmer for space to store the overwinter­ing cider. ‘It’s a good tip when you’re starting out: just ask people. The worst thing they can say is no.’

In autumn, the couple buy dessert apples and traditiona­l bitterswee­t cider apples in varieties native to Sussex and Kent. They press the fruit, add a champagne yeast, and the cider is left to mature. Alex’s approach has been to concentrat­e on making a good product, rather than investing in flashy brochures, so she is thrilled to have won. ‘I almost didn’t apply because I thought I was too small, too new. Now I’m telling everyone, whether they are interested or not!’

 ??  ??
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom