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dr John walters

MASTER DISTILLER

A former biochemist, Dr John decided to turn his talents to making spirits after deciding that other commercially available options simply were not up to scratch. He is the founder of English Spirit, and oversees the creation of all our products, both new and existing. John's ethos of 'if you want something done right then do it yourself' applies to nearly every aspect of our operation.

Dr John is one of the UK’s most experienced distillers. Turning an average of ten stills a day, and distilling the UK’s widest variety of spirits from scratch. His creations have won the most prestigious awards from the leading international spirit competitions, and he has consistently led innovation in the spirits market. He was first in the UK to distil rum, sambuca and baijiu; he has worked with some of the world’s finest ingredients; and has developed world leading techniques for extracting flavours and accelerating ageing processes. In other words, he has truly earned the title of Master Distiller.

In his spare time, John likes to continue his pursuit of personal development by learning new skills from Youtube videos. Next up on his list is learning how to crochet.

FAVOURITE SPIRIT

WHATEVER HE FANCIES ON THE DAY

meet the team

A SHIP IS ONLY AS GOOD AS IT'S CREW AND A DISTILLERY IS ONLY AS GOOD AS IT'S TEAM

It's no secret that most of our team came to work for us after trying one of our spirits and undergoing something of an epiphany. Everyone that works at English Spirit is united in their passion for making delicious spirits and sharing them with others; read on to find out more about us.

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KURT READ

HEAD OF OPERATIONS

Kurt heads up the South Western arm of our team: his main role is to oversee the day to day running of our lovely new distillery and visitors centre at Treguddick in Cornwall. Kurt also supervises all the construction and maintenance within the grounds. 

 

Curious by nature, Kurt enjoys learning and turning his hand to any craft: whether it be new design software for our machinery, pizza making, or horticulture. At weekends, he can usually be found making improvements to his home, often to make room for his family’s menagerie of pets.

FAVOURITE SPIRIT

ENGLISH SPICED RUM

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WENDY ELLIS

OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR

Wendy runs the office with a rod of iron and makes sure everything is where it should be - including staff members.

She’s a very busy lady and claims she doesn’t have time for hobbies but she does enjoy walking her dog and the occasional visit to the gym.

She has a love for the finer things in life: which is handy as she’s working in the home of the world's best spirits!

FAVOURITE SPIRIT

OLD SALT RUM

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SAM POTTER

CREATIVE EXECUTIVE

Sam has a Graphic Design degree plus 10 years experience as a senior designer and leads our visionary direction as our Creative Executive. Having been responsible for the interior design of Treguddick, Sam has shaped the direction of the English Spirit brand. She created all the brand assets and designs all the new product labels, packaging and menus. Sam also captures all our photography and designs the website.

Sam moved to Cornwall and fell in love with the outdoors lifestyle, spending her time paddle boarding, wake boarding and having BBQ’s on the beach!

 

FAVOURITE SPIRIT

RASPBERRY & BAY SHRUB

distillery team

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NATALIE GUINIVAN

PRODUCTION SUPERVISOR

Natalie is a key member in the production team at Great Yeldham, from preparing ingredients to bottling and labelling.

 

Natalie loves the coast, the beach and the sea: especially Norfolk. She likes to think of herself as a part time mermaid: she's been known to drink like a fish. Otherwise Natalie swears that she's very sensible and never gets into any trouble. She's also been honoured with the accolade 'best hand labeller there is' by her team.

FAVOURITE SPIRIT

RHUBARB GIN LIQUEUR

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ANDY McCALL

DISTILLERY OPERATIVE

Andy is a long standing team member at Great Yeldham, having helped produce an array of different types of spirits and liqueurs. Andy helps with the production, from chopping ingredients used to overseeing bottling and labelling.

 

 Andy is very good at giving hugs. He is very much into gaming, as well as creative interests such as art, film and animation. He has an exceptionally large bookcase, despite not reading much.

FAVOURITE SPIRIT

APPLE BRANDY

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TOM PRESTON-EVANS

DISTILLERY OPERATIVE

Tom has joined our growing production team, bringing with him years of distilling knowledge and experience. Tom’s job is end to end distilling, which involves preparing and weighing botanicals, fermenting molasses, monitoring tastes and cuts, turning round the stills and bottling and labelling the finished product.

 

Tom is a keen cricketer, when he’s not spending his weekends playing he’s watching. His first love however is his little girl. Together they enjoy exploring local villages and beaches, their favourite being port Issac. 

FAVOURITE SPIRIT

LIMONGINO

hospitality team

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MICHELLE PEARCE

EXECUTIVE CHEF

Michelle is our driving force behind the restaurant. Having travelled the globe as a private chef, Michelle has served up a storm in the most magnificent places from yachts in the French Riviera to cooking for celebrities in Barbados. Michelle and John have fused forces to create a flavoursome hearty menu of favourites to be enjoyed by all.

 

Michelle is a keen rider, having competed in shows with her Spanish horse Hidalgo. With a love of the sea, she can be found with a book in hand at her favourite beach Widemouth bay.

FAVOURITE SPIRIT

LOVAGE & A SPLASH OF BRANDY

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JOE KINSEY 

RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST

Joe joined Treguddick in July 2022 as our research and development specialist. Joe works closely with John and Tom to keep Treguddick and English Spirit at the forefront of innovation. Joe has a strong background in the hospitality trade with 10 years of experience and is a self-proclaimed perfectionist. Working with and enjoying a range of spirits himself Joe became interested in how they were made which led him to Treguddick.

 

Outside of work Joe can be found participating in his other passion as an on-call firefighter for Tavistock Fire Station. 

FAVOURITE SPIRIT

ENGLISH TOFFEE VODKA

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TAMARA HILL

EVENTS & RESTAURANT MANAGER

If you visit Treguddick you will likely receive a warm welcome at reception from Tamara. Tamara spins many plates from managing the team, booking tours, ordering stock, leading tastings, running social media and co-ordinating the restaurant and shop. Tamara also organises and runs our events at Treguddick and can be found serving cocktails from our horsebox bar.

Tamara is a self confessed foodie, when she’s not exploring the coast in her campervan she’s growing her own veg at her family farm. Tamara is happiest paddle boarding or wild swimming in the cornish coves.

FAVOURITE SPIRIT

CUCUMBER SPIRIT

SPLODGE

HEAD OF PEST CONTROL

An unsung hero and dedicated hard worker, Splodge plays a vital role in ensuring that ​our Great Yeldham site remains a pest free zone. He also occasionally shadows sales meetings to bring a fresh perspective to any scenario.

OUR SPIRIT AMBASSADOR TEAM

In addition to our staff based across our two sites, we also have a lovely and dedicated field sales team of Spirit Ambassadors, or Spirit Guides. Like the rest of the English Spirit team, they love our spirits so much that they really are passionate about sharing our collection with spirit enthusiasts everywhere; you can find them spreading English Spirit across the land at a number of events and establishments. They will only be too happy to talk to you about anything you want to know.

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