Born out of Lockdown

What do you get when you take 4 business consultants and have them run a leadership support group live everyday during Level 4 and Level 3 lockdown?

It turns out - A Gin Business!

The 4 founders of SuggestGin also work together in their other business, Leading Culture, a Leadership and Culture development consultancy.  During lockdown, after these daily livestreams, we would often chat about a shared interest; gin.

In August one of the founders, Sarah (who has some of her best ideas at the hairdressers and had just visited for the first time in months) came to the group with an idea.  What if we developed a membership like we did for the leaders with the lives we did over lockdown?  Sarah had three ideas for memberships; leadership, organisational culture or.....gin! 

Chief Botanical Officer Fraser was the first to support the gin idea and the others didn't take any convincing.  The week that followed was filled with market research and due diligence and by the end of the week the team had a broad strategy outlined along with market data and responses from focus groups.  (We don't muck around!)

So we started to formulate a mission:  what if we could shine the light on New Zealand gin distillers by giving gin lovers a way of sampling these great gins in a socially distanced way without them having to invest in a whole bottle? 

Together we brainstormed names, connected with distillers and found out what needed to be done to bring our dream to life.  By late September the draft business plan was complete, we had registered the new company and started the required council applications hoping to have our license and be able to launch our subscription 1 November.  

Unfortunately for us, the council had other plans.  Its a lengthy process anyway and our building application was delayed.  We could work on the other aspects of the business (turns out packaging design is quite complex!) but we couldn't open until we had the liquor license.  Our thanks go to Tony Foster for all his help in us getting our liquor license on 21 December.

So Santa bought us a bright shiny new liquor license for Christmas.  We, of course, celebrated with a gin and are now working with our suppliers to bring you all the fabulous gin crafted by great kiwi distillers.


SuggestGin Founders 


  • Great new business and good to see The team of 4 thinking outside the square and identifying a need for discerning Gin lovers like myself. Well done Sarah and team. Happy to maybe come on board and assist in that Packaging design dilemma

    Mark Readhead
  • A great story showing how the kernel of an idea can acquire a life of its own when imaginative people get together. I’ll share the SuggestGin story broadly, including a reference in my new book!

    Marcel Thompson
  • Love the story … what’s next?

    Nikki Hommes

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