From start-up to award winning non-alcoholic spirit makers

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39 min listen

In this episode, Stefan Gates talks to Sarah and Geoff Yates, founders of Sea Arch – a distilled non-alcoholic spirit and 2021 winner of the prestigious Food Matters Live New Drink of the Year Award. 

Building on their combined experience in the food industry – from pastry chef to wine bar owners – this enterprising couple share how they mastered flavour palettes, blended innovative botanicals on the kitchen table, and dug deep into technical and business know-how to introduce a brand new concept into a young, relatively unknown drinks category.

Join the conversation to hear what they wish they’d known before starting out, how they overcame the pitfalls, hurdles and challenges of a young and unpredictable category, and the excitement they feel as they see their home-grown Devon brand play a part on the global no alcohol stage.


About our panel

Sarah and Geoff Yates, Co-founders of Sea Arch Drinks Ltd.,Sarah and Geoff Yates, Co-founders of Sea Arch Drinks Ltd., a distilled non-alcoholic spirit from the Devon coast.

After going to catering college in Plymouth, Sarah started her career in the hospitality industry as a trainee housekeeper at the Munich Hilton, where she met Geoff, a pastry chef from Blackpool. Geoff had gained an HND in Hotel Management at Blackpool college, which he combined with his artistic talents to pursue a career as a pâtissier. He went on to win several competitions in Europe and was part of the England team at the Culinary Olympics. Geoff went on to become head pastry chef at The Park Lane Hilton in London.

Sarah and Geoff set up their first business together in Devon, where Sarah grew up.
Chantilly Patisserie was a dessert manufacturing business supplying local hotels and restaurants in Torbay. From just a couple of employees working in a small kitchen, it went on to become a national company, with over 40 employees, making quality desserts for the catering trade.

After gaining aFirst-Class honours degree in Business and Administration Sarah opened a successful wine bar serving high quality food and drink and went on to win a Venus Award for best new business.

The couple sold Chantilly Patisserie and the wine bar and started their third business venture, Sea Arch, using coastal juniper as a basis for their crisp and refreshing distilled non-alcoholic spirit, bursting with coastal botanicals native to the Devon coast.

Sea Arch is made with all-natural botanicals, has zero calories, no sugar, no sweeteners, is allergen free and vegan friendly.

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