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Appetite: SME will talk about challenges

23 January 2012

Claire Hall, founder of Percy's Vodka from south Lincolnshire, is due to address Appetite for Engineering on 12 June at the Hinckley Island in Leicestershire about the challenges she has faced

Claire's endeavours led to her being a finalist for ‘High Street Brands’ in 2010 with Jo Malone; finalist for ‘tycoon,’ 2007 with Peter Jones; and finalist for most ‘innovative product,’ also in 2007.

Her idea to combine vodka and fruit tea came to while she was sitting at her job in London in 2004. Later that year she built her own recipe for alcoholic iced teas, and embarked on a lot of research and development.

Claire decided to name her blend of fruity tea and Icelandic vodka, Percy's, and along the way received a grant to help automate the production process to increase the amount of drinks she makes.

The media has taken note. Spalding Today wrote: ''The passionate businesswoman has since developed the drink using the facilities at the University of Lincoln’s Holbeach Campus – and she hopes to take the product back there to mass produce it when she has the technical knowledge.

''Despite not having a food technology background, Claire has worked hard to pick up knowledge from a whole host of experts to drive forward her dream, and has also teamed up with the University of Leicester to spruce up her website.

''She remains as determined as ever to make a success of the drink – which has mango, lemon and lime flavours – and hopes to target high end supermarket chains Waitrose and Booth’s once she steps up production levels.

“I have got a really good product and there’s a gap in the market for it both in the UK as a whole and locally but I do need that technical help to go one step further.''

But there have been plenty of challenges along the way, and it's these on which Claire will be focusing during her presentation at Appetite for Engineering.

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