In September 2015, military spouse Katherine Jenner and her family experienced a massive fire on their farm in Hampton-in-Arden. Then, like a phoenix, the ashes in their barn gave rise to a brand new business, The Burning Barn Rum.
In many ways, the business was forged from the fire and smoke of that day. Their fiery Spiced rum has real heat in it, and their unique Smoked rum is redolent of smouldering embers and burnt caramel. Through Burning Barn Rums, Katherine is bringing new and exciting rum flavours to the spirits market, offering consumers the same craft credentials they can find in the gin category.
Katherine is a self-starter. From a young age, she had a goal and always wanted to run her own business. After the fire, she spotted a gap in the market for craft rum and decided to give it a go. The business is entirely self-funded.
As she said, “Our biggest challenges were the set-up costs and working capital to begin trading. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to my parents-in-law who have put me up for the last 6 months while we get on our feet!
“It’s been challenging learning how the drinks industry works, and what it means to be a small fish in a very big pond. I’ve learnt so much so far and continue to learn and grow as the business does.”
The Royal British Legion recommended Katherine to sign up for support and mentoring with XFE to help her with the business. “XFE are a wonderful source of impartial advice and are completely non-judgemental. They have also helped me so much. They have put me in touch with a wonderful and very knowledgeable mentor who is holding me accountable for my strategy and marketing goals. It’s really helpful to have someone I can bounce ideas off and who will check in every few months to see how we’re getting on.”
“X-Forces Enterprise has also linked me up with a similar business that is further down the line in its entrepreneurial journey. Their advice and help has been invaluable so I’m really grateful to X-Forces Enterprise for putting us in touch.”
Katherine loves her business, “Being master of my own day and experiencing the huge sense of achievement and buzz I get from each sale is fantastic! I will advise anyone thinking of becoming an entrepreneur to just say yes and figure it out later!
She continued, “Don’t be afraid to ask for help – just like X-Forces Enterprise, there are so many people out there willing to offer advice or lend a hand. Useful tips can come from unlikely sources so just ask everyone and don’t be afraid to admit that you don’t know. That’s part of the fun!”
Burning Barn Rum now has big plans for this year as they build their customer base and work towards nationwide distribution.
You can get in touch with Burning Barn Rum via the following links:
If like Katherine you too would like to run your own business and are considering self-employment, we run a series of free Self-Employment Discovery Workshops! Find out more via http://bit.ly/xfevents
X-Forces Enterprise (XFE)
Is an award-winning Community Interest Company that nurtures entrepreneurial ambition in the UK military community and are the official delivery partner to the governments Start Up loans scheme and the Careers Transition Partnership (MOD). XFE have supported over 1,300 entrepreneurs to start their own businesses and has helped thousands more through training, events and mentoring provisions. X-Forces.com