A Christmas present bought by his daughters has inspired a Wigan dad to launch an exciting new business.
John Rotherham, who lives in Gidlow lane, is the proud owner of Touch Lucky Gin, a family-run firm which sources ingredients from Haigh Hall plantations and other natural beauty spots in area to add to his recipes.
Keen gardener John who works full-time as a service manager for charity Action for Children, chose the name Touch Lucky from the legend that rubbing the Sir Francis Sharp Powell statue’s shoe in Mesnes Park will bring good fortune.
A first batch of the tipple has been snapped up by The Old Courts in the town centre, and Bartons in Ashton have also taken some.
John, who was born in Northern Ireland, said: “I came over to Wigan 25 years ago after I met my wife and after being bought a home brewing kit for Christmas by my daughters, the whole gin venture evolved from that.
“I wanted to make spirits based on the surrounding area, so I started to do a lot of foraging around the parks.
“I collect rowanberries, elderberries, rhubarb - anything which is natural will go down a treat.”
After starting off making his own beer, John set his sights to infused gin in December 2017 after watching a tutorial online which led to him steeping juniper berries and other botanicals for his debut festive gin, which had a distinctive taste of Christmas pudding.
However, John’s initial creations were primarily for his own consumption, until he turned his back on the start-up brew kit last year and John said:
“People industry have been very generous in giving me their time to show me the ropes.”
John’s wife, Cath Cleary, and daughters Jessica and Ciara are also helping to brand the business by managing their marketing.