While sipping a glass of fruit tea at her desk Claire Hall came up with an idea for a new drink with a twist.
It’s taken 10 years but now her hard work and persistence have paid off as her award-winning brand of Vodka Iced Teas are gaining national recognition and a top business award for Claire.
The 33-year-old, from Kirton Holme, scooped the Manna Award for Food and Drink at the Angels Bring Business Awards in Lincolnshire and is now selling her Percy’s T online via shopping website Not on the High Street.
Claire said: “I was working in PR in London when I came up with the idea as an alternative to fizzy alcoholic drinks in 2005.
“It was very hard to get funding for the project in London so I moved back home and have been working on the business ever since.
“Since moving back I’ve managed to get funding and with my own money and grants about £30,000 has been put into the business. I’ve been skint for the last 10 years!
“There’s been a lot to learn as I knew nothing about the production side in the beginning and it’s been a massive learning curve - through food and drink shows and taste testing.”
The name for the teas come from her father’s middle name and use natural ingredients including Fairtrade black and white teas and fresh fruits from local suppliers.
The finished products are produced at the National Centre for Food Manufacturing in Holbeach.
The Angels Bring Business Awards recognise successful female entrepreneurs from the world of sport, fashion, food and drink, employment and human resources and were held at Lincoln’s DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel.
Angels Bring Business co-founder Wendy Spalding-Siracusa said: “The evening aimed to celebrate successful women in business and to inspire others into starting their own enterprises.”