Entrepreneurs’ lockdown invention wins big at London competition

James and Kim Martin-Brown scooped two silver medals at the London Spirit Competition

James and Kim Martin-Brown scooped two silver medals at the London Spirit Competition for two of their newly-developed spirits. - Credit: Kim Martin-Brown

A drinks business duo won big at a London competition with two of their newly-developed spirits created during the first coronavirus lockdown.  

James and Kim Martin-Brown, owners of Martin & Brown whose drinks are created in East Anglia, scooped two silver medals at the London Spirit Competition.  

Kim, who was born in Ely and has several family members living in Little Downham and Pymoor, has strong deep-rooted connections to the local area. 

Her grandmother would cycle from Newmarket to Ely Sugar Beet Factory after her nursing shifts during WWII to test the beet for its sugar content.  

The Italian Spice Blend and the Eastern Splice Blend drinks were the award winners for the couple, who live just outside of Chatteris.  

Kim and James Martin-Brown award-winning spirits

James and Kim Martin-Brown scooped two silver medals at the London Spirit Competition for two of their newly-developed spirits. - Credit: Kim Martin-Brown

Kim said: “Our Italian blend was a technical challenge and a real risk as it has high notes of tomato-which is a totally new flavour in the spirits market, but we have been blown away with the response. 

“As a woman that adores a curry, however, I am most proud of our Eastern Spice product as it goes perfectly with all eastern cuisine and offers the perfect and elegant alternative to a glass of beer!  

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“It’s not been easy, cashing in pensions and investing in a project like this is nerve-racking, but the results are now coming to fruition.”  

This is the first competition the pair have entered since launching the company in September 2020. 

James said: “In all of my years creating the highest quality foods, I have often seen diners choosing their drinks based on price rather than what would complement their meal.  

“The simple fact is that pairing wines is a pretty tricky subject, and with the ability to combine subtle hints of flavour in a distilled spirit I often wondered why nobody had paired such a product with gastronomy. 

“It would make the process so much easier; this was the start of a long and fascinating journey for us which came to fruition when lockdown effectively closed our long-standing business.” 

With two years of development and a bold, mid-pandemic launch, the Martin & Brown story is certainly one of success.  

For more information, visit: www.martinandbrown.uk  

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