The proof is in the pudding for success of drink venture

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RESTAURANT owner Andy Gardiner plans to take his liqueur range inspired by Britain’s best-loved puddings to national chains and supermarkets.

Mr Gardiner, from Barnsley, began experimenting with recipes two years ago and, with the help of business support organisation Enterprising Barnsley, has turned “a bit of fun” into a business, named Boozy Infusion.

He has pursued his plans despite suffering a heart attack last year, at the age of 48. He twice underwent heart surgery and may need to be fitted with a pacemaker in the future.

Mr Gardiner said: “ I feel very lucky as some people don’t get another go at life. I feel fitter and sharper than I have for years and, whereas before I might have been tempted to plod along, I’m now really going for it with Boozy Infusion.”

Mr Gardiner, who for the last decade has owned and run restaurant Beatson House, in Cawthorne, with chef wife Anita, started out with a Sticky Toffee Pudding flavoured liqueur. He has since added two more flavours to the range – Jamaican Ginger Cake and Black Forest Gateau.

The liqueurs, sold individually and in a three-flavour stacking bottle, are now on sale at 15 farm shops in the region, including nearby Cannon Hall and Blacker Hall. A total of 1,000 bottles were sold in December.

Mr Gardiner will shortly be taking on a full-time assistant and has a bottling plant on standby. The plan is to now take the product to national chains and supermarkets. Specialists from Enterprising Barnsley have been helping with brand development and marketing.

Mr Gardiner said: “The response to Boozy Infusion has been amazing. People like the fact it’s a grown-up, all-natural drink and just love the taste. I know that bottles have gone as far afield as Bermuda and New Zealand and the catering manager at the House of Lords visited the restaurant and took a bottle back to London.

“We’re ready for rapid growth now and that’s partly thanks to the support I’ve had through Enterprising Barnsley as that made me realise I had a product with commercial potential and helped me to develop a strong identity for the business.”

Mr Gardiner’s Jamaican Ginger Cake liqueur scooped two awards at the Deliciouslyorkshire Awards for 2011/12, winning Best Drink and the Consumers’ Choice.