Foxglove Cocktail Company was started in June 2020, after siblings, Tara and Rory Copplestone moved back home to Baltimore, Co Cork at the start of the pandemic. As one of Ireland’s first producers of non-alcoholic craft cocktail mixers and garnishes, Foxglove Cocktails are setting the bar for entertaining at home.
Tara had been living in New York, working in bars in Manhattan for the past six years and found Covid as a way for her to negotiate a move back to Ireland. “I always wondered how I would be able to move home, after years of working in the bar industry in New York. Through some strange and miraculous way, Covid gave me that opportunity and here we are.”
Younger brother, Rory was in his final year of Shannon College of Hotel Management, when the pandemic hit. With final exams and projects to complete, he decided too a move home was the best plan for him. After graduating, with prolonged forced closures on the hospitality sector, Rory couldn’t focus his attention on job seeking, so instead went into business with his sister.
It was during the first lockdown, that the siblings got together and made cocktails in their spare time, which back then they had plenty of. Although neither had experience of running a business, Tara had all the skills and knowledge from her years working in bars and Rory was fresh out of Hotel Management college and they make a great team. While they were mixing different flavours, and creating unique cocktail recipes, they decided to sell these mixes at local markets. They soon realised, while the pubs were closed, people missed enjoying cocktails and they wanted to make their own cocktails at home but needed ideas and guidance with flavours. That’s when Tara and Rory knew they were onto a good thing.
Foxglove Cocktails was born on the premise of a ‘More Fun, Less Fuss’ attitude towards cocktails, and gives people the imagination and creativity to create their own cocktails at home. Foxglove creates non-alcoholic craft cocktail mixers, that are 100% real, natural ingredients, and their mixers can be used to create alcoholic cocktails, or alternatively, can be enjoyed alcohol-free. They launched their business in Skibbereen Farmers Market in June 2020, and they have not looked back. The business has gone from strength to strength, and now they are in farmers markets across Cork county. They also supply 8 Neighbourfood markets in Cork and Kerry, and they have their own Click-and-Collect and delivery service, every Friday in Cork City, as well as having their products stocked in various stores.
Network Ireland West Cork has been a great support to Foxglove and has opened many doors and connections for their business. Tara first heard of the network in September 2020, when she was invited to host a virtual cocktail event, ahead of the 2020 Businesswoman of the year awards. Tara says she was blown away by the support and encouragement she saw amongst the members that evening and decided to join the network herself. Fast forward one year and Foxglove was nominated in the 2021 Network Ireland West Cork awards, in the Emerging New Business category. Despite such a strong category and the business still emerging, Tara and Foxglove Cocktails were deemed winners of this category and now go forward to the National awards which will be held virtually from the Theatre Royal Waterford on 8th October
The Network Ireland award was just the start, as Foxglove Cocktail Company also secured the RSVP Magazine’s Food Awards 2021, in the Cocktails and Seltzers category. Siblings Tara and Rory are in talks with Musgraves to stock their cocktails in SuperValu’s nationwide through the SuperValu Food Academy programme. They plan to open a pop-up shop in Cork City for Christmas 2021, and expand their product line for Christmas season, as Foxglove mixers are not only great for entertaining, but also as a gift for others. Further afield, Foxglove would love to showcase their cocktails at events, such as festivals and weddings.
Brother and sister duo have learnt to navigate around the Covid restrictions and guidelines and grow a brand within very unusual and difficult situations. Tara says, “We have no clue what it’s like to have a business outside of Covid, so we look forward to the country opening up and seeing what opportunities lay ahead of us in the future.”