Farming is in Annabel Makin-Jones’s blood. She is a fifth generation Yorkshire farmer, having run the family farm near Leeds for the last 15 years. With over 1200 acres of arable land, Annabel also takes charge of 1,800 tonnes of strawberries each year. Forever restless, she wanted to create something more, and Tame & Wild was born. As a Leeds girl myself, I love championing women in the north that are breaking the mould and doing extraordinary things, just like Annabel.
Inspired by a desire to create a natural alternative to alcoholic options, Tame & Wild was designed to be enjoyed at the same occasions, but is light, sophisticated and simply English berries and botanicals with sparkling water, but like fine wine or gin the craft is not in the ingredients, but in how they’re brought together.
We spent some time with Annabel to talk all things self care, her plans for the future and more…
Previously a fruit farmer and bee keeper. How long was the idea for Tame and Wild in the making?
In farming, being ahead of the curve, finding ways to diversify can make the difference of surviving to thriving. I am always thinking my brain never switches off. I have a filling cabinet full of business plans that never quite hit the mark.
Annabel explains her inspiration: “I was out with friends and I was driving – and the non-alcoholic options were limited to sparkling water or drinks full of sugars or nasties. I spotted a gap in the market for a sophisticated non-alcoholic drink.
“Just because we’re not drinking alcohol, doesn’t mean we should be forgotten about. I still want something delicious with a sense of occasion and not to be fobbed off with an elderflower cordial – so I set to developing a range of natural drinks that can be drunk on their own or as a mixer inspired by the flavours of the English countryside.”
How do you want people to feel when they drink your products?
Special, I want them to enjoy a sophisticated drink in a beautiful glass over ice with a cocktail garnish. It should be a treat, an indulgence. Tame and Wild is for people who care where their food and drink comes from. Its low in sugar and low in calories but totally sophisticated with no artificial additives.
In 2020, what are your plans for the brand?
To gain listings in the very best establishments from spas to hotels to restaurants. To capture an audience with our English flavours and craftmanship and to help educate consumers on how to make better choices and enjoy the produce we have at our finger tips.
Where can people buy your drinks?
Online with Amazon and through our own website and at high end farm shops, hotels, gastro pubs, restaurants and bars.
Are there plans to expand the range in future?
We’ve just launched a new Damson, Rosehip and Passionflower flavour.
This year we’re focussing on gaining wider market share and new listings, its and exciting time for Tame & Wild and the response has been fantastic.
For any aspiring entrepreneurs, what advice would you offer?
“Women in business owe it to help others in business. That karma comes back. There’s enormous support in a network of female colleagues. Our brand mantra is BE TAME OR WILD, but above all, be yourself. Work hard, play hard and don’t have boundaries to what you can achieve, believe in yourself and you will achieve.”
What are you doing to make your brand sustainable?
We start with sustainable principles, no plastic—we use glass bottles, we only use recyclable packaging. Our offices are heated by solar panels and the water comes from our bore hole on the farm. We champion British produce and flavours ensuring food miles are minimised and we make the drinks in our own county – Yorkshire.
Sustainability is a huge part of my business’. Pollinators, bees, they are vitally important to what we do and in the circle of life. We are doing everything we can to help protect them so we have huge “bug hotels” on the farm to make sure they have a great habitat to live in and we also donate to conservation charities for every bottle sold.
Why is this something that interests you?
Sustainability should interest everyone. We have a duty to look after the world that we live in and protect the planet. As a farmer I know this more than most.
What does self-care mean to you?
Eating and drinking well, making time for pilates and getting a great nights sleep. This can be very difficult running 3 business’ and a start-up with two young children, but I do try to look after myself, I am a huge believer in alternative health and natural remedies.
Outside of work, what do you do to switch off?
Either cooking with my children (we love a themed night) or friends to come for dinner and enjoy great food and drinks whilst discussing this fast-paced world that we live in and what we have achieved that week!
Tell us your favourite quote to read when you lack creativity?
“Set a goal to achieve something that is so big, so exhilarating that it excites and scares you at the same time.”
Our readers love to travel, what destination is at the top of your travel bucket list?
Golden Triangle in South East Asia. Nestled between Burma and Laos. Lush jungle, mist-shrouded mountains, hill-tribe villages and tranquil views of rice paddies. A wonderful dream to ethically interact with lands biggest mammal; the elephant.