5 minutes with Annabel Thomas, Nc’nean

16 September 2022, 07:46 AM
  • Annabel Thomas, founder of Nc'nean whisky reveals her inspirations, motto and the weirdest thing she's ever eaten
5 minutes with Annabel Thomas, Nc’nean

What would you be doing if you weren’t in the drinks industry?
Ideally hiking long mountain trails in Europe, but assuming I actually had to work – perhaps combining my passion for sustainability with my previous career in consulting?

What was your first job?
Working in a local pub! Clearly the sign of things to come…

What inspires you?
The buzziness (and businesses) of London, the beauty and nature of Scotland (especially around the distillery) and the stories of other business owners

What’s the worst job you’ve done?
Chipping old mortar off a building in Scotland. I imagine I was rubbish at it! Though fundraising for the distillery was also very tough, mentally. 

What’s your favourite part of the job?
Seeing the power of a team, and feeling like, as a business, we are inspiring other businesses or individuals to become more sustainable, more quickly

And your least favourite?
The challenge of balancing work (especially travel) and seeing enough of my two young daughters and husband.

How about the drink industry?
I love how collaborative the drinks industry is, especially the smaller whisky distilleries in Scotland and the rest of the UK, and I also love that ultimately having fun with friends, old or new is what it is all about. I also love the increasing focus on sustainability, and the fact that some of our customers (i.e. restaurants and bars) are really pushing the sustainability message themselves now, it’s great to see.

What would be your last supper?
An amazing Thai meal from somewhere like Som Saa (or direct from Thailand!). Would have to include green papaya salad.

What’s your motto?
Made by nature not by rules! For Nc’nean at least. Personally something like “there’s a solution for everything” - I’m not one for accepting roadblocks.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Ghanaian fufu with dried fish and impossibly spicy sauce! It’s got to be said, that is not a dish I’ll be returning to. I narrowly avoided eating a cold porridge sandwich as a child – my sister picked that practical joke out of the lunch box on a long car journey between England and Scotland.

What’s your favourite book?
The Africa House by Christina Lamb. The most amazing story set in a fascinating point in history.

Sweet or savoury?
Both! Sweet and savoury popcorn is my favourite! But if I had to choose, savoury.

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