The business began 8 years ago and was originally set up on my narrow boat making homemade tea, cake, coffee and preserves, as 'Cake on The Cut'.
I’ve always had a great love of the countryside, gathering wild ingredients and being inventive in the kitchen, which has slowly evolved into Gangplank Spirits & Preserves. I’ve travelled all over the UK canal network making and selling my produce.
The business has flourished and this year we have expanded and become a limited company, we now sell our products from the boat, at land based events, on the website and have also begun supplying stockists!
Founder - Sam Keay
I do most of the boring admin and paperwork parts of the business, as well as being a general dogsbody. I am the primary taster (such a terrible job) making sure everything is bursting with flavour.
I’m a bit of a nerd and love bird watching, country walks (where I usually happen upon something delicious to take back to the kitchen and experiment with) and messing about with paint and ink. I have lived onboard ‘Spirit of Florence’ for 16 years, which is proof that I’m a little nutty.
Yes she does everything and anything!
The amazing new member of the team has been truly thrown in the deep end and is swimming like a fish! Mum to three incredible children, she loves making things and is a brilliant craftswoman.
She and Sam met in Tanzania whilst working as volunteers many moons ago, where Jan married and remained for five years. She is fluent in Swahili and is currently beating me at Wordle and Quordle!
He is married to a beautiful woman that is my daughter (brownie points!). He has over 10 years film & video production experience and currently works as a senior film editor for GOAL. I seduced him into the business by bringing him a bottle of my Ginger & Lime cordial whenever I went to visit.
He likes to go walking with his family and their lovable puppy Mandela, to travel, do yoga, and eat good food. He’s also a pretty good handyman and came to the rescue when the boat steps fell apart!
Nevil helped us form the Ltd Company and is my sounding board and adviser whenever I’m wearing my ‘proverbial panic knickers’.
He’s super talented in dealing with taxes and bureaucracy, he’s the most encouraging person I have ever met and supports the small business owner because he likes to see people reach their potential and dislikes injustice. He also sells delicious cheese just for fun, because who doesn’t love a truckle of truffle infused cheddar, or in a west county accent, ‘it’s lush my lover’.
James has kept ‘The Spirit of Florence’ floating and working for 3 years now. He towed her around for 6 months when her engine broke down and has spent many days and nights, in all weathers, mending and fettling.
Usually covered in oil and sawdust he now works for himself as a very talented joiner, currently building shepherds huts and boat back cabins. He’s agreed to remain our emergency boat breakdown recovery man just because he likes a bottle of gin, especially the Bitter Lemon, Lime & Cardamom.
A fellow boaty woman and a very talented designer, Katie is responsible for all our beautiful labels, logo, and overall branding.
Contact Katie for Design and Illustration here: