Sarah Yates – More Beautiful Without
Sarah Yates and her husband Geoff, founders of Sea Arch, (a distilled non-alcoholic spirit), believe that people have ‘come of age’ when it comes to their drink choices.
During their years of running a wine bar, they found that many were keen to step away from traditional alcoholic beverages. However, even the offering of a sugary non-alcoholic alternative was not sufficient to quench the thirst for something different.
Enter Sea Arch with its complexity of flavour and a robustness that stands its ground against traditional options. Using copper pot and steam distillation techniques their Coastal Juniper blend captures the very best from each botanical which include sea kelp, samphire, blood orange, cardamom and coriander.
“It’s about the experience; about people coming into a bar and thinking, ‘I’m not drinking tonight, and this being treated as a positive choice”.
The camaraderie of being able to have a drink with friends that tastes as good as an alcoholic drink and has parity in how it is presented and served is appealing. A drink where you feel part of the occasion, without the potential downside of ‘over-imbibing’.
Sea Arch contains no sweeteners or sugar, has zero calories, is allergen-free and also vegan-friendly. Sarah remarked,
‘It’s more beautiful without on so many levels”
With sales of non-alcoholic beer having grown by 50% last year, and non-alcoholic spirits by over 400%, it would seem that the growing trend is to drink less alcohol. Perfect timing, for a classy non-alcoholic spirit. Sarah remarked,
“There is a growing interest in wellness and healthier options amongst people of all ages.”
Born and bred in the South Hams, Sarah draws on the character of this part of the coast for inspiration. The place evokes feelings of nostalgia which, she says,
“are almost tangible”.
It is, perhaps, this sentiment as well as her belief in the soul restoring nature of the sea which explains the choice of name and beautiful design of the bottle.
After school, Sarah attended catering college in Plymouth before heading to Germany. There she met her husband Geoff (a pastry chef) and they travelled in Europe and the middle east together, before settling into hospitality roles in London.
The lure of Devon soon saw Sarah and Geoff relocating and starting their own gateau manufacturing business, Chantilly Patisserie, which they ran successfully for over 25 years, until selling it around three years ago. During this time, Sarah also graduated from university with a business degree.
Itching to start something new and put her degree and experience into practise, Sarah opened Wellies, a wine bar in Torquay. She describes Wellies as “a chameleon” in that it changed its identity throughout the day, catering for different needs – from morning breakfast to evening bistro, it became a popular neighbourhood hub. The motivation? To see people have a great experience from start to finish.
It was from Wellies that the idea to create a non-alcoholic spirit was born and after many hours of experimenting, Geoff, with his expertise in flavour combinations, developed the ideal recipe.
The couple sold Wellies in September last year, which has allowed them the time and energy to concentrate on Sea Arch. With their combined expertise and Sarah’s determination to see a project through, it’s sure to be a success and only goes to prove that sometimes, less really is more.
If you would like to get in touch, pop over to www.seaarchdrinks.com
Interviewed by Joff Alexander-Frye
Written By Stella Nicholls
Photos by Nick Hook and Geoff Yates