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West Wales Businesswoman Shortlisted for National Award

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Ellen Wakelam, co-founder and owner of award-winning West Wales distillery, In the Welsh Wind, has been shortlisted as a finalist in the prestigious Natwest Everywoman Awards 2021.

Ellen Wakelam, who founded the distillery with her partner Alex Jungmayr, near Cardigan in January 2018, is a finalist in the ‘Demeter’ category which recognises the most inspirational woman running a business trading from three to five years.

Educated in Cardigan, she graduated with a degree in geography and qualified and worked as a secondary school teacher, having to leave Ceredigion for the Midlands to find work.

Disillusioned with teaching, she returned to Ceredigion and found the focus and energy to set up her own business after a three month walk around Wales.

After several years running a catering and baking business, she and Alex were travelling in Scotland when they were inspired by the small craft distilleries they discovered there to set up their own gin distillery back in Wales.

Now nearly four years old, In the Welsh Wind Distillery is an award-winning business in its own right, producing several award-winning gins both under the In the Welsh Wind brand and also for other brands and businesses.

Ellen and Alex put plans on hold during the pandemic to produce hand sanitiser for the community, and to develop a craft vinegar product from beer that would otherwise have gone to waste when hospitality closed.

However, they still found time to launch their Signature Style gin in July 2020, and spirits production is now firmly back on the agenda. The distillery is one of only five in Wales making whisky.

Uniquely in Wales, In the Welsh Wind has pioneered a process which ensures that, from grain to glass, every step of the whisky making process takes place within 10 miles of the distillery.

The distillery is also committed to providing training and employment for young people in the area, running a work experience scheme, and offering opportunities through apprenticeships, Jobs Growth Wales and the Kickstart scheme.

Ellen said:

“I am really excited to have been announced as a finalist in the Natwest Everywoman Awards. To be recognised in such prestigious, national awards is a huge honour, both for me and the distillery.

“The team is as proud as I am that I have been shortlisted. I’m looking forward to meeting the other finalists at the awards ceremony and hearing their stories.”

Established in 1999, the Natwest Everywoman Awards has built a community of female business owners and exemplary role models with the aim of sharing knowledge and ideas, connecting them with advisors, peers and potential investors.

In 2021, the awards celebrate inspirational female founders whose creativity and resilience will help Britain weather the current economic storm.

The winners will be announced at a celebratory lunch in London on December 7, 2021.