What did you do before becoming the owners of Urban Rhino Gin?
Pete Richardson is a proud Yorkshireman, York City supporter and rhino conservationist! A former national newspaper Deputy News Editor, Pete founded a specialist leisure industry PR, marketing and sales company, before moving to South Africa in 2009 to launch the Legend Golf & Safari Resort (home of the 'Extreme 19th'). Pete later became Chairman of the wider Legend Hospitality Group, overseeing 5 properties.
While in South Africa, Pete was a co-founder of the South African Golf Tourism Association and is co-founder and a Director of The Rhino Orphanage – a world first conservation project in The Waterberg. - alongside conversationist, Arrie va Deventer. TRO relies 100% on donations and is supported by Waterberg Rhino UK – and this is the link as to why Pete is now involved in Urban Rhino Gin.
Pete’s partner is Sarah Anderson, CMO of Urban Rhino Gin, leveraging over 25 years of senior leadership experience in global and regional marketing roles, for firms such as Oracle. Sarah has driven the rebrand and the new bottle design, recipe and website for Urban Rhino Gin.
What inspired you to establish The Rhino Orphanage?
Pete was working in The Waterberg area of Limpopo in South Africa when the rhino poaching crisis hit the headlines back in 2012. Along with conservationist Arrie van Deventer, Pete was part of the team that took action to save the orphaned babies and went on to establish the world’s first purpose-built facility – The Rhino Orphanage. Pete remains an active director of the orphanage, despite now living in the UK.
How did you become involved in Urban Rhino Gin?
Urban Rhino Gin was originally founded after city gents John Heeds, Mike Hall and Billy James discovered the plight of rhinos after visiting South Africa. In April this year, Pete crossed paths with Belinda Chaffer, the driving force behind Waterberg Rhino UK, who introduced him to the owners of The White Rhino Gin Company who were looking to retire.
Enthralled by the shared vision we quickly realised the incredible potential to build a global brand with Urban Rhino Gin while supporting the conservation efforts of both Waterberg Rhino UK and The Rhino Orphanage. In June of this year, we became the major shareholders in the White Rhino Gin Company. In just 5 months, we have completed a re-brand, new bottle design and label, launched a new website, moved distillation to the Henley Distillery, and modified the recipe to achieve a gold medal at the Global Spirits Masters.
What Makes Urban Rhino Gin different?
It is the only gin brand saving baby Rhinos!
What is the meaning and story behind the Urban Rhino brand name?
The founders believed that enjoying the rewards available in our metropolises is one thing, but had become acutely aware of the pressure this global urbanisation had put on the natural world. The Rhino is a prime example of a magnificent and ancient animal being under severe threat from loss of habitat. Furthermore, the purely gratuitous and illegal trade in Rhino horn has resulted in nearly 10,000 Rhinos and over 250 Rangers meeting their deaths in South Africa since 2008.
10% of profits and more from the Urban Rhino brand are now donated towards Rhino Charities supporting rhino conservation. The name Urban Rhino ties together how modern world urbanisation can support the fight against rhino extinction from the comfort of your own home – Sip Gin. Save Rhinos.
Can you tell us more about the distillery you work with?
Our gin is distilled at the award winning The Henley Distillery, with their 300L copper alembic stills which are heated over open flames. There are no industrial rectifying columns here, nothing is chill-filtered and each bottle of our single-shot sipping gin is hand-filled, hand-labelled, hand-numbered and sealed with pride.
Urban Rhino London Dry Gin is made to a simple and refined recipe of just six botanicals. It is a classical version of a London Dry sipping gin. It builds on the familiar juniper foundation with a flavour of citrusy blossom from lemon peel, a warmth from coriander seed, and a refined and traditional gin character from a delicate blend of orris root, cassia bark and liquorice root.
What is your ambition for the Urban Rhino brand in years to come?
We have an inspiring growth plan to include gins to celebrate all five rhino species, plus a rum and more - even a special bespoke Tonic Water! Watch this space!
What are your favourite ways to drink Urban Rhino Gin?
Compliment a generous measure of Urban Rhino and your favourite tonic with a thin lemon peel to enjoy a combination of fresh flavours. For extra zing, we recommend serving with Elderflower Tonic and adding orange peel and a sprig of rosemary to bring out the cassia we use during the distillation process.
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