Redh is the brainchild of two Sussex born guys; Richard Edwards and Douglas Howard - two great friends from school who have been known to enjoy an occasional drink or two!
Following an impromptu visit to a small, local brewery, they questioned why they had not heard of the quality beer even though it was right on their doorstep. The big lightbulb moment followed shortly after:
“Why don’t we create a business that can connect local people with local produce?”
And so, Redh was born.
With Douglas having worked in eCommerce for a major supermarket for 28 years and Richard a local practising accountant, their partnership instantly ticked a lot of boxes when it came to setting up a new venture like Redh. It wasn’t long before Richard’s wife Charlotte (ex-registered nurse and budding interior designer) jumped on board too.
After investigating the local alcohol market, they discovered that many smaller producers struggled to find the time and resources to promote their craft goods effectively. It was at that point that Redh committed to helping these producers find an easy route to market - either selling their products within the Redh establishment or by stocking them on the website.
Right from the start, it was clear that both the name and company branding needed to be strong enough to stand out in an already crowded marketplace. A local branding company, combined with the thoughts of Douglas and Richard, provided the inspiration for the Redh branding.
The English countryside with its bountiful hedgerows (perfect for foraging berries) and open fields summed up the unique beauty of the local surroundings - and who should live upon these lands but the mystical and ancient hare!
This idea gave birth to the red hare logo we use today. The name soon followed too, with Redh (Real English Drinks House) being self-explanatory as well as handily combining both the founder’s initials.
The next step was to search for premises. The Redh team came upon the beautiful Edwardian Post office building in Haslemere which had unfortunately been scheduled for closure. As far as location, Haslemere happened to be not only our fantastic local town but also perfectly placed on the borders of three counties; Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire - all wonderfully rich with amazing artisan and craft businesses.
It was at that point that Redh had to step in. We came to the rescue and worked to create the perfect solution for everyone; the Post Office would remain in operation with an upgraded counter, but this would be combined with our new bar/cafe, function area and shop. It’s a Post Office with a difference!
The bar provides the ideal opportunity for visitors to discover, taste and enjoy quality local drinks and delicious nibbles. Not only that, the Redh website will provide folk further afield with the opportunity to enjoy the same incredible produce wherever they are in the world.
Redh is all about reconnecting people to English products - grown, harvested and produced locally. We want to support the feeling that people are becoming more aware of what they are buying, where it is from and the people behind their purchases. Redh are therefore committed to providing a variety of platforms that will enable this to become a day-to-day reality - we hope this will bring much excitement and interest to our customers!
Our long-term vision is to eventually replicate the Haslemere model to other towns and local communities across the UK which will, in turn, help other local producers to sell and promote their goods. All of this will ultimately help to reduce both food miles and our carbon footprint.
The aim for our new website is to gain further momentum and gather even more quality and unique locally sourced products! We have the ambition to become a trusted brand for the purchase of the best England has to offer in the craft, artisan and local drinks trade. Here’s what our founders had to say:
“On my discovery journey, I have been overwhelmed with the producer’s passion and the care put into their drinks and food. The foraging for hours for wild sloe berries, the experiments time and time again to get the perfect taste, and the attention to every detail. I am so excited about advocating the ‘buy local’ revolution and sharing all our wonderful finds to our home crowd!”
“Running a business myself, I understand how local connections and customers are invaluable to success. I have always loved good quality beer, wine and food so being part of this business venture is super exciting!”
“Community has always been at the heart of our family values and we are proud to be able to open our new business - one that creates the opportunity to showcase amazing local products whilst saving the much-needed Post office.”