The sky's quite literally the limit for Welsh luxury hamper, gift and spirit company, Sloane Home - which has secured a prestigious listing in the duty-free store at Cardiff Airport.

For Sloane Home's founder Leanne Johns, it is the pinnacle of six years working to establish a luxury business which initially began as a 'hobby' at her home in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Today there are some 85 products in her Sloane Home range - fruit-infused 'Lone Stag' spirits, preserves and truffles as well as luxury and indulgent home and bath items such as candles, balms and fragrances.

All the products have been created to complement each other resulting in a luxury, decadent feel.

A specially-created range of Sloane Home products can now be found in Cardiff Airport in the tax and duty free store operated by global travel retailer Dufry.

Sloane Home met with Dufry as part of the BlasCymru/TasteWales event in March 2019, and also as part of a product showcase that the Welsh Government undertook with Cardiff Airport. 

Leanne has created an exclusive travel collection of more than 20 Sloane Home products for Dufry, including Lone Stag truffles, balms, candles and travel wash and bath salts.

She says, "Being accepted by Dufry is a fantastic opportunity, especially as people visiting Cardiff Airport can see products that have been made only a few miles down the road."

The mother of two young boys, Leanne began making fruit-infused drinks to raise funds for her children's school. Their popularity led her to try selling them at local shows and events – and gradually, the business has grown.

Says Leanne, "I started just using family recipes. I infused fresh farm fruit with spirits and used the waste soused fruit to make jams and chef accompaniments. I then started enrolling on courses in traditional crafts like candle-making and upholstery.

"I feel it is important to keep our traditional methods of production, and I believe the customer values and appreciates the art of handmade products. Along with a zero-waste mantra, this is the framework in which defines true luxury."

The company also held a successful pop-up ‘Lone Stag Sensory Bar’ at Cardiff Airport’s departures lounge last summer.

The striking stag logo, designed by a friend, alludes to Sloane Home's Celtic origins, and is believed to be a 'sign of good things to come'.

That has certainly proved to be prophetic as Sloane Home has recently been listed by Walpole London. The organisation promotes and protects the UK's top 250 luxury brands. It has an elite membership that includes the likes of Harrods, Burberry and Rolls Royce.

Plaudits have flowed in too, and Leanne's spirts and preserves have caught the attention of judges at the Great Taste Awards.

The company has received several coveted Great Taste awards. These include its 2016 Zesty Lemon, Lime & Clementine infused Vodka (1 star), Raspberry Gin infusion (1 star), Cherry Gin Truffles and Lemon Zesty Coconut Truffles (1 star) and 1 star for its Organic Blackcurrant & Columbian Coffee roasted over oak in the Black Mountains. While it's Red Cherry and Black Pepper Frisky Fruit Chefs Accompaniment received 2 stars.

Helping achieve her business dreams are a devoted right-hand 'team' of local mums who work around the school-run.

They operate from a workshop next to Leanne's home in Llandow, where everything is lovingly made, bottled and packaged by hand – with zero-waste an important factor.

Says Leanne, "I have an amazing team who are a tremendous support and inspire me to see how far we can go. It is a real team effort. We work hard to maintain the highest standards and enjoy the highs and lows together.

"We are all dedicated to developing and growing the business, but we also have such a great laugh together and know how to keep it real. Everyone has a say and involvement in growing the business, so we do feel like one big family; they are a joy to work alongside."

It is Leanne's ambition to continue growing the brand and give something back to those who have supported her in her venture.

"I want to build a luxury Welsh gift brand that will hopefully create jobs in the local community and revive a lot of traditional skills.

Sloane Home is being helped by Cywain - a programme that is dedicated to developing new and existing micro-businesses and SMEs in the Welsh food and drink sector, focusing on maximising opportunities and growth potential.

Leanne says, "Our Cywain Development Manager, Nia Môn, has been great. Having someone who knows all the right people we need to speak to really helps. We've been banging on doors, but now we know which are the right doors."

Says Cywain Development Manager, Nia Môn, “It's so exciting to see a local company's hard work come to fruition, and winning an opportunity to be featured at Cardiff Airport where they will be showcased to travellers and potential customers from across the globe.”

Lesley Griffiths, the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs said, “There is a tremendous appetite for Welsh produce and I am pleased that Sloane Home are now selling their luxury handmade products at Cardiff Airport. The Airport will give the company exposure to international markets, allowing people from all over the World to enjoy their indulgent products.”

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