First Time SALSA

Gnina Balchin, founder & owner of In the Loop Drinks joined SALSA in early 2022 and had her first audit at the end of January.  We asked Gnina why she joined the Scheme and how she found the process.

"I decided I wanted my business to become SALSA Certified to open up more doors for trade. Specifically, I really wanted to supply the National Trust because my business' ethos and the botanical nature of our English Vermouth range just seems so on brand. We also have some really stunning National Trust properties quite close to our little solar-powered winery in East Sussex.

Before I moved into the wine industry, I was a food product developer for a few large companies with BRC accredited factories making a range of products including short shelf-life, high-risk foods. So, I figured getting my own little production business, that makes comparatively low-risk products, SALSA certified was within my capabilities.

Implementing the SALSA standards was relatively straightforward as I already had everything in place, I just needed to make sure that everything was recorded in the correct format which took a little longer than I anticipated. Actually, now that all my protocols are written down in the right way and everything is in the right place, production is easier for me and I'm not constantly hunting around trying to find whichever notebook it was that I wrote my production notes in!

My first audit was relatively painless. My auditor was exceptionally helpful, which definitely put me at ease as I was unexpectedly nervous! I made sure I had all the required paperwork before the audit, and everything was to hand when he arrived, so we were able to thoroughly go through everything. I used the audit as a learning exercise because I was sure that there would be points for improvement, and I was right. My first audit was on the 31st January and I received certification in April, which took longer than expected, but now the first audit is done, following audits should be processed faster as there should be less corrective actions moving forward."


Written by Gnina Balchin, Director of In the Loop Drinks Ltd, making English Vermouth and ready to drink cocktails in Uckfield, East Sussex.

In the loop drinks

May 2022