Kosovo Albanian Pleurat Shabani never gave his hope, even when if was said to him that his plan to produce a premium vodka was utterly hopeless. Even Dragon’s Den refused him but four years and £250,000 later Konik’s Tail vodka is a big hit in the bar business.
He created it up in his kitchen at his London home after four years of testing and using £250,000 he’d borrowed from family and friends.
Now his vodka is stocked by almost 200 upmarket outlets and its enjoying a £1million turnover within two years of the first bottle being produced.
And with another major deal in the offing next month, the 40-year-old is hoping his £37-a-bottle spirit can continue bucking the trend for cheap drinks.
Mr Shabani, said: ‘I reckon I had more than 300 meetings but no one thought I had a chance.
‘I even contacted the guys from Dragons’ Den, who said the market was saturated and that I would need £5 million in marketing.’
After 250 flights to Poland he found a distillery that could make it.
‘It’s been by far the best way to promote the drink, as I have built relationships with the bar managers who know the types of drinkers who will enjoy its quality and drink it neat, as it’s too complicated to be smothered with a mixer,’ he said.