An Interview with Ed Smith, The Emissary
An interview with Ed Smith, founder of The Emissary!
The Emissary are a vegan and low sugar alcohol brand that create high quality and sustainably produced Prosecco. Made with 85% Glera and 15% Pinot Grigio grapes, their DOC Extra Brut Prosecco is light and refreshing - the perfect Spring/Summer beverage.
We decided to interview Ed Smith, founder of The Emissary, to see how his business came about, as well as his opinions on the start-up food and bevarage industry.
How did you come to create The Emissary?
The Emissary was born out of frustration with the direction the Prosecco category had taken. I have always been a lover of Prosecco and know that when produced properly, it can be the most fantastic wine. However, the UK had become flooded with mass-produced, poor quality wines that were only produced with volume sales in mind, with no quality, stand-out brands. ‘Brand Prosecco’ had become synonymous with cheap tacky fizz, so I wanted to create something that would change this perception and help people to understand the Italian heritage, passion and craft that goes into producing the beautifully delicious wine that Prosecco should be.
What makes The Emissary Prosecco so unique?
The Emissary is produced on a 3rd generation, family-run single estate vineyard near the village of Cornuda in Veneto. Much of the mass-produced Prosecco seen on supermarket shelves is made from lots of different growers providing the grapes to a centralised processing system, so there is no quality control or consistency with the wines produced. Our vineyard is run by three brothers who pour all their decades of passion and experience into crafting the best quality wines.
Our vineyard is SQNPI certified, Italy’s highest certification for sustainable production methods, which was a key factor to us when finding a producer. All our wines are vegan and low sugar. Our DOC Treviso is an ‘extra-brut’, with only 4g/l residual sugar per bottle – lower than most other sparkling wines on the market.
What are you most proud of with the business?
We’ve had lots of really exciting wins with the business (as well as plenty of headaches of course!) but I think the thing that always makes me most proud is the feedback we get from customers. I love hearing that people have enjoyed our wines.
What is particularly hard behind the scenes that most people may not realise?
I think the hardest thing is the thick skin you have to develop pretty quickly when trying to sell a product in this industry. Competition is fierce and you get plenty of knocks. But I think all the knocks make the successes all the more enjoyable.
Who do you look up to in the Food & Drink startup world?
I really admire what the guys at Sipsmith Gin have done. They were at the very start of the gin revolution and helped to pioneer the movement towards high quality, properly produced gin. They disrupted a very well established market and took on some massive players and came out hugely successful. I wouldn’t mind doing a similar thing with the Prosecco space!
Any top tips for business success?
Tenacity! Stick at it – all the ‘overnight’ successes are years in the making, so as long you believe in your product, you can make it work.
What's next for The Emissary?
We've just launched The Emissary Rosé Prosecco which is very exciting – just in time for what will hopefully be a big spring/summer where we’re all allowed to enjoy ourselves again!
We now stock The Emissary's brand new Rosé Prosecco, so grab yours now to be one of the first people to try it!
You can also browse a range of other exciting start-up food an beverage brands here. From vegan, gluten-free and keto snacks, you're bound to find something you'll love, regardless of your dietary requirements.