Sunny Bank Mills welcomes a mover and a shaker!

Jonny Shields, co-owner of Canvas with his partner Jess

A flourishing on-line cocktail company, which was set up during the Covid pandemic, is moving into Sunny Bank Mills, the iconic Yorkshire mill complex at Farsley between Leeds and Bradford.

Canvas, which creates experience-led cocktails to enjoy at home, is taking high-quality studio space in Sandsgate, the mill’s historic Edwardian office.

During the past ten years Sunny Bank Mills, one of the most famous family-owned mills in Yorkshire, has been transformed into a modern office and mixed-use complex for the 21st century, creating 400 sustainable new jobs.

Jonny Shields, co-owner of Canvas with his partner Jess, said: “This is a big move for us. We love the mill for the fact that it’s a beautifully curated space, both in terms of the aesthetic, which harks back to days gone by, and also because of the wide range of businesses here.

“Seeing brands such as Amity, the Hip Store and Pampas & Bloom already at Sunny Bank made us feel excited to become a part of the community here and to call the mill our new home. As an online business, set up during the pandemic, we worked remotely from the start, so this move into our new home in Sandsgate is a crucial part of our journey.

“The move will allow us to grow in both production capacity and creativity. We launched at the beginning of last year, making experience-led cocktails at home. Canvas is about the whole experience of a cocktail rather than just the liquid, and so we make cocktails at home feel like cocktails at the bar.

“Each of our cocktails comes with a bespoke video to tell the story of the drink and show how to make it. Each cocktail is also paired with a specific room scent to help elevate the experience at home. In our first year we served over 600 guests, partnered with leading drinks brands like Sipsmith and Aberfeldy, and featured in the likes of Courier Magazine and The Spirits Business,” he explained.

Jonny added that William and John Gaunt, the co-owners of Sunny Banks Mills, where Yorkshire Television’s Emmerdale and Heartbeat were once filmed, had been incredibly helpful with Canvas’s move.

“They have been fantastic throughout. They’re so deeply connected to Sunny Bank. It’s a joy to take a tour around the different rooms and hear the stories of their family and their previous historic textile business.”

John Gaunt said: “We are delighted to welcome Canvas to our ever-growing community as Sunny Bank Mills. There’s no doubt that cocktails are incredibly popular these days and Jonny and Jess’s imaginative approach to making cocktails at home and promoting them via video looks like an idea whose time has come. We wish them the very best of luck.”

He added: “Our efforts are now firmly focused on refurbishing the remaining space in the iconic 1912 Mill with 14,000 sq ft of quality office space over two floors available to let in a variety of configurations.”

There is also 2,000 sq ft of quality and flexible office space available at Sandsgate, which can be divided into suites of 500 sq ft.

 

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