Native Spirits came to life in 2019. It was the fulfilment of a dream for lifelong entrepreneur, creative and brand owner Ashley Moemise. Years ago, as the proprietor of restaurant and cocktails bar, Afro Lounge, Ashley dreamed of having an in-house collection of wines and spirits to complement the menu. Eventually, Afro doors closed and Ashley pursued other ventures but still, the dream remained.
2019 proved to be the year that passion and fate collided. Supported by Mpho and their 6 kids, and his business partner Karabo Mothobi, Ashley began with months of learning the ins-and-outs of gin and gin-craft. Joining forces with award-winning Hartbeespoort craft distillery. Incendo Distillery, Ashley, and distiller Francois Joubert began the process of breathing life into Native Gin. It resulted in the botanically-rich honey-bush distilled Native Gin and hibiscus-infused Kulture Gin, later followed by the orange-infused Native Caracara
Native Spirits was created to be a reflection of all of Ashley’s loves and passions. As former SAA cabin crew, his extensive travel experiences broadened his views of the world and the best it has to offer. As a restauranteur, he was able to nurture his love of the culinary arts and drink. As an entrepreneur, he was able to express his passion for creating something out of nothing. In Native Spirits, he combines these experiences into a celebration of one’s spirit, resilience, and sense of belonging in the world.
“Native” is a term Ashley has had a lot of fun explaining, and many “aha!” Moments have followed since the inception of the brand. One may see the word “native” and the tribal Maori mask associated with the brand and think it refers to a particular group of people. But by definition, a native refers to any person associated with any place, whether by birth or by living there long, making all of us across Africa and the world, Native