5 Pence was founded by Simon von Witt at the end of 2018, who was also the founder of the Woodstock Gin Co. He discovered his passion for distilling in 2008, after spending a year in Italy, where he taught English and tasted some of the finest liqueurs and grappa on offer. He decided to learn the art of distilling and replicate these liqueurs back home in South Africa. After a few 2 years of experimenting and selling his wares at markets, he decided to start a small business. What started off as a small weekend business and ran for several years as such, became a full-time job, when he decided to embark on making gin in 2014. His passion for nature and knowledge of indigenous fynbos enabled him to ethically source the most suitable local botanicals to flavor his gins and spent several months experimenting with different combinations. He founded Woodstock Gin at the end of 2014 and managed the company along with eight full time staff members from the Western Cape to the end of 2018. At which point he decided to sell his shares and commence on a new more artisanal venture with a greater focus on exports. He came up with the name 5 Pence, which came about initially through his wife’s obsession with the name Spencer. He made promises to call a baby boy or male puppy Spencer. Needless to say, there was no baby boy called Spencer, but a new gin was borne with a similar sounding name. 5 Pence also provides a direct link between SA and the UK, which was once under British rule and during that time a bottle of spirits could be bought for the equivalent of 5 pence. It is a small yet powerful coin in the greatest empire, which inspires creativity if found by chance. 5 People are involved in the founding of the company and 5 percent is going back to the conservation of fynbos.



At present the company is family run, with Simon von Witt, being the owner and director. His wife Susannah Clarke is a 20% shareholder and assists with the interior decorating. His aunt owns 10% of the company, while his mother and father each own 5% of the company.


5 Pence plans to use zero plastic on its products and to promote recycling through offering discounts on returned bottles and refilling. We see ourselves ultimately as being the first completely green distillery using only green energy, promoting recycling and green products. We plan on offering our 3 services to young start-up ventures looking to do small batch distillations. We aim to export more than we sell on the local market within 1 year. We envision leading by example and donating 5 percent of all our profits to the conservation of nature in the Western Cape.


5 Pence makes small hand-crafted batches of gin, vodka and rum. We use local labour and local products, where possible. We supply both locals and international visitors with a unique taste experience through our well instructed tasting sessions. We educate the public about the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling waste by eliminating the use of plastic on our products. We promote the sustainable use of water and all products that are used in our distillation process.


In conclusion 5 Pence is far more than just a distilled spirit, it is a combination of art and science achieved through distillation and design along with an 4 inspirational, educational experience one would gain by visiting the distillery – Distillers Union, where 5 Pence is produced. It aims to provide a beacon of hope to the already highly-stressed environment in the Western Cape through donating a percentage of its profits to the conservation of nature. Its goal is to be one of the pioneers to promote sustainability amongst distilling, reusing products where possible and in so doing creating new business opportunities for others.

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