Shaun Byrne

Shaun Byrne, creator of Maidenii Vermouth, first identified a niche in the market for locally produced cocktail staples. Over the course of his hospitality career, Shaun has spent hundreds of hours sourcing Australian produce. Marionette represented an opportunity to partner with independent farmers to source the best local produce. 

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Lauren Bonkowski
Nick Tesar

Nick Tesar, a world-class competition bartender with an impressive resume of it-list restaurants to his name, brings his knowledge to the table. These days you can find Nick manning Fitzroy’s Bar Liberty, but it was during his previous role at Bar Lûmé in the acclaimed Lûmé restaurant where his enthusiasm for liqueurs took flight. “We focused on getting the most out of incredible Australian produce, thinking laterally to extract flavour using the best equipment available,” he says. 

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Lauren Bonkowski
Lauren Bonkowski

Lauren Bonkowski, a designer who specialises in branding for the alcohol industry with success stories such as Pirate Life Brewing under her belt, joined the team without hesitation. “I hear a LOT of business proposals where alcohol is concerned," Lauren says. "It’s a tough market dominated by big players. But consumers are seeking lower-alcohol drinks and love getting behind local brands. The timing is just right for Marionette.”

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Lauren Bonkowski
Hugh Leech

The final piece of the puzzle is Hugh Leech, who will man production and logistics. He’ll bring his can-do attitude, charm, and booming laugh to the table. Hugh developed his love of making ingredients from scratch at Gin Palace, and is not scared of the hard work and hours on the road that will be needed to bring Marionette Liqueurs to fruition.

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Lauren Bonkowski