top of page
  • Instagram
  • TikTok
Interview with Thea Cumming – Founder of Dangerous Don
INTERVIEWS

Interview with Thea Cumming – Founder of Dangerous Don

This week we caught up with Thea Cumming – Founder of Dangerous Don, to talk about what inspired her to create Dangerous Don, how she came up with the name and much more.


Can you tell us a bit about Dangerous Don, what inspired you to build your own Mezcal brand?


I have always worked in hospitality and growing up in Devon, and on holidays at my grandparent’s dairy farm in South Wales, I have always appreciated the labour of farming/growing. When I moved to London after University I worked at a friend’s restaurant called Pitt Cue, they had just opened the restaurant after having a food trailer, which was a huge hype, so it was really exciting and my first introduction to the London cocktail world. All the drinks were bourbon based and we had a long bourbon selection, which I started to learn about.


After working in a few other places in London I decided to go to the bourbon source and, along with my best friend, we did a three month road trip around the US – from San Fran, down to New Orleans, up through Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee and ended up in NY. We couch-surfed the whole way and it was a lot of fun! I then travelled through Central America before ending up in Mexico on the Oaxacan coast, in a place called Puerto Escondido. It was amazing and it got my heart immediately.


We were living opposite an expat from Colorado called Frank who was rather crudely mixing 48% mezcal from the mountains with instant coffee, vanilla and sugar. This was my first introduction to mezcal and 25 year old me was hooked! I decided there and then I would start a brand and call it Dangerous Don, as that is my Dad’s nickname and me and my Dad are very close.


I spent the next few years travelling between London and Mexico, I managed to persuade one of my friends from school to get a start up business loan with me (I would not have met the borrowing credentials and he was a serious-job kind of guy!!). I travelled to Oaxaca mostly on my own, introducing myself to everyone and building my community. I met Celso and his wife Lorena through another wonderful contact, a guy called Alvin Starkman. Celso was one of the first producers I met and I just went with it as Celso and his family were wonderful people and they made the most incredible mezcal.


When I brought back the first sample of Dangerous Don it was a little coca cola bottle, I had an idea of what the bottle would look like, as my good friend Harry had made the designs. I took the sample and the designs to an importer and distributor, and they told me if I made it, they would buy it. So I did! Since then I have slowly and surely grown the brand to span 11 international markets and now have an all female team of six spanning Devon, London and Mexico.


We hear creating Mezcal is a pretty advanced process, what does this entail?


It’s probably best if you look at this video we made, as well as our production page (instead of me just reiterating it, without being as succinct). This is the link https://www.dangerousdon.com/production


Dangerous Don has just started its 3rd round of funding on Seeders. Can you explain what Seeders is and how we can get involved?


Seeders is a crowdfunding platform used to raise and generate investment. The huge benefit of the platform for us is that anyone can invest and the starting amount is £100, making it an accessible investment opportunity for everyone. We want our community to grow with us and what better way than to have our mezcal enthusiast community in for the journey.


In order to get involved, head to the Seedrs website and Dangerous Don is currently being listed as one of the businesses looking for investment. The online registration process is simple and you can decide what feels good to invest.


Best piece of advice you’ve been given on your Mezcal journey?


Never give up! My Dad always tells me that. Running a small business is hard and growing a drinks brand is one of the most challenging things to do. Without financial backing you are up against the big guys and so really it is just about believing in your product, partners and the bigger vision and staying committed to success.


The journey has been so hard and there has been many bumps along the way, but I have an unwavering commitment to seeing this through for the people who have supported me up to now.


Favourite spot for sipping Mezcal in London and Mezcal cocktail of choice?


I would have to say Doña! I am the co-founder of a wonderful little pink mezcal basement in Stoke Newington. It is the “home” of Dangerous Don, but also a little music and mezcal haven. I started Doña with my friend Lucie Massey who had previously worked in the music and food world in London. Together we formed Doña which was designed with the feminine in mind, creating a safe space for everyone to enjoy mezcal cocktails and dance the nights away!


My ultimate mezcal cocktail has to be a classic mezcal margarita. You just can’t beat it. There is something about having a margarita that just makes life a little easier and the days a little brighter. A true celebration of life!


What would your ideal day in London look like?


I have a little boy, Amado (the result of a mezcal night in Oaxaca)! So what I love to do has changed a little bit! I appreciate the open, green spaces more than ever. Our first breakfast would be at home where we live just off Ridley Road and then the second breakfast would be at Brunswick East in Gillett Square (their breakfast bun/folded egg sandwich is so so good). We would then go to London Fields, by way of Violet Bakery for a cheese scone and a cake, and after running around in the park we would then stop for a cider at The Prince George on the way home, and maybe a cocktail at Three Sheets.


In the evening I would stay at home and have a house “disco”, order a Sodo pizza and make some margaritas! Having a family has made me appreciate the small things in life more than ever so my persistent hunt for the most exciting things to do has been replaced with loving the outdoors more than ever and hanging with my team.


However, if it was my night off and a night out I would meet friends in Dalston at Bar Lotus (my new favourite place) and then head to Doña for some mezcales and dancing. Mezcal and dancing is a sure fire pathway to happiness. A day full of family, friends and mezcal! The dream.


For more information visit www.dangerousdon.com

Photos courtesy of Dangerous Don


Interview with Ella McKay from FATSO
INTERVIEWS

Interview with Ella McKay from FATSO

Interview with Arian Zandi, Co-Founder of Riviera
INTERVIEWS

Interview with Arian Zandi, Co-Founder of Riviera

Interview with Jess Higgins Co-Founder of Freja
INTERVIEWS

Interview with Jess Higgins Co-Founder of Freja

Interview with Alistair Frost – Co-Founder of Pentire Drinks
INTERVIEWS

Interview with Alistair Frost – Co-Founder of Pentire Drinks

You may also like...

You may also like...

INTERVIEWS

A guide to St. Christopher’s Place

INTERVIEWS

A guide to St. Christopher’s Place

INTERVIEWS

A guide to St. Christopher’s Place

INTERVIEWS

A guide to St. Christopher’s Place

bottom of page