It's been quite a year…
We begin back on the 14th of August 2017 at 7:30pm, this is the time that will forever stay in the hearts of team behind the Isle of Barra Distillers as it is that time their hard work and dreams had come to fruition, little did they know the hard work had only just started.
At the heart of the company the team at the Isle of Barra Distillers hold these goals and values in very high regard as they are the heartbeat behind the business.
(1) Create something that not only we can be proud of but the whole of the Isle of Barra can be proud of.
(2) Try to give something back to the Island that has given us this opportunity – i.e fresh employment opportunities.
(3) Build not just a business but a legacy that can be continued for generations to come not just in our life time.
In the early stages of the company’s history, the couple have teamed up with a London distiller to produce the gin. This was given further backing when the young couple approached their chosen bank who to date have been the only financial support the company have had. An original plan of three years was the time scale to move full production to the Island but after seeing sales hit targets in the first three months, this has now pushed plans now till as soon as late 2018/early 2019, a further demonstration of the brands early success.
In the early months the Isle of Barra Distillers were overwhelmed with the support shown by the public in their new venture, this was demonstrated on the opening night of sales when their website crashed due to the demand caused. As the lead up to Christmas came a real highlight of the year happened when the Barra gin was a headline sponsor at London Fashion week for world famous designer John Smedley. This inclusion of the Barra gin showcased what was achieved in such a short period from launching in August.
Growing the brand and story is key to all involved and this is done by the company choosing to not go down the conventual route of using a UK based distributor, instead opting to do all this themselves, a brave and bold move but one that is working well. To date you will find the Barra Gin stocked in over 200 restaurants, hotels and bars across the UK. Some venues include such places like Tom Kitchin’s Mitchillin started restaurant The Kitchin along with sister restaurants The Scran & Scallie and The Castle Terrace all found in Scotland’s capital Edinburgh. Other venues such as Café Gandolfi, the award-winning Carters of Mosley and The Ferry Inn to name but just a few. It means a great deal to all involved to be able to share the story of the Barra gin, the Ilse of Barra distillers and of course the Island itself to so many folk and to do this by sharing a dram, well what other way would you want to do it.
It was in 2018 that two-real real highlights from a year that could have only been dreamt of happened. In mid-March the Isle of Barra Distillers agreed a distribution deal for exporting the island spirit into Denmark, the first county out with the UK to have the Barra gin available to buy. This was a real high point for everyone involved and a real special moment for the business owners but then just as early as last week the Isle of Barra Distillers singed there second distribution deal, this time with an importer in Germany. This deal would see the Barra gin being imported and distributed into Germany for the next 12 months. This would further cement would a fantastic year it has been for the Isle of Barra Distillers as some brands wait years for similar success when in 12 short months the hard-working team behind the Isle of Barra distillers have achieved.
Michael, director for the Isle of Barra Distillers, had this to add “Were do you begin? It’s been incredible and a year that has far surpassed our hopes. We set out to create something a bit different and wanted to grow at a pace that we could adjust to as time went by but from day one its has been unbelievable and we are very excited for the future. Creating employment was one of our key goals and we have done that by adding three new opportunities into what can only be described as a fragile Island economy and as we grow so will the opportunities for further employment. My personal highlight is of course exporting our Island spirt and story to our friends in Denmark and Germany, to do this in year one really is fantastic. Already we are working hard on introducing the story of the Barra gin to places much further away that our remote home here on the Isle of Barra and we are confident by the end of 2019 you will see the Barra gin available in 5/6 new countries. We are just grateful to the great team we have here at the Isle of Barra Distillers and the amazing support we have been shown by the public in what we are trying to achieve here, we can’t thank you all enough”