Start-up spirits bottling business on track for 50% growth
Scottish bottling and drinks business, Young Spirits Company has delivered solid growth during 2020 despite the challenges Covid has presented the wider economy. Established in June 2019 by co-founders, John Ferguson and Alex Harrison, the business has grown from its original two employees and now has a 14 strong team that is on track to increase turnover from £800k in year one to £1.2m in year two.
To support this growth Young Spirits Company has this week moved warehouse, leaving their initial base in Sighthill, Edinburgh to take on larger premises elsewhere in the industrial park. The new warehouse facility is three and a half times bigger allowing them to introduce a second bottling line to cope with growth in client demand for its single cask spirits bottling service.
John Ferguson said, “We identified a niche in the bottling market to offer much shorter lead times to meet demand from the craft market. It has always been our aim to be able to turn around orders within a two-week lead time, however, we soon realised we were very quickly going to outgrow our original warehouse.
“The move to the new site has allowed us to invest in a new bottling line that will be solely dedicated to supporting miniatures and gift pack orders. This has not only proven to be extremely popular as we approach the festive season but has also elevated our profile attracting a much larger client base, reinforcing our niche proposition and responsiveness.”
During the lockdown, the business pivoted and quickly adapted to the changing environment and partnered with a distillery to bottle hand sanitizer for the NHS and care homes. Whilst this protected jobs and created a new growth avenue for the business, it was carried out as a short-term initiative, since the co-founders wanted to remain true to their original vision for the business, to build its reputation in the spirits sector.
Looking at the longer-term outlook of the company, Alex Harrison said, “We are confident about the future growth opportunities; we want to use our new warehouse to deliver a first-class series of experiential initiatives for clients, from offering tastings to blending classes and much more.
“As a business, we also supply bulk spirits and see this as another route to support clients with our ability to source spirits on their behalf. Our business is very customer service focused and as a result we plan to invest in the region of £0.25m in the next 12 months to enhance our interaction with clients through improved technology platforms.”