Gael Spirit Company L R Nigel Large, Beverley Large, Tanya Brown, Jamie Maclean[1]

A Scottish gin producer has expanded into international markets after working with Business Gateway on its growth strategy, with plans for further expansion in 2021.

Based in Perth and Kinross, and inspired by the famous song, ‘The Gael’ by Dougie Maclean, The Gael Spirit Company was launched by industry veteran Nigel Large in 2019 in partnership with his wife Beverley and good friends Jamie Maclean and Tanya Brown.

Nigel identified a gap in the market for a premium Scottish gin distilled with malted barley and worked with Strathleven distillery in Dumbarton to launch The Gael Signature Scottish Gin. It contains 100% malted barley as a base, alongside a blend of botanicals and Scottish heather and recently won bronze in the International Wine & Spirit Competition.

Following a bespoke package of support from Scotland’s national business advisory service, Business Gateway, the firm has recently started exporting into Denmark, with plans to target France and Canada in 2021.

Business Gateway provided support as The Gael Spirit Company finalised its business plans and growth strategy, including a strategic planning workshop covering sales projections, marketing strategy, product development and routes to funding. Their adviser also signposted the team towards further support from Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International, who were able to assist with potential international trade obstacles and ensured the expansion strategy was robust.

Nigel, on behalf of The Gael Spirit Company, said: “I was aware of Business Gateway and the support it could potentially provide, so I wanted to engage with the team early to ensure we were in the strongest possible position. Our adviser was helpful and supportive, pointing us in the right direction on a number of occasions, and was able to evaluate our growth strategy and identify what we should be looking at in certain markets so that we could achieve our export goals.

“Scotland has a phenomenal reputation for gin production, and our product is steeped in this heritage, from the name of our business to the fact that all production is based here. Looking forward, while COVID-19 has disrupted our plans, we remain on track to achieve our growth objectives in 2021 and continue our expansion into key global markets, with the potential of taking on more employees further down the line.”

The Gael Spirit Company also accessed 1:1 support from a business adviser, innovation support and advice on funding.

Andrew Webster, an adviser at Business Gateway, said: “Nigel and his team have worked tirelessly to create a uniquely Scottish product that boasts a distinctive taste and strong brand. They have a fantastic story to tell; by developing their growth strategy and expanding into new markets, they will have the opportunity to reach many more customers, giving them the chance to try their premium product.

“Many businesses may be wary about how to expand into new markets, particularly given ongoing uncertainty because of the pandemic and the UK’s exit from the EU. However, our team is on hand to provide a strategic review of business plans and point you in the right direction so you have all the information and support you need before taking that leap so you can make the most of the huge potential offered by new markets.”

For more information about how Business Gateway can help your business export and reach new markets, please visit the Business Gateway website.

Kate Buckle
Article by Kate Buckle
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