We caught up with Emma, director of Argyll based Kintyre Gin, to find out about the business and how they’ve coped with the pandemic.
Directors Emma and husband Niall are owners of the impressive Torrisdale Castle Estate which has been in the family for five generations and is now home to Beinn an Tuirc Distillers Ltd. The couple set up the distillery following their successful installation of a hydro-electric scheme in the grounds allowing them to produce their own green energy. As well as a distillery with accompanying gin school and cafe, the estate also has a range of accommodation options for visitors to the area.
The business employs a healthy sized, close-knit staff team, including local young people, and the owners are focused on the business being an asset of economic growth to the local community.
When asked about the challenges of setting up and running the business, Emma cited the challenges of getting supplies to their rural location as well as Brexit impacting import and export- however the support of other local businesses around them has helped to manage this.
Throughout the pandemic, the business has seen trade sales plumate but due to their quick reaction and online offers, web sales have rocketed. They have also been able to take advantage of times when restrictions have allowed to provide tours and accommodation. Demand for their virtual tasting sessions has also been a pleasant surprise which they hope to continue as they move forward. Despite the challenging year, Emma remains optimistic about the future of the business due to their loyal customer base and idyllic location that will hopefully keep visitors coming in.
Finally, we asked Emma about her policy hopes from the Scottish Government. Emma would like to see centralised decision makers better recognise the value of Scotland’s rural areas and do more to incentive young people to stay in the communities. Regulation of second home ownership and better roads are also on her wish list!
You can find out more about Kintyre Gin (and buy some!) here.