47. Dunnet Bay Distillers

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Founders: Martin and Claire Murray
Founded: July 2013 (launched August 2014)
Website: www.dunnetbaydistillers.co.uk

After HMRC relaxed its minimum production volume threshold for distillers, Martin Murray decided it was time to leave his job of 10 years in the oil and gas industry and indulge his passion for brewing and distilling full-time.

Now with the market open for smaller batch distillers, Murray, alongside partner Claire Murray, launched Dunnet Bay Distillers in the most northerly county of mainland Scotland. Using local botanical, berries and fruit, the duo make handcrafted gin and vodka using traditional equipment and processes.

And it seems they were onto something: the business pre-sold its first batch of 750 bottles in less than 40 hours through social media (with an 800 bottle waiting list!) before selling more than their entire year’s forecast between September and December. Less than a couple of years on, Dunnet Bay does most of its business through wholesale to its network of retailers including House of Bruar, Fortnum & Mason and Harvey Nichols, as well as still settling online and from its own distillery shop.

The next 12 month looks to be an exciting year for the distillery with seasonal variations on its spirits in the pipeline, investing in new equipment and expanding its onsite shop. Having outgrown its business plan in the final quarter of last year and its warehouse fit to bursting, Dunnet Bay’s upwards trajectory in the craft spirits market looks unstoppable. A good problem to have.

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