Three woman who set up their own gin business based on the Isle of Jura are now looking to expand production to cope with demand after winning a presitgious award.
Claire Fletcher, Alicia MacInnes and Georgina Kitching founded Lussa Gin last year producing the drink from 15 locally grown and gathered botanicals. So far over 4,500 bottles of Lussa Gin have been sold online or at one of the 50 retailers across Scotland who stock the unique product.
Lussa Gin has has recently been awarded a Business Gateway Local Growth Accelerator programme grant, supported by the European Regional Development Fund, which will allow the trio to expand their production capacity. The grant allowed the trio to attend the Scotland Speciality Food Show where Lussa Gin picked up the Gold award for best product in the drinks category.
Claire said: “We began to talk about our idea in the summer of 2015 and our first bottle went on sale a year later. We have been overwhelmed by the response – even our tiny community shop on Jura has sold over 800 bottles and we were delighted to win the award. The next step for us is to renovate and move into an old stables building so we can upscale and invest in a bigger still which will increase our output. We sell online and in shops, restaurants, hotels and bars across Scotland. We’ve also exported to Sweden and are looking at other export opportunities to grow the business. We’ve had guidance from Business Gateway from the planning stages of the business to helping us source funding for the renovation of the stables. We have also discussed exporting and will access further specialist advice when it is time to pursue this properly.”
Barbara Halliday, business adviser for Business Gateway Argyll and Bute added: “As well as one-to-one advice, Claire, Alicia and Georgina have benefitted from our fully funded workshops, our knowledge funding opportunities and our relationships with other support organisations including Highlands and Island Enterprise.”
Lussa Gin is a fresh, zesty and smooth gin with a subtle, aromatic finish. It is made with Jura spring water with all elements of the process including bottling and labelling taking place on the island. Claire said: “The inspiration for setting up the business comes from the island. We all live and work at the north end of Jura and opportunities for work is are limited. We come from different backgrounds – I worked for Radio 1, while Georgina is a teacher and Alicia is a whizz with numbers, but we all share a passion and love for Jura. We wanted to use the place we love as the foundation for our business and to find something that will enable us to stay here. We have had great community support and we love venturing out in our rowing boat or climbing trees to collect ingredients for our product.”
Find out how Business Gateway Argyll and Bute can help your business by visiting their local page or calling 01546 808 363.
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