Case Study Header Image Orkney Craft Vinegar
Case Studies

“Best vinegar you can buy” thrives with Business Gateway support

Sam Britten worked with Business Gateway to help accommodate increased demand for the craft vinegar.

About the business

Orkney Craft Vinegar, a local and sustainable brewery, was founded in 2017 by Sam Britten, a brewer and former chef. He was inspired to create vinegar from beer by using traditional methods, incorporating ingredients found in abundance on the island.

In February 2019, Sam experienced an incredible surge in orders following a surprise mention from ITV Saturday Morning’s James Martin, who hailed the Honey & Meadowsweet and Bere Malt Vinegar as “the best vinegar you can buy.”

Since then, life has drastically changed for the business owner, who started operating from a garage just two years ago. Exports have increased tenfold and the brewery can now produce 1,000 litres of vinegar per batch – a 1000% increase on the previous capacity.

We were not prepared for the increase in customer demand following James Martin’s recommendation on Saturday Morning. With help and support from Business Gateway, we’re now in a position to accommodate that demand.

How Business Gateway has helped

Business Gateway provided support with a successful grant application to Orkney Islands Council which contributed to the purchase of new brewing equipment.

Founder Sam Britten commented: “We were not prepared for the sudden increase in customer demand following James Martin’s recommendation on Saturday Morning. With help and support from Business Gateway, we’re now in a position to accommodate that demand.

“My Business Gateway adviser supported our successful grant application to Orkney Islands Council which contributed to the purchase of new brewing equipment. Without them, we would have been in a difficult situation because our production process can take up to six months.”

Sarah Tait, business adviser, Business Gateway Orkney, commented: “We initially supported Sam to write a business plan, which helped him to prioritise his to-do list more effectively and secure grant funding from Orkney Islands Council to assist with start-up costs.”

Support provided

1:1 Business Advisor or Support

Advice on Business Plan

Advice on Funding

Advice on Marketing

International/Exporting Support

What’s next?

Sam Britten continued: “We’re extremely fortunate in our natural surroundings and it’s our commitment to the seasonal ingredients from Orkney’s larder that makes our product so special. As the business continues to grow, we hope to create more jobs for the local economy right here in Orkney.”

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