Case Studies

Rum distillery in good spirits

A business that specialises in manufacturing small batches of spiced rums has successfully launched with help from Business Gateway.

16th May 2022

About the business

Based in the rural area of Strathaven in South Lanarkshire, the business was founded by husband-and-wife Matt and Becky Hunt after Matt Hunt, a former pilot, was made redundant at the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic. Faced with an uncertain job market, they decided to start their own business and have since gone on to win The Best Business Start-Up In Britain at The Journal Magazine Awards.   

In the search for a ‘pandemic proof’ product and fuelled by a love of learning, the couple settled on rum. In May 2021, Matt and Becky obtained their own distillers license and began to make their rum from scratch, an unusual practice within the UK as rum is typically imported and redistilled.

Business Gateway has been a key partner to us throughout this period, and ensured we know as much about running a business as we do about rum.

How Business Gateway has helped

Old Mother Hunt approached Business Gateway for help to launch the business and the couple accessed a package of support across Business Gateway’s start-up and growth services, including 1:1 business advice and support with their business plan. They received assistance with marketing and attended a digital marketing strategy webinar, an online tutorial presenting an overview of the digital marketing landscape and a session on how to improve digital engagement. These sessions increased their confidence in social media marketing and e-commerce and helped them incorporate these strategies into their business.    

Old Mother Hunt worked closely with Business Gateway to identify areas where they could improve their online presence.  Matt and Becky received dedicated 1:1 specialist support through a DigitalBoost e-commerce business surgery session which included recommendations on how to improve traffic to their website.  Old Mother Hunt has now made substantial improvements to its website and doubled visits. This has increased their turnover by 65%.   

Becky Hunt, Co-Founder, Old Mother Hunt, said “In the beginning, setting up on our own gave us something to focus on during the pandemic. However, now we have a thriving business that includes a core range of rums, silver, spiced and golden, as well as special limited-edition flavours. We’ve become specialists in a short space of time, deliberately distilling our rum in small batches, so we can continue to craft the perfect rum and hone in on the distinctive flavours of each rum.   

“We are now growing after a relatively short period, all while juggling the challenges of the pandemic and raising a young family. Business Gateway has been a key partner to us throughout this period, and ensured we know as much about running a business as we do about rum.”  

Support Provided

1:1 Business Adviser or Support

Get the support you need right now

You can connect with us through the contact form, call us or contact your local Business Gateway office.