Our People

Meet some of team at The Old Curiosity Distillery, makers of Old Curiosity Gin.

Published: 4th January 2019

For The Gin Cooperative, great Scottish Gin is in equal measure about the people as it is the actual gin. Our exclusive ‘Our People’ editorial feature series finds out what life is like working for a Scottish Gin business. The distiller, the brand ambassador, the social media manager, the office admin, the handyman, the cooper, the shop assistant, the delivery driver and more. It’s these dedicated, passionate and hardworking people we will meet over the course of the series that will hopefully give you a little insight into what working for a Scottish Gin business is really like.

In this feature we meet some of the team behind The Old Curiosity Distillery, which is housed in the Secret Herb Garden on the outskirts of Edinburgh and in the shadows of the Pentland Hills.

Mark Boswell, Head Distiller

Responsibilities

Manage spirit production, recipe development, distil base spirit, botanicals infusion, record duty logs, brand ambassador.

What does a typical day look like?

Distil in the morning after charging the stills overnight, check with operations what orders have come in and ensure there is enough product to fulfil them. The larger orders, for example M&S, involve long days of mixing our base spirit to the required flavour, colour and ABV and ensuring they’re ready to ship on time. I usually do my paperwork (of which there’s loads) during a spirit run. I have to carefully monitor the cut points though, to ensure the heads and tails are kept out of the spirit and kept aside for re-distillation in subsequent runs. There is a lot of interaction with my colleagues all day too, which I love.

What’s the best part of your job?

A mix of the great people I work with and the sheer pleasure I get from running the stills; the fact that people like the spirit we produce isn’t bad either!

What is unique about your place of work?

It’s like working in a boozy Garden of Eden, the place is stirring and gentle in equal measure. Actually enjoying coming to work is a brilliant experience that I highly recommend.

Hamish Martin, Managing Director

Responsibilities

The overall running, product development and future growth of Old Curiosity Distillery.

What does a typical day look like?

I am usually up in time to do the school run in the morning then back home to walk round the garden and see where we are with the botanicals and general plant health. In the office I catch up with Colin (who runs the show really) and Francesca on the events, orders etc (she sits next to me and is my eldest daughter, which is wonderful).

I’m sure to grab my six shot Americano and cake and generally make a nuisance of myself. First to the Distillery, where Mark will be busy distilling and then up to the bottling hall to catch up with Gavin. I will then go back and catch up with emails – I generally do what I can to minimise this though – sitting by the computer isn’t my first choice activity!! I may have to go out and see or phone customers but have recently been working a lot on new products, plant distillations and floral infusions.

What’s the best part of your job?

Being creative, working with the plants, working on home turf, being close to the family, working with a fabulous and fun team, excitement of building a new business and talking about how amazing nature is!

What is unique about your place of work?

Everything really… our office is a converted railway carriage, the still room is a converted barn, we are surround by the botanicals growing around us and we have the Secret Herb Garden on our doorstep for great coffee, cake and lunches!

Sam Lowdnes, Head Landscaper

Responsibilities

In charge of all ground works, upkeep and creativity for the continuing botanical gin garden.

What does a typical day look like?

It can be so varied, from pruning grape vines in the glasshouse to building paths and flower beds, watering, cutting grass, wearing, planting anything and everything. That is why i love it so much – I am outside surrounded by beauty – what more could I ask for!

What’s the best part of your job?

Having a well deserved cup of tea and watching all the wild life. As we use no chemicals at all, there is always an abundance of wild life around me – it’s astonishing.

What is unique about your place of work?

A gin botanical garden with 2000 junipers, 600 varieties of herbs, a glasshouse the size of a football pitch, harvesting flowers, drying room… there is nothing here which is not unique!!!

Francesca Martin, Events & Marketing Manager

Responsibilities

My main responsibilities are to organise and run events, such as new product launches and our tours. I also decide which trade shows we should be at and then I usually work them as well. I am very much on the creative side of the business, like branding of our new products and website and also running all our social media accounts. Another side to my role is to dispatch orders to our customers.

What does a typical day look like?

Firstly I make myself a cup of tea, check and post on our Instagram and Facebook and then have a look at the list of orders that need to go out and then I help to pack and ship them. I have a flick through my emails and continue to work on whatever I have on that day. A lot of the time I am also travelling around the UK taking part in different trade shows and events alongside our sales associate Sarah.

What’s the best part of your job?

The early morning gin tastings! Definitely a nice little bonus!

What is unique about your place of work?

I get to work alongside my Dad, which can be a blessing and curse! I also get to work with my best friend, Sarah, who is one of our sales associates, that’s definitely a blessing!

You can learn more about The Old Curiosity Distillery here.

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