G is for Gin (and Good)

McQueen Gin supporting It’s Good 2 Give and the Ripple Retreat.

Published: 5th February 2020

Our G is for Gin (and Good) editorial feature series looks at the Scottish Gin makers and brands who use their Scottish Gin for Good. Whether that be through supporting charity, sustainable practice, donating a portion of profits to good causes or helping the local community.

In this feature, we caught up with Vicky McQueen, co-founder of McQueen Gin, to learn more about a charity and place that’s close to their home and hearts: It’s Good 2 Give at the Ripple Retreat.

What is your name and what do you do?

I’m Vicky McQueen, food and drink connoisseur and co-founder of McQueen Gin. 

How did McQueen Gin come to be?

My husband Dale and I have been passionate about gin for years, we thought of the concept for McQueen Gin when we were sitting in our garden having a G&T. We wanted to create products that would resonate with adventurous drinkers looking for an experience unlike anything else on the market. So, we decided to take the plunge from the corporate world we were consumed by and follow our true passion to become gin distillers. 

Once we realised our passion, we did all the market research we could and visited just about every distillery in Scotland! We had so much fun messing around with flavour combinations and it was amazing to bring our favourites to life. Our team has achieved a cabinet full of national and international awards, and secured deals to supply some of the UK’s biggest supermarkets with exclusive flavours.

In the last twelve months, we’ve doubled our workforce, the majority of which are employed from the local community. As our brand continues to grow, we will remain committed to making training and development opportunities available to our staff.

How are your gins ‘distilled to be different’?

My background is in cooking, I’m a self-trained chef and I love the wonderful world of food and drink. We wanted to bring something special to gin lovers everywhere with unique flavour combinations, and on our first day of trading we launched four world-first gins; Sweet Citrus, Mocha, Smokey Chilli and Chocolate Mint. 

Passion, honesty and integrity is at the heart of everything we do. Great gins are built on unique stories and provenance, and that’s why we’re proud to use the freshest, natural botanicals and ingredients in our products to create gins with a real punch of flavour.

Tell us how McQueen Gin does ‘good’?

A stone’s throw away from our distillery in Callander, The Ripple Retreat offers much-needed relaxation and support for young cancer patients and their families, in the tranquil setting of the Scottish countryside. 

Dale and I were so inspired by the work It’s Good 2 Give and The Ripple Retreat do. They are both small but mighty charities and we resonated with the energetic and lively attitude the ambassadors have. We wanted to get involved in any way we could as it’s a charity that is very close to our hearts. 

What does Ripple Retreat do?

The Ripple Retreat offers a safe place for families of young cancer patients in Scotland to stay at no cost. The families can unwind during the most challenging of times, away from the strain of hospital life in a homely environment amongst soothing natural surroundings. 

The Ripple Retreat provides a calm and caring environment alongside much needed respite and support for young cancer patients and their families. The owners have created a relaxing environment to provide a retreat away from the everyday realities of living with cancer. 

The supporting charity; It’s Good 2 Give provides families everything they could need who have a child with a life-threatening condition. From providing transport to and from the centre for those that can’t afford to travel to its remote location, to washing facilities for the entire family, the charity steps in to provide everything visitors could need whilst staying at the centre. 

How do you support the charity?

We started by offering practical support, donating to the It’s Good 2 Give cause by providing families with food boxes during their time staying at the retreat. These include breakfast supplies, tea and coffee as well as something for dinner e.g. a steak pie or vegetarian option. From magazines on the wards to patient and parent packs of essential items, It’s Good 2 Give provide invaluable support to families who have children with cancer. 

We’re proud to support a wonderful cause that is truly close to our hearts and we just want to make the lives of visiting families as easy as possible and feel it’s important to give back.

What does it mean to support The Ripple Retreat?

It means the world. The Ripple Retreat is in very high demand, so it would be wonderful to be able to offer an additional location where those in need can access the support and respite, they so desperately need. Our ultimate dream would be to help open an additional centre and make the amazing support It’s Good 2 Give, and The Ripple Retreat provides more widely accessible.

What’s next for McQueen Gin?

There’s always lots going on at the McQueen Distillery, our team work tirelessly to bring the most amazing flavours to the market, and we’re excited about the next steps for McQueen Gin. Watch this space!

You can learn more about McQueen Gin here.

You can learn more about the It’s Good 2 Give charity here and learn how you can help here.

You can learn more about The Ripple Retreat here.

It’s Good 2 Give! is a registered charity number SC041416.

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