Supporting Scottish GinReflecting on our first 18 months as a business dedicated to promoting Scottish Gin.
Published: 29th July 2019
As a business, we’ve now been operating for just over 18 months. Like so many family-run start-ups, we took a massive risk, spent most of our life savings and used it to establish a business based around something that we’d been enjoying for the last 15 years – gin. Our business was established to help educate and inspire the consumer in an engaging and non-sales led way about Scottish Gin, through our original content including editorial features and our high quality, carefully curated resources including our Scottish Gin directory, which now features individual profiles for over 300 Scottish Gins.
We believed strongly in the idea of what the business was about – showcasing Scottish Gin to a global audience, collaboration and working with Scottish Gin makers to tell the story of Scottish Gin in a fitting way. We also believed in getting to know others in the gin community. We’re proud to be a small family business based in rural Scotland and we’re excited to now be 18 months old. Learn more about how we operate as a business here.
There are so many talented people working hard to promote the wider gin category. Professional bloggers, some of whom have successfully monetised their hard work and efforts, writers and journalists, mixologists, bar owners, shop owners, bloggers, for whom gin is a drink they love and also a hobby. It takes all sorts to make the world go round and the world of gin is the same. We always wanted to build honest friendships with others in the gin community. Partly because there’s a lot of great people producing fantastic content, but also so we can continue to learn more about gin and what better way than from our gin friends around the world.
Just over 18 months later, here we are. At the heart of everything we’ve done over that time, has been to talk about Scottish Gin in a way that tries to capture the people, the places and the brilliant stories behind the ever-growing number of Scottish Gin makers and brands. Through everything, we have remained focused and resolute that everything we do should add value to the brands and people who have put their trust in us.
As a business, we are accountable to the people we work with. One of the key objectives of The Gin Cooperative is showcasing Scottish Gin in a way that helps the consumer make informed and educated choices. With a Scottish Gin directory that clearly shows where Scottish Gins are being produced and by whom, along with our other activities including the original editorial features we produce.
To ensure we get things right, we asked the gin makers and brand owners we work with to give us their feedback about being part of The Gin Cooperative. Straight from the gin still, so to speak. Here’s what they had to say…
“The Gin Cooperative have been truly instrumental in building and promoting brand Scotland for our fellow Ginthusiasts! Natalie and Martin have an unrivalled passion and knowledge for everything Scottish Gin related, this really shines through in their smashing photography and engaging feature reads on their website. Despite the ever rising onslaught of new Scottish Spirits, The Gin Cooperative keep it very personal and pop up everywhere on their gin filled travels. I would bet my mortgage they know the name of someone behind every single Scottish Gin! Keep up the great work.”
Sandy Morrison, Founder & Distiller, The Pentland Still
“Just under two years ago The Gin Cooperative swooped in to the lives of Scottish Gin makers and have taken us all under their gin loving wings! They’ve created an umbrella platform where we can share our stories, shout about new releases, drum up attendees for events and give people insights to our distilleries and the people who work there. ISGD is yet another step in carving out a prominent place for Scottish Gin on the world gin scene and their scope and vision for the category is one we are very happy to be a part of.”
Emma Hooper, Brand Manager, Darnley’s
“We have been working with The Gin Cooperative for over a year now and have been blown away by the level of support and engagement they have offered us: always willing to share brand and product information, writing in-depth and well researched pieces and providing some of the best photographic content that we’ve seen. It is integral that we all work together to promote Scottish Gin to ensure that what we do is sustainable – The Gin Coop lead the way in bringing us together and promoting Scottish Gin around the world and a lot closer to home.”
Louis Wright, Distiller, Kirkjuvagr Orkney Distilling
“We love working with the Gin Cooperative – as a small business immersed in the Scottish gin scene they really understand where we are coming from as a small producer. They get how much the successes (and challenges!) mean to us and what’s involved in creating a business based on passion where the overriding goal is to produce a premium, authentic product. With Lundin Distilling what you see is what you get: family-run, honest and (slightly) obsessed with detail. The Gin Cooperative are exactly the same!”
Iain Brown, Founder & Distiller, Lundin Distilling
“Having met both Natalie and Martin personally on a number of occasions, their passion for what they do couldn’t be clearer and this is demonstrated by the high-quality, non-partisan, engaging and quite-frankly beautiful content that they produce and publish. The Gin Cooperative is a great resource for all of those involved in the world of Scottish Gin in all forms, as well as a great place for consumer education and discussion.”
Colin McLean, Founder, McLean’s Gin
“Natalie and Martin have created something very special in The Gin Cooperative. Providing the small gin producers not only a voice in a loud and busy market but their membership has provided commercial benefits too. The work they are doing for ISGD is outstanding. They are also absolutely lovely people and we really enjoy working with them. Keep up the good work guys!”
Emma Smalley, The Teasmith Spirit Company
“The Gin Cooperative are passionate, experienced, impartial and creative. Scotland’s gin scene is like a tapestry of different types and sizes of producers. The Gin Cooperative have helped shape this picture and provide a narrative that’s honest, creative and like a thread running through the sector has created a respected frame for Scottish Gin worldwide.”
Kim Cameron, Founder, Gin Bothy
“The Gin Cooperative provide us, and the whole Scottish Gin industry, with an excellent level of support. They are excellent advocates of Scottish Gin, and act with impartiality. They produce excellent promotional materials and are a very much needed addition to the ‘gin scene’.”
Niall Macalister Hall, Co-Founder & Distiller, Beinn an Tuirc
“The support and encouragement we’ve been shown by The Gin Cooperative has been phenomenal. From the very first mention of our plans to open Ullapool’s first distillery, Natalie and Martin have been there for us. Unofficial members of the team here at the Highland Liquor Company, who we wholeheartedly recommend anyone in the gin industry to embrace.”
Robert Hicks, Founder, Highland Liquor Co.
“Deerness Distillery has been collaborating with The Gin Cooperative team since their launch. We have found their coverage of Scottish Gin to be fresh, vibrant and non biased. The collaboration has increased not only our brand awareness and exposure to the market but also promotes Scottish Gin to the world. The team at Deerness Distillery is very much looking forward to continuing our collaboration with The Gin Cooperative.”
Stuart Brown, Co-Founder & Distiller, Deerness Distillery
“It has been great to work with people who have a genuine love for gin and an obvious interest in where it comes from and the people behind it. We love the fact that Nat & Martin take care to find out the story behind the gin, and present it back in a way that informs – and leaves you wanting more, specifically desperate to taste which ever product they are talking about! From the writing to the photos (Martin manages to make everything look…better…), the quality is great and we thoroughly enjoy working with them.”
Lynne Duthie, Co-Founder, Esker Spirits
“Natalie and Martin at The Gin Cooperative really do offer great value for money, they tirelessly promote Scottish Gin, they are always on hand with help or advice, we are very proud to be a member.”
Andrea Watt, Co-Founder, Orkney Gin Company
“The Gin Cooperative have been extremely supportive of Biggar Gin since our involvement began just over a year ago – both companies started around the same time. Scotland is producing many very high quality gins and The Gin Cooperative is one of the best places to learn about each of the gins Scotland has to offer. We have received some fantastic photographs courtesy of the team and these have helped us out to no end when our budget or cashflow have prevented us from hiring professional photographers. We look forward to more exciting and interesting collaborations with Natalie and Martin over the coming years.”
Stuart McVicar, Co-Founder, The Biggar Gin Company
“The Gin Cooperative has created a fantastic platform for Scottish Gins that meets the needs of all producers from craft to mass distillers. Natalie and Martin have helped massively in the marketing of our Drovers Gin especially with their photography skills and editorial features. They really are telling the stories of Scottish Gin and are always supportive of all gin businesses regardless of size. I love working with The Gin Coop due to their honest transparent way of working and contagious enthusiasm for Scottish Gin.”
Jenny McKerr, Founder & Distiller, The Wee Farm Distillery
“Lovely people doing great work for the Scottish Gin Industry and keeping the public informed on any exciting Scottish Gin news!”
Maxine Grant, Co-Founder, The Garden Shed Drinks Company
“We love the work that Natalie and Martin from The Gin Cooperative do and we love the service we receive from them. They have been huge supporters of us since the very start of our gin journey and encouraged us before we even launched. They are both very professional at what they do, the photography they produce, the articles they write and the interviews they conduct are always of the highest quality. The articles they have produced for us have been brilliant and usually result in new followers to our newsletter and social media platforms. We love the relationship we have with them and look forward to continuing on our gin journey together.”
Jim Mackintosh, Co-Founder, Mackintosh Gin
“The decision to join The Gin Cooperative was a brilliant move for GlenWyvis. We have found that all content that has gone out surrounding our brand has been premium, engaging and very attractive. This has assisted in promoting our products in the ever growing gin marketplace.”
Josh Fraser, Office Manager, GlenWyvis
“The Gin Cooperative are a great resource for gin lovers and distillers alike. They have a great website containing well researched content and lovely photography. It is all enhanced by the fact Natalie and Martin are lovely people who are as passionate as they are diligent when it comes to promoting Scottish Gin.”
Lorien Cameron-Ross, Co-Founder & Distiller, Loch Ness Spirits
“Natalie and Martin have a genuine passion for what they do, putting in the time and effort to really understand what your distillery and products are all about. This creates a unique perspective that shines through. Using a fresh approach to promoting Scottish Gin not only at home but globally, it’s exciting to see what the future holds for The Gin Cooperative.”
Craig Rankin, Distillery Manager, Crafty Distillery
“Working with The Gin Cooperative has been brilliant and the work they do for not only ourselves but for the whole Scottish Gin industry is truly amazing. Scotland’s food and drink industry is renowned and celebrated for its innovation and quality and it’s crucial that we continue to shout about the amazing products birthed here in Scotland.”
Dale McQueen, Co-Founder & Distiller, McQueen Gin
“The Gin Cooperative have supported Ice and Fire Distillery before we even had our bottles and have been with us since we started offering advice, providing features and enabling us to send our gin to ATLAS Bar in Singapore! Through their website, they are raising awareness of our presence and products to a much wider audience than we could have reached ourselves.”
Jacquie Black, Co-Founder, Ice & Fire Distillery
“The Gin Cooperative have provided quality content that is engaging whilst highlighting important issues in the spirits industry.”
Helen Stewart, Founder & Distiller, Badvo Distillery
“After launching Ellis Gin, I contacted The Gin Cooperative to find out more about working with them. I already received their newsletters and loved the way they promoted new gins. It’s been great working with Natalie – she’s helped promote Ellis to a wider audience, both through interesting and relevant articles and including Ellis in customer competitions.
Carol Jackson, Founder, Ellis Gin
“The Gin Cooperative is a masterfully curated website. No detail is overlooked by Natalie and her team to ensure they have the most up-to-date and useful knowledge on our gins.”
Leah Shaw Hawkins, Head of Marketing, Pickering’s Gin
“It has been a pleasure to work with The Gin Cooperative team and to establish a presence for Red Door Gin on the website – the website design and quality of imagery and copy reflects on the brand really well.”
Andrew Hannah, Brand Controller, Red Door Gin
“The Gin Cooperative has been nothing but supportive to our brand – they have gone out of their way to help us to get our message out there by putting all new launches and events on their website and by giving us new and exciting opportunities! We love working with them!”
Francesca Martin, Events & Marketing Manager, The Old Curiosity Distillery
“We welcome the support of the Gin Cooperative which protects and promotes the Scottish gin market.”
Claire Fletcher, Co-Founder & Distiller, Lussa Gin
“Arcturus have been working with The Gin Cooperative for a short while and it has been great to work with a business who are dedicated to promoting Scottish Gins. We have been very pleased with the support we have received so far and the opportunities that have been presented to us to showcase Arcturus to new audiences. They have also provided us with some great photos that represent Arcturus beautifully. We look forward to continuing to work with The Gin Cooperative in the future!”
Kristianne Stanton-Jones, Marketing, Arcturus Torridon Gin
“The Gin Cooperative have created fantastic content for us and continue to support the growth of our distillery and brands.”
Peter Dignan, Co-Founder & Distiller, Lost Loch Spirits
Thanks to the gin makers and brand owners we work with who have taken the time to provide this feedback. We’re humbled to know that all the risks we’ve taken and time we’ve sacrificed from our young family is appreciated. We do spend countless hours making our content look the best it can plus being original with the editorial content we publish.
We don’t take the gin makers and brand owners we work with for granted and we will never rest on our laurels. We will continue to focus on producing engaging and original Scottish Gin content that inspires, educates and promotes Scottish Gin in the best possible way. We will continue to grow a genuine social media audience and grow our website traffic. We’ve got some really exciting developments coming up soon for our website that we believe will once again help encourage consumers to continue visiting our website as the go to premium resource for everything related to Scottish Gin.
Our business is about helping raise the profile of the term Scottish Gin and elevating it to be a recognised term for a premium spirit made in Scotland. A spirit that should take your senses on a journey. A spirit that inspires you to learn more about the people and places. A spirit that captures the imagination. For us, Scottish Gin is the true spirit of Scotland.
So what next for The Gin Cooperative. We’ve got some exciting developments in the works for our website that we believe will add even more value to the gin makers and brands we work with. International Scottish Gin Day 2019, the first ever official day to celebrate Scottish Gin is just around the corner but we’re already making plans for International Scottish Gin Day 2020.
We will continue to produce original content that we feel showcases Scottish Gin whilst remaining impartial, honest and unbiased along with some exciting ideas we’ve got for supporting the people we work with.
We couldn’t do all this without the support and commitment from our stakeholders. Everything we have achieved over last 18 months was only possible thanks to the Scottish Gin makers and brands who work with us, who value the consumer and see value in what The Gin Cooperative is all about. We are grateful and thankful to the businesses and people we work with who see value in being part of what we do and support our creative and collaborative approach to positively showcasing Scottish Gin.
Not every Scottish Gin maker has chosen to come onboard and be part of The Gin Cooperative but our door is always open to those gin makers out there who share our values and vision of how Scottish Gin should be presented to the consumer. To others in the Scottish Gin community, we’re always happy to see where we can work together to help support and nurture the industry we all care about and for us the Scottish Gin community should be one of respect, collaboration and friendship.
We’re very excited to see the Scottish Gin category continue to grow and we very much look forward to playing a role in helping this happen. As always, we’re happy to have a chat privately or publicly about any of our activities and our door is always open to the people we work with and our friends in the world of Scottish Gin.