Meet Carnoustie Distillery
Father and son team started distilling in Carnoustie in 2017. All of their spirits are hand-crafted in small batches and are fermented, distilled, bottled and labelled in their log cabin in Carnoustie. Read on to find out more about their small business and how they’ve adapted to the impact of Covid-19.
How did you get to where you are?
With a lot of hard work and determination. I have worked in the oil and gas industry for my whole life and the process of distilling was completely new to us both. However, my son Jory went on a couple of distilling courses which were very beneficial to him as the sole distiller. We also contacted the individuals we purchased our still from and they were very helpful.
I do the maths and calculations and my son Jory does the distilling and sampling.
How has the business been impacted by coronavirus?
Our business has been heavily impacted. Typically, we sell to restaurants and pubs in Carnoustie and Dundee, so seeing these venues temporarily close with orders at a standstill has been tough.
We usually attend markets across Scotland to sell our products and unfortunately, these have been cancelled.
One positive is that we successfully applied for a temporary premises licence so consumers can come directly to purchase from our distillery.
Who has helped you along the way?
Without the support from Angus Licensing Board and our Business Gateway Tayside adviser, Lauren Miller, we definitely would not have survived the coronavirus pandemic.
Angus Council has been very understanding and helpful.
Looking back, what would you do differently?
We regret not seeking help from Angus Licensing Board and Business Gateway sooner.
We also wish we had started the business earlier, after my son completed his sixth year at school, prior to attending college.
What has been your greatest achievement?
As we exist in a competitive marketplace, I am really proud of our bestselling product, white chocolate vodka liqueur.
My son Jory created the unique recipe himself and our customers love it. Watching consumers enjoy our products really makes the endless hard work worthwhile,
What are your hopes for the future?
We would love to have a visitor centre at our distillery where consumers can taste, purchase, and attend a gin school experience.
Ultimately, we want to create something that Angus and the whole of Scotland can be proud of.
Are you hoping to recruit in future?
Yes, we are hoping to recruit a full-time salesperson and a junior for our distillery,
What is the hardest thing about running your own business?
As a small family business, money can be tight. It is frustrating when we cannot develop or expand as fast as we would like.
Do you have any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Always accept as much help and advice as you can get – other people have been through the same problems before, so ask them.
Find out more about Carnoustie Distillery.
Jory and Billy Duncan